Over the last century there have been many aviation firsts; from the very first balloon flight in the late-1700s to the first nonstop transatlantic flight in 1919 and of course, Amelia Earhart becoming the first woman to complete a transatlantic solo flight in 1932 from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland, to Ireland. Fast forward to the present day and XTI Aircraft has the world’s first vertical take-off airplane in development – set to ignite and transform the future of the commercial airplane marketplace – “No traditional jet, helicopter or other aircraft opens the same world of possibilities,” explains Founder, David Brody.
With plans in place for the world’s very first vertical take-off plane, the XTI TriFan 600 will have the speed, distance and altitude capabilities of a business jet and the ascend and descend capabilities of a helicopter.
The XTI Aircraft Company was first founded ten years ago by David Brody – also the patent holder for the aircraft design. Brody had visions to develop and introduce advanced rotorcraft technology into the marketplace and to use coaxial rotors to replace the main rotor, which, combined with two near ducted fans, will allow vertical propulsion and directional control like a helicopter.
Brody hopes that his aim – to make rotorcraft safe, more compact and faster (with no tail or tail rotor) – will transform air travel for the commercial marketplace, making it much more accessible to the mass market. And his long term aim? To bring a fleet of vertical take-off planes to the market.
Brody has also recruited a world-class aviation leadership team to help implement his innovative concept. With Jeffrey Pino, the former President of the helicopter manufacturer, Sikorsky; Charlie Johnson, the past President of Cessna and Dr. Dennis Olcott, who previously served as the Chief Engineer for Adam Aircraft and PiperJet.
A LARGE INVESTMENT
Reaching a maximum altitude of 30,000ft in just 11 minutes, the TriFan 600 will have a cruising speed of 400mph in 90 seconds.
So how does this revolutionary concept – designed to make air travel not only more convenient, but faster – combine the speed and ease of a private jet and manoeuvrability and convenience of a helicopter?
Designed to carry five passengers and a pilot, the TriFan 600, using ducted fans, is able to lift off vertically and within seconds, the two wing fans rotate forward for a seamless transition to high-speed flight. Reaching its cruising speed in just a minute and a half and following suit with every other fixed-wing airplane, the aircraft wings provide lift. No longer required, the fuselage-mounted fan then closes up.
The TriFan 600 then flies directly to its destination before reversing the process and landing vertically right where it needs to be, without the need for a runway, but over a paved helipad sized surface.
‘MEET THE TRIFAN 600’
Introducing the aircraft on its website, XTI explains: “Meet the TriFan 600. This six-seat, vertical take-off and landing airplane provides unprecedented freedom by transporting you door-to-door, rather than airport-to-airport.
“Designed to fly as fast, as high and above predominant weather and as far as other business jets, to more places and in a shorter period of time.
“We fully expect that investors, especially crowd-funders and those with an interest in aviation, will be drawn to the idea of having their own ‘Kitty Hawk’ moment by being part of a truly new aircraft program that will change flight as we know it.”
To fund production of the TriFan 600, XTI Aircraft needs to raise an exponential $50 million – the first fundraising effort of its kind in aviation history – it is seeking equity crowdfunding support via StartEngine, inviting private investors to contribute to the aviation fund in return for a share of the company’s equity. Fittingly, the company’s Investor Relations Officer is even called Amelia Earhart.
“We view equity crowdfunding as a creative way to involve everyone as true stakeholders working together to pioneer this all new way to fly. It’s a way to turn all of our supporters into potential stockholders by providing the public with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get in early on something truly revolutionary. No traditional jet, helicopter or other aircraft opens the same world of possibilities,” explains Brody, who is also responsible for a second aviation firm, would-be helicopter maker AVX Aircraft.
Remaining in the early developmental stage, the launch of the TriFan 600 is largely dependent on certain milestones being met and of course, funds being raised – as with so many revolutionary designs and pioneering concepts, especially in the high-flying specifications of the aviation industry.
Former President of Sikorsky, Jeffrey Pino, explains: “This team knows exactly what is required to finance, design, certify and launch a program of this magnitude. Our current efforts are focused on raising capital, finalizing diligence on our technical solution, and initial discussions with key vendors that will lead to building a prototype.”
If Brody’s design comes to fruition over the next few years, it will become the first commercially certified, high-speed, long range vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) airplane and, despite the inevitable hefty price tag, it will transform the commercial aviation marketplace.
Founded on a culture of customer-focused problem solving, XTI Aircraft hopes the TriFan 600 will meet the ever growing demands of the modern, albeit wealthy, traveller in a bid to change mobility, flight and personal freedom by air travel forever.