XTI Aircraft Company, the Denver-based VTOL manufacturer, announced the hybrid-electric TriFan 200 as a smaller aircraft in its lineup. The company has previously been working on the TriFan 600, an aircraft which uses three ducted fans for hover, two of which swivel for forwards propulsion while the third gets covered for aerodynamic efficiency. They have now teamed up with VerdeGo Aero who will provide a high-efficiency, low-emissions diesel (Jet-A) hybrid powertrain.
The TriFan 200 VTOL aircraft features a similar design to its larger sibling, with two swiveling ducted fans mounted in front of the leading edge of the wing, and a third, smaller fan that is only used during hover nested inside the aft portion of the fuselage. The unmanned aircraft features a large cargo-door that allows for front loading, and will be capable of carrying a payload of up to 500lbs over a distance of 200 nautical miles fully autonomously. With it, XTI hopes to address medium range point-to-point cargo and logistics transportation in a fast manner. They want to connect global air cargo hubs with distribution points in major cities by skipping ground transportation for urgent cargo, hereby greatly reducing the travel time. The VTOL capabilities also allow the aircraft to be used in remote locations without infrastructure, including military logistics missions.
VerdeGo Aero produces diesel hybrid systems with a 180kW generator coupled to in-house high-power battery packs, allowing for operating costs to be reduced by 40%. Emissions and fuel burn are said to be decreased by 35% when compared to conventional turbine powertrains. Because Jet-A fuel is readily available worldwide, no new fueling infrastructure is necessary, even though the power systems are ready to accept biofuel substitutes that are still in development.
The TriFan 200 aircraft will open up a significant new market for XTI to address the needs of cargo and logistics operators globally. We are excited to be partnered with VerdeGo to leverage their experience with hybrid powertrains combined with our experience from the TriFan 600 program to create an efficient, economical, profitable VTOL aircraft for fleet operators worldwide.
– Robert LaBelle, CEO of XTI Aircraft
XTI’s TriFan 200 is an outstanding application for VerdeGo’s hybrid powertrain systems and we are excited to support XTI as an early customer. XTI’s goals to provide its customers with reliable, high-performance cargo aircraft are ideally matched with the efficiency and low operating cost of VerdeGo’s diesel hybrid powertrains.
– Eric Bartsch, CEO and Co-founder of VerdeGo Aero