The future of VTOL aircraft
Meet the fleet that could revolutionise heavy cargo transportation
The huge cargo containers that travel the world on enormous ships are currently passed onto large trucks when they reach port, and driven to their final destination by road. However, British company Reinhardt Technology Research (RTR) believes it would be quicker, cheaper, and more environmentally friendly to fly them instead.
The company has recently designed the
TU 523, a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft that is capable of transporting heavy shipping containers without the need for expensive new infrastructure. The craft uses a hybrid electric generator to supply power to a series of electric turbines on demand, which can tilt horizontally and enable vertical take-off and landing.
Once in the air, the turbines tilt back again, while the wings generate lift just like on an airplane. RTR has already built a 1:4 scaled model of the TU 523, which it is preparing to send on a 60-day journey from the UK to South Africa in 2016. It will then develop a full-scale version over the next three years, which can be mass-produced at a capacity of 30 units per month and cost no more than £400,000 ($580,000) each.
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