Horizon Aircraft has successfully completed initial transition flight testing of its Cavorite X5 50 per cent scale eVTOL prototype in the ACE Climatic Wind Tunnel in Ontario.
CEO Brandon Robinson says: “Aircraft performance exceeded our expectation. We explored forward speeds of up to almost 100 km/h, measuring aerodynamic forces, control authority and mechanical system function with the wings open at varying fan speeds. We were particularly happy with pitch and roll stability and control throughout the entire transition envelope, as well as the embedded fan performance. Having real-world test results match our detailed predictions was further endorsement of our world class engineering. We can now use these results to refine our CFD modelling and further de-risk the outdoor transition flight test programme that is beginning soon.”
Canada-based Horizon's hybrid eVTOL concept allows the aircraft to fly 98 per cent of its mission in a very low-drag configuration like a traditional aircraft. Flying most of the mission as a normal aircraft is safer and more efficient, and will be easier to certify than radical new eVTOL designs. The aircraft can also operate in short take off and landing (STOL) or conventional take off and landing (CTOL) modes. The full-scale aircraft will be powered by a hybrid electric architecture that can recharge the battery array in-flight while providing additional system redundancy and flexibility.
Horizon will move to outdoor transition flight testing shortly as it continues the detailed design of its full-scale aircraft, anticipating final assembly for flight testing in 2025.