News - Aston Martin
Aston Martin takes to the skies
Volante Vision Concept previews Aston Martin’s autonomous, hybrid-electric aircraft
Click to see larger images
17 Jul 2018
ASTON MARTIN has partnered with three British companies to produce the innovative Volante Vision Concept, an autonomous light aircraft motivated by a hybrid-electric system from powertrain manufacturer Rolls-Royce plc.
The luxury car-maker also teamed with aerospace specialist Cranfield Aerospace Solutions and education institution Cranfield University for their expertise on the “near-future study”.
“Forms and proportions that express the same devotion to design, engineering and beauty that shape our cars” feature on the Volante Vision Concept, according to its designer, Aston Martin executive vice-president and chief creative officer Marek Reichman.
Significantly, the three-seat Volante Vision Concept includes vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities, meaning that, like a helicopter, it does not require a runaway to operate.
As such, Aston Martin president and chief executive officer Andy Palmer explained that the Volante Vision Concept attempts to solve the congestion problem on urban and inner-city roads and the mobility and pollution issues it causes.
“With the population in urban areas continuing to grow, congestion in towns and cities will become increasingly demanding,” he said. “We need to look at alternative solutions to reduce congestion, cut pollution and improve mobility.
“Air travel will be a crucial part in the future of transportation, the Volante Vision Concept is the ultimate luxury mobility solution.”
Mr Palmer added that personal aircrafts like the Volante Vision Concept will soon revolutionise the daily urban commute, allowing a reinterpretation of what a reasonable distance between home and work is.
“Humans have always spent, on average, one hour commuting to and from work,” he said. “The distance we live from our workplace has been determined by the methods of transportation available.
“The Volante Vision Concept will enable us to travel further with our hourly commute, meaning we are able to live further away from where we work. Cities will grow, and towns that are today too far away from cities to be commutable will become suburban.
“With Aston Martin and our ‘dream team’ of British innovation across industry and academia, we are positioned to change the future of transportation, giving our customers a new dimension of freedom.”
Rolls-Royce Electrical director Rob Watson echoed this sentiment, saying that his company’s involvement in the Volante Vision Concept could be transformative for the next generation of low-emission aircrafts.
“Rolls-Royce has already delivered hybrid-electric systems for other applications, including ships and trains, and we’re very excited about the potential of the technology in aerospace,” he said.
“This is a great opportunity to collaborate on a pioneering project which will use high-performance hybrid-electric propulsion technologies for personal air mobility concepts that could transform the future of transportation.”
Cranfield Aerospace Solutions chief executive officer Paul Hutton indicated that while the self-flying revolution is inevitable, it is now time to start developing the technology.
“The introduction of autonomous and electric propulsion technologies into new aircraft designs is both inevitable and challenging, and … we are excited to be playing this key role in the Volante Vision Concept and to be at the vanguard of this revolution in aerospace,” he said.
The Road to Recovery podcast series
27th of June 2018
First look: Aston Martin uncovers DBS Superleggera
Aston Martin Australia sells entire 2018 allocation of brutal DBS Superleggera
13th of June 2018
Aston Martin ups Rapide ante with 433kW AMR
Europe receives higher tune as Aston Martin Rapide AMR breaks out with atmo V12
14th of May 2018
Aston Martin ups performance ante with DB11 AMR
470kW/700Nm AMR supersedes regular V12 as Aston Martin DB11 grand-tourer flagship
10th of May 2018
Aston Martin farewells V12 Vantage with V600 special
Old-school thrills in 441kW, manual V12 Vantage V600 as Aston Martin bids adieu
Click to share
Aston Martin articles
Research Aston Martin
Motor industry news