The Toulouse start-up Ascendance Flight has just unveiled its future disruptive flying taxi with eight rotors integrated into the wings. Equipped with five seats, the plane will be able to take off and land vertically like a helicopter.
Ascendance Flight has just unveiled a fairly revolutionary aircraft. The Toulouse start-up created in 2018 has frozen the design of its future flying taxi called ATEA. Capable of carrying five passengers, the flying machine has opted for two pairs of wings each loaded with four rotors integrated into the voice. This “fan-in-wing * technology, literally rotor in the wing, allows a distribution of the propulsion on eight rotors. They will be used to make ATEA take off and land vertically. These shrouded rotors patented by Ascendance Flight, allow to benefit from increased power during take-off and landing and reduced noise emissions The start-up ensures that its technology reduces noise pollution by 40%.
For in-flight cruising, two horizontal propellers placed on the nose of the aircraft and on the rudder will propel the aircraft. At the origin of the preliminary studies, Ascendance Flight had imagined a system of rotation of the rotors, horizontal for take-off then vertical after a tilting of the propeller for cruising flight. Finally, the “Lift + Cruise” configuration (take-off and cruise) adopted with a separation of the flight functions makes it possible to reinforce the reliability of the aircraft and also to simplify its certification.
On the engine side, ATEA incorporates a hybrid system called STERNA. It is an electric motor powered by the association of two energy sources: a thermal and an electric stored on a battery. Ascendance Flight plans to eventually replace the thermal source with cleaner energies such as hydrogen or biofuels. The flying taxi is advertised for a range of 400 kilometers allowing it to operate flights in peri-urban and regional areas. Typically, the device is tailor-made to provide shuttles between airports and the city center of metropolitan areas congested by traffic.
It took three years of R&D and a fundraising of 10 M € for the Toulouse start-up to achieve this device design. The construction of a full-scale prototype will begin for the first tests in 2023. One of the objectives is also to carry out demonstration flights during the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024 in partnership with Aéroports de Paris. Today, the Toulouse start-up employs 35 people and continues to recruit.