Long-distance travel has always been a time-consuming process. Let’s say you want to fly from San Francisco to Los Angeles. You have to drive to the airport, wait for about an hour, fly from San Francisco airport to Los Angeles airport, disembark, and then drive again to reach your destination. It takes approximately 3-4 hours.
SkyCruiser with VTOL and road-drive configuration
But Krossblade Aerospace has developed the concept for a hybrid 5-seat airplane called SkyCruiser that can take you from point A in San Francisco to point B in Los Angles in a little over an hour. That’s because the SkyCruiser has road-drive ability and vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) technology. VTOL saves time and fuel by allowing you to take off and land from many more locations compared to an aircraft that requires an airport.
To fly fast, an airplane needs to be aerodynamically clean. That’s the reason airplanes are long and narrow, and with very few things sticking out. But vertical take-off and landing requires an airplane to be the opposite of aerodynamic. The more things sticking out, the easier it is to hover. That’s why helicopters are quite good at hovering, but not so great at forward flight, requiring a lot of fuel.
Krossblade uses switchblade mechanism
Krossblade was able to establish a balance between the two with the help of its patent pending switchblade mechanism. It transforms the SkyCruiser (video) from an aerodynamically clean airplane to the VTOL configuration. Notably, the VTOL configuration features several rotors that collectively have a large rotor disc area, an ideal condition for hovering at low power.
Krossblade’s SkyCruiser can fly at 314 miles per hour. It has a range of 1,006 miles. The road drive configuration is suitable for short trips on land. It can attain a maximum speed of 75 miles per hour. On Road, SkyCruiser can go from 0-62 mph in just 7 seconds. Krossblade CEO Dan Lubrich says VTOL is useful not only in travel, but also in rescue operations, military and law enforcement applications. In these situations, it’s very important to be able to land and take off from a spot, rather than an airport.