Rich Report Introduces Aurban Aeronautics’ Cityhawk
Metro Skyways was launched by Urban Aeronautics in July 2018 to commercialize its CityHawk aircraft. In 2003, the Israeli group developed Fancraft lift fan technology for unmanned aircraft applications. A first flight was forecast for either 2021 or 2022, according to the company at the time. Type certification and service entry timelines have not been set.
RADA Electronics Industries is responsible for navigation systems and sensors, CertCenterCanada is responsible for flight testing and development, Safran is responsible for powerplants, HyPoint is responsible for hydrogen fuel cells, and Kearfott Corporation is responsible for navigation and guidance systems. Safran turboshaft engines will initially power the aircraft. In the long run, compressed hydrogen fuel cells are expected to replace the power source. For urban air mobility, battery-based electricity is too inefficient, according to MetroSkyways.
A hydrogen fuel cell agreement was announced by Urban Aeronautics on June 11, 2020. A full-scale prototype may be ready by the end of 2022 or early in 2023, with a hydrogen-powered version entering service between 2028 and 2030, according to the Israeli company.
In addition to cargo-carrying, the CityHawk is intended for a variety of aerial applications. A full-scale Cormorant technology demonstrator has already been flown, and the company is evaluating whether the design can accommodate passengers and include another engine in its payload bay. Urban Aeronautics' patented Fancraft ducted fan propulsion system is powered by a pair of Safran Arriel 2N turboshafts.
With 20 minutes of fuel reserves, the hydrogen-powered CityHawk is expected to have a range of around 125 miles. Up to 175 miles are expected to be covered by the hybrid version.
U.S.-based Hatzolah Air Ambulance Group and Urban Aeronautics reached an agreement on January 5, 2021, for four CityHawk VTOL aircraft to be used for emergency medical services (EMS). However, no purchase price has yet been confirmed. A memorandum of understanding was signed with Hatzolah approximately five months earlier to develop some CityHawks for future EMS applications.
As part of its partnership with fuel cell developer HyPoint, Urban Aeronautics informed FutureFlight in July 2021 it would prioritize the development of hydrogen-based propulsion systems for the CityHawk. Also, an aerodynamically improved fuselage was unveiled by the company. An existing technology demonstrator was recently put through a series of flight trials.
A $10 million funding round for CityHawk was completed in September 2021 by Urban Aeronautics. A Brazilian investor and the American emergency medical transportation company Besadno are among the investors.
The CityHawk will be equipped with Universal Avionics' ClearVision enhanced flight vision system and its Aperture advanced video management device beginning in November 2021.