XTI flies TriFan 600 prototype


XTI has completed the first test flights of its 65%-scale TriFan 600 VTOL prototype.

The aircraft has taken multiple take off and landing manoeuvres – validating its electric motors, battery power system, ducted-fan propulsion, flight controls and other electrical systems.

The TriFan was tethered during the flight test due to its testing location at an unspecified Northern California airport where the aircraft is being constructed. Future flight tests will be taking place at a UAV test facility and will be untethered.

Early specifications for the aircraft show the full-scale aircraft will feature six seats, have a top speed of 345 miles per hour and a range of 1,400 miles.

“This is the moment the entire XTI team, our investors, customers, and many others have been waiting for and working toward. In one year, we have progressed from conceptual design to a flying prototype,” said XTI CEO Robert LaBelle. “The aircraft proved to be stable in hover and had no problems throughout several runs.”

In the announcement, XTI revealed that it has booked early reservations for 77 aircraft from customers across six continents. The sales represent $500 million of future revenue. Since the announcement, according to XTI CEO Rob LaBelle, it has netted a further three reservations – boosting sales to 80 representing $520m of revenue.

XTI was happy with the performance of the first test flights, LaBelle said: “The reliability and performance of the electrical system is so far very impressive.”

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