Hybrid Czech eVTOL launches hover test, claiming range of 720km

Czech company Zuri has begun hover testing with the first near-scale VTOL air taxi technology demonstrator. Equipped with a hybrid powertrain, the team promises an actual range of up to 720 km (447 miles) at cruising speeds of up to 320 km / h (200 mph).

Batteries are so heavy that it may take some time before hydrogen technology becomes mainstream. Once any of these issues are resolved, the electric VTOL aircraft will be able to fly even more immediately.

But there are companies that want to launch with long-range numbers, and they’re willing to sacrifice a clean powertrain to do that. France dominance, Russian cyclocar, Swiss manta rays, NS British Samad Aerospace, Canadian Horizon Aircraft (Currently part of Astro Aerospace), Rolls Royce When Colorado XTI aircraftAmong other things, all have hybrid electric air taxi designs under development and are radically expanding their reach using fossil fuels.

Production design with large tail wing


Prague-based Zuri has joined the list with a 3- to 4-seat hybrid lift and cruise design targeting the “regional air mobility” market. It’s a pretty classic design. Large wings where four long propulsion pods that support eight vertical lift props intersect. The two middle pods are joined by a relatively large rear wing, with a pusher prop on the back for efficient high speed cruising, while all lift props are locked in the lowest drag direction.

Zuri’s hybrid approach seems to be running the battery pack primarily during the VTOL phase of flight, with a relatively small combustion motor driving the pusher propeller.

Zuri launched a small prototype flight with wingspans of 2 m (6.6 ft) and 5 m (16.4 ft) in 2018, and since then it has been a 90% tech demostray of 11 m (36 ft). Marshalled the funds to build a ter. ) Wingspan.

Zuri team member with a large tech demonstrator
Zuri team member with a large tech demonstrator


This technical demonstrator enters the first phase of flight testing and performs static tether hover testing in a “flying wing” configuration. Once the hover test is complete, the company plans to finish it and then build a single-seat experimental aircraft for further testing.

Angel has funded around € 2.4 million (US $ 2.7 million) at this stage, and Zuri says he has “enough” cash for the current development stage. Of course, commercial certification is another kettle of very large and fragrant fish, most expected to successfully squeeze into hundreds of millions of dollars before a company places a single customer order.

In order to raise such funds, Zuri needs to differentiate quite significantly from the rest of this bustling market and see combustion engines and gas tanks move too much among investors with deep pockets. Will be difficult. But you never know, and the Zuri team has done brilliantly to move forward as long as it has.

Check out the short first flight test video below.

First footage of Zuridemonstrator during hover flight

sauce: Zuri Hybrid Czech eVTOL launches hover test, claiming range of 720km

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