SAMAD Aerospace, a green technology start-up based in Cranfield in the UK, has completed hover tests for its second prototype eVTOL eStarling aircraft.
Designed for intercity transport, the eStarling will combine a helicopter's vertical ability to take off and land from almost anywhere with the speed and range of a business jet. With a semi blended wing body design and powered by sustainable aviation fuel, the eStarling could be the fastest hybrid electric eVTOL aircraft in the world with the longest range. With a cruising speed of 300 mph and a range of 800 miles, it will reach the highest speeds of any eVTOL aircraft. It will transport passengers 'helipad to helipad' avoiding the need to travel to and from airports.
Previous testing has developed conventional take-off and landing of the prototype. Recent tethered hover tests followed by full hover tests demonstrated an agile and stable prototype with hovering and helicopter moves.
This month's hover tests were performed over a crane system, and they focused on the validation of the flight control system in hovering mode. The aircraft consumed 65 per cent of the available power to take off and hover with a healthy power surplus for adverse weather conditions.
Speaking from his UK head office at Cranfield Technology Park, SAMAD CEO Seyed Mohseni says: “The importance of these recent flight tests is the initial validation of the autopilot that has been developed by the SAMAD Aerospace team.”
Available to pre-order now for delivery in 2026, the eStarling will reduce total travel time by utilising locations much closer to the customer's point of departure and destination, including remote locations.