RE: Aston Martin reveals vertical take-off concept

RE: Aston Martin reveals vertical take-off concept

Monday 16th July

Aston Martin reveals vertical take-off concept

No, we're not kidding...



Who would have thought? Turns out shoehorning a 4.7-litre V8 into a Cygnet is not as mad as Aston concepts will get in July. Instead that honour falls to this, the Volante Vision Concept, assuming that there's not a V12 Vantage tank or something similar revealed before August 1st.

Designed in collaboration with Cranfield University, Cranfield Aerospace solutions and Rolls-Royce, the Volante Vision Concept is described as "an exciting alternative transportation solution for customers across the globe", a concept that "unites the world's best aerospace experts, propulsion specialists and designers."


As you can see, the Volante Vision Concept is not like anything that's been released by Aston - or indeed any automotive firm - in the past. With its vertical take-off and landing like a Harrier Jump Jet (but now with electricity), the concept is said to offer a look at what potential future urban transport could look like as we search for solutions to increasingly congested cities. Or, in the words of Andy Palmer, "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 is the ultimate luxury mobility solution." You'd rather spend your hour-long commute in this than a Cygnet, wouldn't you?

That's really the point of the Volante Vision Concept; if people could get to work with less congestion, then they could live further away. Or in the slightly less idyllic version, cities expand further into giant, sprawling metropolises and so those previously rural outposts become commuter towns. Whatever the scenario, Aston sees there being a lot more travel by air, with this Volante providing "fast, efficient and congestion free luxurious travel."


The concept can carry three people electrically and autonomously, designed specifically for urban and inter-city use. Along with the design and tech input from Cranfield and Rolls-Royce, the Volante Vision has been designed by Marek Reichmann; you certainly can't say all Astons look the same now! He described the concept as a "unique chance to create a luxury aircraft that will represent the ultimate fusion of art and technology."

Aston says this is a "near-future" study, so what that means for its actual feasibility as a project we're not quite sure. It's hard to picture people commuting by Aston electric plane in the next few years, put it that way. It's being presented at the Farnborough Air Show this week though, so if you're there and do get chance to see it, please send us a pic. Wonder what Aston has lined up for us next week...







Author
Discussion

cuda

Original Poster:

399 posts

174 months

Monday 16th July
quotequote all
Won't fly...

Usget

4,559 posts

145 months

Monday 16th July
quotequote all
Helicopter.

They've just invented the helicopter.

Tuna

8,293 posts

218 months

Monday 16th July
quotequote all
Of all the 'how do you make a drone into a personal transport craft' studies, this is certainly the best looking to date.

IforB

6,006 posts

163 months

Monday 16th July
quotequote all
If they built one, then I'd care, but a rendering of a concept that encapsulates tech that is nowhere near possible yet?

Meh.

CrutyRammers

9,089 posts

132 months

Monday 16th July
quotequote all
The problem with all of these concepts is the lack of a failsafe. What happens in case of engine failure? Gliding/autorotation all require height, skill and a clear landing zone. We're never going to see traffic flying over cities unless that is solved.
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Tuna

8,293 posts

218 months

Monday 16th July
quotequote all
IforB said:
If they built one, then I'd care, but a rendering of a concept that encapsulates tech that is nowhere near possible yet?

Meh.
From a tech point of view, there's nothing there that looks dramatically impossible - though overall flight times may be interesting. The drone guys have got quite good at making improbable looking machines fly.

Most of the issues around personal craft like this are legislative. How do you ensure safety and maintenance, what happens if it stops working over populated areas, how do large fleets of these things navigate and so on...

Dynamic Space Wizard

300 posts

38 months

Monday 16th July
quotequote all
Wow! Some pretend pictures of something that doesn't exist! That's truly magnificent!

wack

1,914 posts

140 months

Monday 16th July
quotequote all
Looks very stealth fighter like, if they build it out of titanium I'm sure drug dealers would be interested if it can evade radar and land in a field

rodericb

1,443 posts

60 months

Monday 16th July
quotequote all
Hot damn. A device for the elite to enable them to keep at least 3000ft from the great unwashed while they travel from their residential compound to their corporate campus. They probably won't sell many of them in Silicon Valley as they'll have their own stuff in development..... Maybe Aston Martin can do a prototype of a huge wheel-like space station next? I got the idea from a movie. Just don't let Matt Damon near it.

DaveCWK

974 posts

108 months

Monday 16th July
quotequote all
You may have noticed battery powered drones with great performance have become very cheap over the last few years. The reason personal drone transportation hasn't is because the model simply doesn't scale well with size while maintaining efficiency. As a concept this is a bit pointless IMO.

