US manufacturer XTI Aircraft has announced that earlier this month it conducted successful flight trials on a proof-of-concept (POC) vehicle for its Trifan 600.
The Trifan 600 is an electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft that takes off and lands using three ducted fans, one in each wing and one in the rear fuselage. Trifan uses all three fans to take off and land, but the fuselage fan is shut down in the cruise when the two wing fans transition to level flight. The aircraft will be able to land in any helipad-sized cleared area.
During the POC tests, the aircraft completed multiple take-offs, hover, and landings, which tested the electric motors, battery power system, ducted fan propulsion, flight controls and other electrical systems and instrumentation.
The aircraft was tethered during the tests at Placerville airport in northern California where it was constructed. Future flights at a UAV test facility in Utah will be untethered in hover and will also test forward, wing-borne flight, as well as the transition phase between vertical and forward-flight.
“This is the moment the entire XTI team, our investors, customers, and many others have been waiting for and working toward," said XTI Chief Executive Officer Robert LaBelle. "In one year, we have progressed from conceptual design to a flying prototype. The aircraft proved to be stable in hover and had no problems throughout several runs.”
XTI Aircraft previously reported it had booked 77 production slots representing $US500 million in sales.