BMW Designworks Helped To Create This Sleek, Hydrogen-Powered Aircraft

Flying cars are all the rage these days and Alaka’i Technologies has unveiled their all-new Skai which was developed with the assistance of BMW Designworks.

Billed as the “world’s first hydrogen fuel cell powered air mobility solution,” the Skai is essentially an electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle.

BMW Designworks helped to create the styling of the Skai and it’s a sleeking looking vehicle with large windows, a glass roof and wide sliding doors. The model also has a carbon composite airframe and landing skids as well as rotor booms that are sweptback to prevent sightline obstructions and vibrations.

The interior is relatively sparse, but there are five seats which are arranged in a V-formation to give passengers a better view of their surroundings. Speaking of passengers, they sit on impact-absorbing seats which feature four-point harnesses and what appears to be leather upholstery.

The Skai’s most unique feature is its powertrain which consists of three hydrogen fuel cells that power six electric motors that each produce 134 hp (100 kW / 136 PS). This enables the aircraft to hits speeds of up to 118 mph (190 km/h), but the company said most local trips will likely have an average speed of 85 mph (137 km/h).

The Skai can be equipped with a 200-400 liter (53-106 gallon) hydrogen fuel tank and this will enable the aircraft to stay afloat for up to four hours.  The model can also travel up to 400 miles (644 km) without refueling.

Also Read: Boeing’s Autonomous Flying Car Makes Maiden Voyage For 60 Seconds

The Skai promises to “democratize” air transportation and doesn’t require a helipad or runway. As a result, the model can land on rooftops, driveways and parking lots.

The Skai is currently undergoing testing and Alaka’i Technologies said the model is “autonomous-ready today,” but FAA regulations currently don’t allow for autonomous flight. As a result, the company will launch a piloted version first, before introducing an autonomous version which can seat up to five passengers. While people might be wary of an autonomous aircraft, Alaka’i Technologies said the Skai has multiple fail-safes and a parachute.

 

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