A new high-speed aircraft promises to 'change air travel forever'
One of the most frustrating and time-consuming aspects of air travel is how long it takes to get off the ground. First you have to get to the airport. Once you've made it through security and finally got on board, a plane can spend ages waiting around and taxiing to the runway. Then you do it all again upon landing.
The TriFan 600 aircraft promises to change all that with its ability to lift vertically off the ground like a helicopter, while still boasting the speed and mileage range of a private jet. This would remove the need for runways all together, as well as allowing the planes to land on helipads or other flat surfaces, which could mean it's able to land directly in city centres.
The new aircraft is currently in the proposal stages, and XTI Aircraft Company have put the project on crowdfunding website Start Engine.
This version of the aircraft will only have room for 5 passengers, so commercial airlines aren't going to be scrapping their planes any time soon, but the stats offered by XTI are something to get excited about. Using three ducted fans for vertical lift and 2 high performance turboshaft engines, the TriFan 600 claims to reach its maximum altitude of over 30,000 feet within 11 minutes, with a maximum cruise speed of 400mph. The craft's lightweight carbon fiber materials means it can reach that speed in 90 seconds.
The project is initially aimed at business travellers, but the designers believe it could eventually serve other uses, not least offering quick and convenient access to areas not served by airlines.
Still, this convenience comes at a price. Every TriFan 600 is expected to retail at between $10-12 million.