Zuri tilts to new propulsion system for its next-gen eVTOL air taxi
Czech eVTOL startup Zuri came to our attention last year when it began hover tests of a long-range, hybrid-powered lift and cruise style aircraft. Today, the company unveiled its second-gen design, with a totally different tilting propulsion system.
Zuri has been testing a large-scale demonstrator with 8 lift props, and the last we heard, the plan was to make a single-seat experimental aircraft out of it, complete with a pusher prop on the back, with which to continue testing.
And while this may still be the case, the company has now revealed the Zuri 2.0, which is the design it plans to push toward production. The new aircraft moves to a vectored thrust design; in cruise mode it'll look much like a small plane, but with four mid-sized props along its front wing and four smaller ones across its tail. These will all tilt upward for VTOL operations, in which it'll take off and land inside a 26 x 26 m (85 x 85 ft) square.
Zuri plans to run hybrid power – the propulsion is all electric and will run off battery packs, but there'll be an additional generator on board that Zuri says will extend range as far as 700 km (435 miles) at an impressive cruise speed of 300 km/h (186 mph).
The passenger version will run four seats (as shown in these renders) or five, and it'll be piloted. A second cargo version will be built in parallel, although we assume the changes will mainly be in the interior.
All of this, of course, relies on Zuri raising the mountain of money required to get it built, tested and certified. In the crowded bazaar of today's eVTOL landscape, will this design shout loudly enough to attract some deep pockets?
Check out a video below.