A formal launch of XTI Aircraft’s six-seat TriFan 600 at the NBAA convention attracted “several” new orders and deposits under a pre-sales programme for the vertical take-off and landing, fixed-wing aircraft project, the company says on 18 October.
“These are serious buyers who reserved a priority number for the eventual commercial production of the TriFan 600,” says Robert LaBelle, XTI’s chief executive officer.
The two-year-old project aims to deliver the unique, turboelectric-powered aircraft design by the mid-2020s. Using three ducted fans, including two tilting fans mounted into the leading edges of the wings, the TriFan 600 should take-off vertically, transition into cruise mode and fly at speeds up to 300kt (555km/h) to a destination up to 1,045nm away.
A single turboshaft engine – a Honeywell HTS900 – would provide all of the power for propulsion, but not directly. Instead of generating energy for thrust, the HTS900 would convert the energy into about 750kW of electric power, which would then be distributed to motors driving each of the three ducted fans.
But first XTI needs to raise a lot of money to finance development and certification. The company has disclosed signing up investors in Silicon Valley and India, in addition to an online crowdfunding campaign. XTI also is recruiting investors for a $20 million Series B offering.