Since its founding, Aura Aerospace has developed and tested multiple novel concepts integrating the long-range benefits of ballistic wings with the potential benefits of EVTOL aircraft.
While it is possible to make almost any configuration hover and fly, the design tradeoffs are well known. The resulting capabilities of EVTOL aircraft are in fact vastly inferior to executive helicopter services and private jets in service today.
If this new technology is so great, how can that be the case?
It is not as simple as battery performance, we know that will improve over time.
The reason is that the first generation of proposed designs failed to incorporate the many core lessons learned from over a century of fixed-wing flight;
• Streamline aerodynamics (no unused propellers creating drag)
• Correct centre of mass positioning (no motors on wing tips creating pendulum
• High thrust jet velocity (delivers high speed)
Within the now wide landscape of EVTOL aircraft concepts proposed, the Ultra-Long range segment is yet to be properly addressed – these design considerations have not been successfully applied in a way that can compete with existing passenger aircraft options today.
The Aura Ranger achieves Ultra-Long Range distances by;
• EVTOL system completely covered by pontoons in forward flight
• Center of Mass in line with propulsion on Y axis, eliminating pendulum effects
• Sustainable Aviation Fuel powered jet engines for high speed cruise
Why Folding wings?
Within the context of a fixed hover, wings apply an increased moment of inertia and also significant drag on the roll axis.
The design tradeoff is such that larger wings can give you more cruise efficiency, however, they require larger and larger VTOL systems to be able to achieve control authority on the roll axis.
By folding the wings vertically during hover, their moment of inertia (and their drag holding back roll) is almost eliminated as roll authority in hover mode is greatly increased – resulting in less load on the VTOL system and a far safer landing.
Self-charging in flight capability
Unlike purely electric aircraft, the Aura Ranger uses SAF-powered Jet engines to charge the VTOL batteries while in flight.
This shift in battery requirements – (we only need enough battery power to perform one takeoff or landing) is a paradigm shift for the flight reserves certification requirements expected to be required by regulators globally.
This is because in the event of high Port traffic and a go-around requirement, the VTOL power reserve can be replenished by re-entering forward flight mode.
Unlike purely electric aircraft – the Aura Ranger can recharge its batteries and extend its loiter time, as required; by flying within a holding pattern, in forward flight mode.
How Ranger is Better
The Aura Ranger is capable of Ultra-Long Range; Intercontinental flights, Trans-Atlantic and Trans-Pacific crossings.
This capability is out of reach for all purely electric aircraft using commercially available power systems – we have to use fuel to achieve long range.
With Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) and other innovations, there can be a net positive carbon impact and potentially be even cleaner than relying solely on batteries as the power source.
The Aura Ranger is the perfect harmony of practical usability and sustainable design.
Aircraft: Aura Ranger
Capacity: 5 PAX
Control system: Full waypoint automation with manual takeover
Cruise speed: 820km/h (510mp/h | 0.66 Mach)
Range: 18,000 km (11,000 mi; 9,700 nmi)
Maximum flight time: 22 hours
Maximum altitude: 15,000ft
Cruise altitude: 10,000ft
Lifting body wingspan: 8m
Full deployed wingspan: 23m
Vertical Stabilizer height: 2m
Landing gear: 4x retractable landing gear with wheels
VTOL Propeller diameter: 70”
VTOL Configuration: Offset coaxial X8
Propeller drag eliminator: Retractable pontoon covers
Forward Propulsion: Twin Turbofan Engines running SAF
Operational Safety: Full glide capability, traditional runway takeoff and landing
Passenger amenities: Lavatory, Galley