XTI TriFan to fly soon


The XTI TriFan hybrid VTOL will be starting proof-of-concept test flights soon.

The Colarado-based manufacturer has revealed the first full-scale, proof-of-concept design for the TriFan 600. When the electric motors for the aircraft are delivered, the aircraft will commence its first test flights.

XTI will conduct the aircraft’s flight-test campaign over 2019 and is on track for certification and production by 2023.

XTI’s CEO Robert La Belle said: “We are expecting the new electric motors for our Proof-of-Concept (POC) aircraft to arrive next week and are targeting first flight soon after.  Meanwhile we wanted to share a recent photo of the POC with all the components (except motors) installed.”

This comes shortly after the company announced 12 additional orders for the TriFan 600 by customers in North America, Europe, and the Middle East. They bring the backlog of pre-orders for the XTI TriFan 600 to 76.

The previous 64 orders are from customers in the U.S., Japan, Australia, India, Brazil, the Middle East and Europe and were announced at the 2017 Paris Air Show.

The six-seat hybrid jet will fly at 345 miles an hour, have a top range of 1,200 miles and will be powered by three ducted fans. Early specifications show that the aircraft will be able to reach 30,000 feet in just ten minutes.

Up in the air

With more than 100 different eVTOL designs out in the wild, only a few are gearing up for full-scale prototype flights. The XTI stands out in this regard and also due to its propeller-less design. The TriFan 600 is targeting the business-jet market as opposed to the air-taxi market many others in the space are pursuing.