Developed in partnership with Cranfield University, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions and Rolls-Royce, the concept aircraft explores the possible role of luxury personal transportation in the aviation world.
Defined as a “near future” study, the Volante – which coincidentally is the Italian word for “flying” – Vision Concept previews a flying autonomous hybrid-electric vehicle for urban and inter-city air travel.
Combining the strengths of Cranfield University, Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, Rolls-Royce and Aston Martin, which respectively offered their know how in the aerospace, propulsion and design areas.
As the designer of cars such as the The design was developed under the direction of Aston Martin EVP and Chief Creative Officer Marek Reichman who already created the latest embodiements of the brand’s design language: the Aston Martin DB11, the new Vantage, the DBS Superleggera and the Aston Martin Valkyrie hypercar project.
“We are at the beginning of a new generation of urban transportation, vertical mobility is no longer a fantasy. We have a unique chance to create a luxury concept aircraft that will represent the ultimate fusion of art and technology.” says Reichman.
“We have used forms and proportions that express the same devotion to design, engineering and beauty that shape our cars.”
Read more official statements in the press release below.
(Source: Aston Martin)
Aston Martin President and CEO Dr Andy Palmer said: “With the population in urban areas continuing to grow, congestion in towns and cities will become increasingly demanding. 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.
“Humans have always spent on average, one hour commuting to and from work. 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.”
Professor Iain Gray, Director of Aerospace at Cranfield University said: “We’re delighted to be part of this exciting and forward-thinking project that showcases British innovation and the way that Cranfield works with and supports business. The Volante Vision Concept exemplifies Cranfield’s unique capabilities in digital aviation, autonomous systems and the electrification of aerospace, and is an excellent example of how the University combines cutting-edge research, academic rigour and real-world application.”
Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (CAeS) CEO Paul Hutton said: “The introduction of autonomous and electric propulsion technologies into new aircraft designs is both inevitable and challenging, and as the UK’s leading aircraft design and production SME we are excited to be playing this key role in the Volante Vision Concept and so to be at the vanguard of this revolution in aerospace.”
Director, Rolls-Royce Electrical Rob Watson said: “We are delighted to be involved in the Volante Vision Concept, which showcases the best of British design and engineering. 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. 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.”