Hydrogen-powered air taxi looks to transform transportation

May 31, 2019 //By Rich Pell
Hydrogen-powered air taxi looks to transform transportation
Air mobility design and manufacturing startup Alaka'i Technologies (Hopkinton, MA) has launched what it says is the world's first hydrogen fuel cell powered air mobility solution designed "to transform the way the world moves."

The system, called Skai, is an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle that runs entirely on hydrogen fuel cells. The aircraft, says the company, is poised to be one of the safest, cleanest and most versatile air mobility solutions introduced to the world.

"Skai offers practical, real-life solutions to everything from relieving traffic congestion to delivering supplies during natural disasters," says Brian Morrison, Co-Founder, President and Chief Technology Officer of Alaka'i Technologies. "Skai is set to offer affordable, realistic applications in the commercial, private, freight, and personal air mobility markets."

The system's hydrogen fuel cells, says the company, offer a clean environmental solution from end to end, with the advantage of being 95% reusable and the remaining (99%) recyclable. The hydrogen fuel cells offer reliable, safe and environmentally clean emission comprised solely of heat and water and allow Skai to travel further distances - up to four Hours, ~400 miles - and carry a greater payload.

Able to seat up to five passengers, Skai features six quiet, efficient electric motors with designed-in redundancy and, for added safety, an Airframe Parachute . A piloted version will be launched first, with autonomous versions to follow.

Skai was co-designed by Designworks, the design innovation studio for the BMW Group.

Holger Hampf, President of Designworks adds, "Air mobility is a very exciting and fascinating topic. Our focus for this project was to help build a new consumer facing brand from scratch - considering and designing all touchpoints - digital, physical and service. And as a result, delivering an all-encompassing user-centric experience which is purposeful and highly desirable in all aspects."

The company has initiated their test program with the FAA. Pending certification, says the company, Skai will create new possibilities in personal mobility for everyone, efficient emergency responses, economical freight distribution, and the utilization of hydrogen fuel cells as a highly reliable, zero-emission power source.

Alaka'i Technologies

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