The student engineering team called Silverwing has unveiled a full-size prototype of its S1 personal eVTOL aircraft in advance of the $1 million GoFly Prize final fly-off.
The team, based at the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands, revealed the S1 in a ceremony on Dec. 12. The single-seat, fully electric aircraft has been designed to meet the requirements of GoFly, the competition to spur innovation in personal flight.
Earlier this year, Silverwing was named one of five winners in Phase II of the competition, taking home a $50,000 prize. At the final fly-off — scheduled for Feb. 27-29 at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California — Silverwing will enter the running for even larger cash prizes, including the Boeing-sponsored $1 million grand prize.
The S1 drone takes off and lands vertically on its tail, then tilts forward for horizontal flight. A large rear wing mounted behind two large enclosed propellers provides lift in forward flight, while a small front wing provides control and stability. Silverwing projects the S1 will be able to transport a passenger 60 kilometers (37 miles) at a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph).
The full-scale prototype is based off the design that won both Phase I and Phase II rounds of the competition. In production since March, the S1 builds off of Silverwing’s extensive testing with scaled models, and has already completed initial hover tests.
“We are very proud that we have been able to build a real airplane with a great team in this short time,” stated Silverwing team manager James Murdza. “It was great to see how the plane made its first hover test flights.”
For details on how to attend the final fly-off, visit the GoFly website.