SAMAD Aerospace has completed hover tests for the second prototype of its eVTOL eStarling aircraft.
The eStarling is designed for intercity transport and will combine a helicopter’s vertical ability to take off and land from almost anywhere with the speed and range of a business jet. The aircraft features a semi blended wing body (BWB) design. Cranfield-based SAMAD claims it will be the fastest hybrid electric eVTOL aircraft in the world with the longest range. The aircraft will be powered by sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
eStarling will reach a cruising speed of 300mph
The eStarling will reach a cruising speed of 300mph and will have a range of 800 miles. Passengers will be transported helipad to helipad, avoiding the need to travel to and from airports. This month’s hover tests were performed over a crane system and 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.
Previous testing has developed conventional take-off and landing of the prototype. Recent tethered hover tests followed by full hover tests demonstrated an agile, stable prototype with hovering and helicopter moves.
Dr Seyed Mohseni, CEO of SAMAD Aerospace, said: “The importance of these recent flight tests is the initial validation of autopilot that has been developed by the SAMAD Aerospace team.”
The eStarling will reduce total travel time by utilising locations much closer to the customer’s point of departure and destination, including remote locations. The aircraft is available to pre-order for delivery in 2026.