British brand has teamed up with Rolls-Royce, Cranfield University and Cranfield Aerospace Solutions

Aston Martin is seeking to enter the private flying vehicle race with an autonomous electrified aircraft — previewed by the Volante Vision Concept — that could take to skies in 2020.

Produced in collaboration with Cranfield Universtiy, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions and Rolls-Royce, the luxury three-seat craft can take off vertically thanks to a set of rotor blades that can alter their angle.

Although it is very much a design concept, Autocar understands that Aston intends to send a prototype to the skies in about two years, meaning the concept provides a glimpse of how Aston’s first flying production model could look.

Described by Aston as a “hybrid-electric vehicle for urban and inter-city air travel”, it has a futuristic, sleek look that has been crafted in-house. Design chief Marek Reichman said the craft comes “at the beginning of a new generation of urban transportation” where “vertical mobility is no longer a fantasy”.

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Cranfield University and Cranfield Aerospace Solutions have handled much of the vehicle’s technical development, while Rolls-Royce has provided its hybrid power source, the details of which have been kept secret for now.

It’s possible that the Volante Vision Concept could use a combination of jet and electric power like the short-haul jet concept recently produced by Rolls-Royce, Airbus and Siemens. That craft uses two electric motors and two turbo fan jet engines, enabling significant reductions in fuel usage and emissions.

Aston CEO Andy Palmer said his brand's concept illustrates Aston's solution to fighting urban transport issues associated with traffic. He said: “Humans have always spent, on average, one hour commuting to and from work. The distance we live from our workplace has been determined by the methods of transportation available.

“The Volante Vision Concept will enable us to travel further with our hourly commute, meaning we are able to live further away from where we work. Cities will grow and towns that are today too far away from cities to be commutable will become suburban.”

Aston’s recent interest in non-automotive vehicles also includes the AM37 speedboat and the Project Neptune submersible. Like the Vision Volante Concept, they are billed as luxury vehicles and illustrate the brand’s evolution from car maker to luxury brand.

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2

16 July 2018

 2020.....?, it’s a Toy at best, I suppose we’ve got to start somewhere?, but these “Flying Cars” aren’t going to be on our driveway on the next 10,20,maybe 50 yrs or more, there are too many hurdles to jump, do you need a Pilots licence?, how much will it cost to learn?and how long to learn?, there’s three barriers to this fanciful notion we’ll be like the Jetsons..!

Peter Cavellini.

16 July 2018

Did anybody actually think about how the passengers would get in and out of the thing?

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