The Wookie

11,492 posts

162 months

Monday 16th July
quotequote all
Whilst pretty fanciful, it does raise the point that once battery and EV tech develop to the point of being as light as an ICE powertrain with equivalent range then we might well see the emergence of the ‘flying car’

IforB

6,006 posts

163 months

Monday 16th July
quotequote all
Tuna said:
IforB said:
If they built one, then I'd care, but a rendering of a concept that encapsulates tech that is nowhere near possible yet?

Meh.
From a tech point of view, there's nothing there that looks dramatically impossible - though overall flight times may be interesting. The drone guys have got quite good at making improbable looking machines fly.

Most of the issues around personal craft like this are legislative. How do you ensure safety and maintenance, what happens if it stops working over populated areas, how do large fleets of these things navigate and so on...
As an airline pilot for 20 years and airline management type too, then I can assure anyone that the regulatory hurdles needed to turn this thing into a reality are massive.
The technical challenges of getting sufficient energy density in the batteries is also a colossal hurdle that is nowhere near being fixed and won't be for a long time, especially in the context of approving the technology for use in an aircraft. The solution doesn't exist. When it does, it'll be a long time before it is robust enough for fitment as the primary energy store for a public transport aircraft.

I'm 40 and I don't expect to see anything like this out in the real world until I'm long retired and probably pushing up daisies.

So, this is another Brand building exercise from Aston, rather than anything remotely feasible. Therefore Meh.

DevonPaul

652 posts

71 months

Monday 16th July
quotequote all
rodericb said:
Hot damn. A device for the elite to enable them to keep at least 3000ft from the great unwashed while they travel from their residential compound to their corporate campus.
Not just for the Elite - it's just a personalised variation on Rolls Royce's Air Taxi also announced this weekend.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44840953

David87

4,977 posts

146 months

Monday 16th July
quotequote all
They should spend less time on imaginary aircraft and more time fixing the front of the new Vantage.

baconsarney

8,577 posts

95 months

Monday 16th July
quotequote all
David87 said:
They should spend less time on imaginary aircraft and more time fixing the front of the new Vantage.
hehe

Jon_S_Rally

131 posts

22 months

Monday 16th July
quotequote all
IforB said:
As an airline pilot for 20 years and airline management type too, then I can assure anyone that the regulatory hurdles needed to turn this thing into a reality are massive.
The technical challenges of getting sufficient energy density in the batteries is also a colossal hurdle that is nowhere near being fixed and won't be for a long time, especially in the context of approving the technology for use in an aircraft. The solution doesn't exist. When it does, it'll be a long time before it is robust enough for fitment as the primary energy store for a public transport aircraft.

I'm 40 and I don't expect to see anything like this out in the real world until I'm long retired and probably pushing up daisies.

So, this is another Brand building exercise from Aston, rather than anything remotely feasible. Therefore Meh.
This, surely this over and over and over again.

I don't see how anything remotely similar to this is possible unless everyone takes a pilot's licence. Given all the imaginative ways people manage to crash cars, flying machines opens a whole world of exciting possibilities.

Autonomy is surely the only way this will ever take off (!) and that still doesn't answer the problems of them landing in busy areas, noise and all of the other potential problems.

Fanciful nonsense.

Alias218

729 posts

96 months

Monday 16th July
quotequote all
Transport solutions like this arent too far fetched technologically, I don't think. The thing holding this sort of thing back is the legislation and licensing. The complexities of letting the nation's plebs loose with these in the sky doesnt bear thinking about, even if it is fully automated. They'll find a way to ruin it for everyone.


Doofus

7,561 posts

107 months

Monday 16th July
quotequote all
The best way to deal with, and guard against increasing confestion is to invest in the kind of technologies that negate the need to comute in the first place. Of course, that's anathema for an automotive company, but...

Anyway, it's all well and good making it easier to commute into heavily congested cities, but where will they all park?

Amanitin

173 posts

71 months

Monday 16th July
quotequote all
CrutyRammers said:
The problem with all of these concepts is the lack of a failsafe. What happens in case of engine failure? Gliding/autorotation all require height, skill and a clear landing zone. We're never going to see traffic flying over cities unless that is solved.
Companies working on these things for real (as opposed to AM) do it through heavy redundancy e.g. 8 separate motor-propeller units, maybe even separate batteries. Safe landing still possible with one failure.

Gecko1978

2,056 posts

91 months

Monday 16th July
quotequote all
Doofus said:
The best way to deal with, and guard against increasing confestion is to invest in the kind of technologies that negate the need to comute in the first place. Of course, that's anathema for an automotive company, but...

Anyway, it's all well and good making it easier to commute into heavily congested cities, but where will they all park?
This basically today we could reduce commuting for most service jobs to zero through remote working. City based bank I work for recently closed 2 out of five offices for that very reason only for our director ro decide they wanted all (mostly contracting) staff not to be allowed to work remotely. Its a culture thing thats holding change back. You don't need invotative transport solutuons in say London if 80% of people no longer travel into the office.



Edited by Gecko1978 on Monday 16th July 17:03