The Onyx is a side-by-side electric aircraft that can land directly in parking spaces built for cars, thus removing the need to build new infrastructure for the upcoming ‘breed’ of personal urban aircraft.
How it Works
The Onyx would be able to carry two people sitting in a side-by-side configuration. Unlike the competition, it would be able to take off and land in existing parking spaces. For this reason, it would have a maximum width of 90 inches. This specification would make the Onyx much more accessible compared to similar projects that are forced to use helipads.
The Onyx would be powered by interchangeable battery packs providing electricity to six propulsion unit each containing two propellers; one at the bottom of the nacelle and one on top, rotating in opposite directions (contra-rotating props).
Each of those props would be composed of three blades with a special shape similar to Blue edge blades from Eurocopter. This particular blade design significantly reduces rotor noise and is quite efficient. In addition, the pairs of propellers on the port side of the Onyx would rotate symmetrically to the propellers on starboard thus canceling the induced torque.
When the Onyx is ready to embark passengers, the top portion of the cabin would open upward, much like a fighter cockpit. Passengers would hop in on either side of the aircraft like existing cars. For safety reasons, each flight would be managed by the autopilot. The air traffic control system would also be handled by an urban air traffic system. The Onyx would touchdown directly on parking spots using landing skids similar to helicopters.
By combining advances in the design of materials, mechanical components, battery technology, and flight systems, a whole new market of aerial vehicles can be developed. Operators and citizens will line up to acquire electric aircraft like the Onyx to move around the city and fly to their weekend destination. One important step is making sure legislators are preparing the necessary frameworks that will allow inventors and product development team to fly prototypes of these machines inside designated corridors.
The Onyx concept was imagined by Charles Champagne, an engineering student living in Montreal. It was designed by Jorge Ciprian, an Industrial Designer from Argentina. Jorge graduated with a degree in design from the University of Buenos Aires, and he currently works as freelance designer. He also designed the Manitoo ecofriendly ATV and the Vector hydrofoil snowmobile.