Volta Volaré’s futuristic GT4 e-hybrid airplane
This incredibly advanced plane can easily fly and take off by its own using only the electrical engine, whereas the gas-powered engine starts when the battery drops under 25 percent capacity, recharging it even in mid-air. There’s also a strong economical point to these aircraft, in the sense that the time between overhaul is reduced by up to a stunning factor of 10, as the manufacturer states.
This is mainly possible due to the motor of “EViation Drive”, which features only 1 moving part. In addition, this type of engine also adds more horsepower and torque to the plane, superior to any 20th century internal combustion engine. This statement comes with some kind of irrelevance, given the fact that we’re currently in the 21st century.
The different engines of this aircraft deliver different power outputs, the gas engine – 180 HP, while the EViation Drive – 300 HP. The first one is presumably used only to recharge the batteries and aid the electric one. In addition, the spec sheet also tells us the plane need a 430 meter (1400 ft) distance to take off, it can climb 550 meters (1800 ft) per minute, has a landing distance of roughly 460 meters (1500 ft), can cruise at 296 km/h 12,500 ft high and can reach a maximum height of 24,000 ft.
The maximum speed reachable at sea level is a whopping 310 knots (around 574 km/h), way faster than Cessna-s, the minimum speed required for flight is just 65 knots (120 km/h), while the landing speed is around 139 km/h (75 knots).
The current CEO of Volta Volaré, Paul Peterson, says, regarding the power-train, that “the GT4’s electric motor, which is made from the combined cores of two smaller motors, sits in a sealed aluminum housing. It can generate 600 peak horsepower (450 kW) and sustain 400 HP (300 kW) throughout flight.”
Let’s talk about the energy system as well, as it’s quite important: the 900 pound (408 kg) lithium-polymer battery, which includes 236 cells, makes up a large part of the GT4’s overall weight of 2,600 pounds (1,179 kg). The recharging of the battery is taken care of by the 1.5-liter gas engine attached to a 23-gallon (105 liter) fuel tank. These, together, add up for a 1,852 km (1,000 nautical miles) flight range.
The looks on the other hand are quite ambiguous, but pleasant. The plane consist of parts that give it a rather futuristic look, like the swept wings, numerous angular fins and upturned points, as well as figures that add a classy nature to it – the overall shape of the fuselage and windows. Covered in hand-crafted carbon fiber, which confers it a metallic shine, the neat look of the aircraft may as well attract style-lovers. And there’s the push configuration propeller that faces rearwards which reminds us of its unusually high-tech nature.
There’s a note of futuristic inside as well, with a cockpit that boasts with touchscreen glass with synthetic vision system and optional HUD. Passengers are also taking benefit of the plane’s high tech, through fold-away table-tops, various apertures, pull-down screens, with USB ports, plug sockets and AV jacks.
The price for such high end luxury and technology has been kept considerably low, at around $495,000 per unit. During 2012, 11 pieces will be delivered, whereas for the next year there are 26 GT4s in stake.