Urban Aeronautics launches full-scale CityHawk development

Urban Aeronautics has announced the start of full-scale development of its CityHawk VTOL.

The hybrid-aircraft prototype is expected to take flight for the first time in 2021-2022 and will seek full FAA type-certification shortly after.

Urban Aeronautics’s newly-established subsidiary Metro Skyways will develop the aircraft. The early concept for the aircraft features six seats, a top speed of 270km/h and a maximum range of 150km.

Billing itself as a ‘Fancraft’, the CityHawk is completely wingless, instead utilising two large propellers for lift and thrust.

 In the early testing stages, the aircraft will use two 1,000-horsepower turboshaft engines to power the two large propellers. After the aircraft achieves FAA type certification, the rotors will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

Metro Skyways has sought to minimise interior and exterior noise by concealing the engines and rotors in the body of the aircraft rather than overhead as with a typical helicopter. The manufacturer expects the maximum noise level of the aircraft to be around 80 decibels – approximately the same as a dishwasher.

With the promise of low noise levels and a large adaptable cabin space, Metro Skyways is designing four variants of the aircraft to suit different operations.

On the company’s website it has outlined plans for a private flying car, air-taxi, executive-transport and emergency-response variants of the CityHawk.

Whilst there is no physical prototype of the CityHawk right now, the aircraft shares its DNA with Urban Aeronautics’s unmanned Cormorant aircraft. Cormorant has made more than 250 flights and recently completed its first emergency=medevac demo flight, during which the aircraft took off, flew across a field to load a patient and flew back.

The lead customer for the Cormorant is the Israel Defense Force.