Paragon Aerospace resumed work for the launch of the hydrogen-powered Soar, VTOL (vertical take-off and landing module), which the company intends to launch commercially as an air taxi in
. The first tests would start in 2018, according to Dwight Smith, founder of the company.
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The idea, in addition to carrying up to 9 passengers, is to give the air taxi an autonomy between 500 and 1.70 kilometers, depending on the number of people on board . To turn Dwight Smith’s idea into reality, the Soar will be produced with eight engines, in an advanced design when compared to the T Raptor, revealed in 500. The idea, according to the executive, is “to seek perfection”.
“We learned that most of the parts we used were simply not ready. We would have to introduce dozens of open-shaped propellers, which would increase the noise factor, and we weren’t in the mood for that. I’m a big advocate of perfection, so to speak, so I wanted something much quieter,” he revealed.
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The new air taxi project Hydrogen-powered, designed by Paragon, it will have a “cheap and sustainable” fuselage, but also resistant to ice. According to the company executive, the engine noise, which will be 500 hp per duct, will not exceed 100 decibels. Soar will also feature micropropellers to help reduce noise during VTOL takeoffs and landings.
For the VTOL Soar project, literally, to take off, a lot of investment will be needed. Smith would not be thinking of using traditional hydrogen cells, which convert hydrogen into electricity. The idea is to use an internal combustion engine to burn hydrogen. Because of this, the investment will need to be high.
According to the president of Paragon, the amount needed is around US$ 1 billion (R$ 5, billion). Raising such a high amount requires strategy. Therefore, in Paragon’s future plans are help from the private sector, a possible merger and even going public, with the company’s entry into the stock market.
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In addition to Dwight Smith, the Paragon Aerospace team behind the upcoming release Air Taxi Soar features CEO Ken Peterman, former president of aerospace satellite company ViaSat; and director of technology Robert Frederick, Amazon’s first ASW program manager. The company has plans to build a VTOL plant and hub in Brownville, Texas, near Elon Musk’s SpaceX launch facility. The first tests, however, would be carried out in Kingston, Jamaica, his homeland.
Source: New Atlas, Future Flight
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