Aston Martin joins the race to the skies
British luxury brand Aston Martin has joined the ever-growing group of companies developing electric and hybrid vertical take-off and landing aircraft.
British luxury brand Aston Martin has thrown its immaculately tailored cap into the vertical take-off and landing aircraft development ring. The company presented their Volante Vision Concept, a luxury concept aircraft, at the Farnborough Airshow in July.
Produced in partnership with Cranfield University, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions and Rolls-Royce, the aircraft aims to bring a new sort of luxury personal transportation to the sky, taking full advantage of the latest advances in aerospace, electrification and autonomous technologies, coupled with Aston Martin’s signature design strengths.
With room for three adults, the concept is a near future study that previews a flying autonomous hybrid-electric vehicle for urban and inter-city air travel, providing fast, efficient and congestion free luxurious travel.
“We are at the beginning of a new generation of urban transportation; vertical mobility is no longer a fantasy.” ~Marek Reichman
Aston Martin President and CEO Dr Andy Palmer said: “With the population in urban areas continuing to grow, congestion in towns and cities will become increasingly demanding. We need to look at alternative solutions to reduce congestion, cut pollution and improve mobility. Air travel will be a crucial part in the future of transportation; the Volante Vision Concept is the ultimate luxury mobility solution.”
Professor Iain Gray, Director of Aerospace at Cranfield University said: “We’re delighted to be part of this exciting and forward-thinking project that showcases British innovation and the way that Cranfield works with and supports business. The Volante Vision Concept exemplifies Cranfield’s unique capabilities in digital aviation, autonomous systems and the electrification of aerospace, and is an excellent example of how the University combines cutting-edge research, academic rigour and real-world application.”
Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (CAeS) CEO Paul Hutton said: “The introduction of autonomous and electric propulsion technologies into new aircraft designs is both inevitable and challenging, and as the UK’s leading aircraft design and production SME we are excited to be playing this key role in the Volante Vision Concept and so to be at the vanguard of this revolution in aerospace.”
Director, Rolls-Royce Electrical Rob Watson said: “We are delighted to be involved in the Volante Vision Concept, which showcases the best of British design and engineering. Rolls-Royce has already delivered hybrid-electric systems for other applications including ships and trains, and we’re very excited about the potential of the technology in aerospace. This is a great opportunity to collaborate on a pioneering project which will use high performance hybrid-electric propulsion technologies for personal air mobility concepts that could transform the future of transportation.”
As the designer of cars such as the Aston Martin DB11, the new Vantage, the DBS Superleggera and Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar project – Aston Martin EVP and Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman holds the key to the distinctive design language of the new Aston Martin project.
“We are at the beginning of a new generation of urban transportation, vertical mobility is no longer a fantasy. We have a unique chance to create a luxury concept aircraft that will represent the ultimate fusion of art and technology.” says Reichman.
“We have used forms and proportions that express the same devotion to design, engineering and beauty that shape our cars.”