Commercial

Jaunt Air Mobility Examines Business Case For Urban Air Taxis

By Frank Wolfe | January 30, 2019
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An SR/C air taxi design by Carter Aviation Technologies

MESA, Arizona — Jaunt Air Mobility, a start-up company founded last May by New Jersey engineer and entrepreneur Kaydon Stanzione, is preparing the business case for an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle that uses Slowed-Rotor/Compound (SR/C) technology developed by Texas-based Carter Aviation Technologies, a concept that may gain the backing of Uber Elevate, should Jaunt Air Mobility gain venture capital funding, according to Mark Moore, the director of engineering for Uber Elevate.

Stanzione and Moore spoke to R&WI during a break at the Vertical Flight Society's 6th Annual eVTOL symposium here.

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Five Uber partner companies — Bell, Boeing's Aurora Flight Sciences, Embraer, Karem Aircraft Co., and Pipistrel — are building fixed-wing, electric or hybrid-electric vehicles with distributed propulsion and control systems.

If the results of Jaunt Air Mobility's business case study are positive, and if Jaunt can secure venture capital funding — a near foregone conclusion, Stanzione said — Uber may soon have a sixth partner.

"What I'm excited about are the acoustics," Moore said, as the low disc loading and tip speeds of the SR/C technology will likely make such a vehicle more palatable to urban residents who do not want high noise levels. Such noise levels have contributed to the closing of vertiports in major cities.

The SR/C vehicle will be able to cruise at 175 miles per hour and carry up to five passengers, according to Carter Aviation Technologies, founded in 1994 by engineer Jay Carter Jr., who helped design the Bell XV-15 tiltrotor. Not having a rotor on the wing gives the SR/C vehicle a higher lift to drag ratio, while the tilting mast will provide a more stable, comfortable flight for passengers, and the high inertia rotor will give the SR/C vehicle the ability to perform 'no incident' autorotation landings, according to SR/C proponents.

eVTOL observers have said that other urban air mobility designs will, by contrast, need built-in parachutes for safety.

Jaunt Air Mobility is examining other uses for SR/C technology as well, including cargo transportation, emergency medical services, and patient transfer.

 

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