Bombardier, Cessna, Dassault and Gulfstream may not be watching their backs just yet, but a UK start-up has unveiled plans at the show for the world’s first vertical take-off and landing business aircraft.
The, three-engine, hybrid-electric, 10-seat Starling Jet will have a range of up to 1,300nm (2,400km) and is the brainchild of British “serial entrepreneur” Seyed Mohseni, whose team at Cranfield-based Samad Aerospace has been working on the project for six years.
Although the aircraft on display at the show is a hand-held model, Mohseni is confident that the company can fly a full-scale technical demonstrator by March next year and have an aircraft certificated by 2024.
First, however, the company must raise around $56 million to complete the research and development, and a further $70 million to complete the project. However, Mohseni says he has been promised investment from a UK government technology seeding fund.
Samad has not selected an engine provider but is talking to “two US manufacturers as well as Rolls-Royce”, says Mohseni.
Revealing the model – which has two engines mounted on either side of the blended-wing upper fuselage, and a third between a V-tail – at the show yesterday, Mohseni said the company was keen to talk to potential technology partners in Asia.