The world’s first hydrogen-zero-emission air mobility product may just be the way people get around in the future. The six-rotor hydrogen fuel cell-powered electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) Skai from Alaka’i Technologies was announced in May of 2019. Aimed to combat the environmental issues with air travel and the limitations of battery technology, this would be the first-ever hydrogen fuel cell power in an aircraft.
Designed for a pilot and four passengers, although rumors are later versions could be autonomously operated by a grounded pilot, it will alleviate some real-world concerns such as traffic congestion, air pollution and delivery of aid and supplies to hard-to-reach locations and during/after natural disasters. While they have initiated its test program with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the timeline for a working prototype is up in the air.
The five-person vehicle with a 1,000-pound max payload will reportedly be able to fly up to 400 miles with zero emissions thanks to its hydrogen-powered engine. The rotorcraft, not a helicopter because it lacks a tail rotor, is designed to make air mobility both accessible and environmentally sound according to Boston-based startup.
With four props off the rear and two in front, the innovative and minimalist design optimizes luxurious comfort with ergonomic leather seats, ambient lighting, and an Alcantara headliner. With 180-degree panoramic views and rotors placed strategically to minimize vibration and noise in the cabin, passengers can also charge their devices at each seat.