The “Hermes II”, will become the first of its kind device to fly this coming month as flight testing begins with pilots from KLM and the Royal Netherlands Air Force at the NLR base in Nijmegen. The personal flying device was designed, built, and tested by a small group of students from Delft University of Technology during the last year and a half. As the students rev up to become one of the few teams to meet the strict deadlines set out by GoFly, the Boeing sponsored competition that started this endeavour, they look to the future of Urban Air Mobility and the obstacles still to be overcome.
A great start to the new year
So where did this all start? The GoFly Prize competition was announced by Boeing in November of 2017 offering up a staggering 1.6 million US Dollars for the winner. The majority of teams joined or redesigned their initial vehicles for Phase II of the competition in November 2018, after which only 31 teams remained. As Phase III (the fly-off) approaches in February of this year, testing is of utmost importance for the remaining competitors.
Next generation design
The talaria helicopter is designed to fit one person and boasts a smaller footprint than the average car. The device is extremely quiet without any heavy compromises, making it one of the best commuting alternatives for the new decade.
Safety, automation, and modularity are some of the other key drivers in the device’s design. “You enter your destination and then the rest goes automatically. It reaches up to 110 kilometers per hour” says Yash Tambi, Chief Engineer. The stats of the vehicle can be compared to flying from Utrecht to the Hague in half the time if you were to drive. To confirm this, Talaria has already conducted full speed hub tests (motor to shafts) with the attached carbon fiber blades, this means the device has achieved everything but flight. They will then continue with flight testing throughout January and early February in preparation for the competition in San Francisco Bay Area, USA.
When asked about the plans for Talaria, Chris Overtveld, Co-Chief of Business & Partnerships, says “currently, the team focus is really on the competition, so once flight testing is done we will be able to tell you more”. Talaria hints at new developments from flight testing as well as plans beyond the GoFly competition, striving towards a device incumbent of the future of Urban Air Mobility.
The GoFly competition was a call to innovators to provide a solution against growing traffic congestion, this device is Talaria’s answer to that call and more. An internal combustion engine was used in the first design submission, until Talaria made sustainability a primary concern. Subsequently, the device underwent a full redesign using Li-ion batteries to achieve zero emission during flight.
Phone or video interviews are also possible with the Team Manager, Chief Engineer or a department specific team member of your choice. To request an interview or for more information please contact Business and Partnerships Manager Chris Overtveld: [email protected] // +31 6 57 60 81 86