Damon Vander Lind Contributor Damon Vander Lind is general manager for Heaviside at Cat Hawk, a company whose mission is to release the world from traffic with eVTOL vehicles. We are at the dawn of a brand-new era in transportation. At the turn of
the 20th century, vehicles started to change horses. Now, a century later, we wish to see movement relocate to the sky. Kitty Hawk has constructed several model cars that are electrically powered, take off and land vertically and fly in between like a fixed-wing plane. Jointly, these are called eVTOL(electric vertical launch and landing)aircraft. eVTOLs– such as the ones developed by Job Heaviside– reveal fantastic potential for daily transport. With that as an ultimate usage case, a common concern that comes up is: can eVTOL automobiles be green? Specifically, can eVTOL cars be more energy-efficient than cars and trucks? Under the EPA’s basic freeway driving test, a 2020 Nissan Leaf Plus uses about 275 Watt-hours per mile when it averages 50 miles per hour. It can conveniently seat 4, but its average tenancy is somewhere around 1.6. Hence, the Leaf’s energy usage has to do with 171Wh per passenger mile across all trips.
Our current Heaviside model uses about 120Wh per guest mile, and does so at twice the speed of the Leaf: 100 miles per hour (naturally, we can fly much faster, if we choose). We can conserve another 15% of energy due to the fact that while roadways are not straight, flight paths generally are. Completely, Heaviside needs 61% as much energy to go a mile.
Why is Heaviside this efficient– doesn’t it take more energy to go faster? Yes, and it makes the high performance we’ve accomplished even more dramatic. The answer is that Heaviside can take advantage of low-drag and slim aerodynamic types that are simply not practical on automobiles.
The distinction in drag in between a clean, aerodynamic shape like the wing area below, and a bluff body like the cylinder, is huge. So vast in reality that the 2 shapes drawn will have about the exact same amount of drag.
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