The Airis is an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft designed to carry five adults and operate in the urban air mobility sector. It will offer an industry first: ramp access for those with wheelchairs or requiring assistance to board.
Origin of the Idea
Last month, Ray Mattison from Design Eye-Q introduced me to his Airis project, developed from a collaboration with John Narraway. Their goal is to create a design that would build the confidence and trust of passengers who will start using these new types of urban aircraft in the years to come.
How It Works
The Airis is designed to work with an on-demand aviation environment under either partial or full autonomy. Vertical flight will be made possible through noise-optimized, dual 12-foot diameter, counter-rotating lift fans. Once at a specified elevation, the aircraft will transition from vertical to horizontal movement using 8 powerful electric turbines.
The aircraft will have a target cruising speed of 175 mph and a range of 200 miles. The ramp access for those with wheelchairs will fold out from the center portion of the cockpit.
With its innovative autonomous avionics systems, the Airis will have the capacity to change its flight plan automatically and adapt its level of autonomy depending on local airspace regulations. It will be possible for dozens of these aircraft to share a city’s airspace simultaneously with a high level of automation to assure the safety of passengers and everyone on the ground.
The Airis is designed for short hops in cities around the world with significant traffic congestion. Ride sharing companies such as UBER Elevate have laid out their ambitions to carry on demonstration flights by 2020 in Dallas, Los Angeles, and Dubai, and commercial launch in selected cities by 2025. This new ecosystem will require hundreds of aircraft for each city, each capable of an average flight distance of 22 miles, with “vertiports” distributed throughout each city.
There is a huge market for vehicles like the Airis, and everyone is working to get a piece of it. If you are interested in this project, please contact Ray Mattison for more information.
I would like to thank Ray and John for presenting this innovative idea to Imaginactive. Ray Mattison created the renderings of the Airis concept, which he is currently developing. He is based near Duluth, Minnesota, USA, and he studied at the College for Creative Studies. Ray has also designed the ‘Skreemr’ aircraft concept and many other aerial vehicles for Imaginactive as well as the images of the Icarus wingless aircraft and Argentic search and rescue concept.