Transcend Air Corporation and GE Aviation have signed an agreement that will see GE develop and certify a custom variant of its CT7-8 turboshaft helicopter engine to power Transcend’s Vy 400 high-speed vertical take-off and landing (HSVTOL) aircraft.
Gregory Bruell, co-founder and CEO of Transcend, said: “We have optimised the Vy 400 design to shatter the current time/cost barriers for regional city-to-city travel.
“Our Aerial Regional Transport service will offer door-to-door costs lower than taking an airline today, while cutting travel time by over two-thirds – and eliminating travel hassles entirely. On top of that, GE’s engines can operate on approved sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF, which can help us achieve lower lifecycle carbon emissions.”
The Vy 400 is expected to have a cruise speed of more than 400 miles per hour, which would mean that a flight between Manhattan and Boston could take just 36 minutes.
Bruell explained: “We can complete many more passenger trips per aircraft. That combination is key to our revolutionary economics, and GE will now provide the engines to deliver it.”
Harry Nahatis, vice-president and general manager of GE Rotorcraft Engines, commented: “We immediately recognised the Vy 400’s disruptive potential in both civil and military rotorcraft applications, and we are excited to contribute our own world-class engines and technical expertise in helping to ensure the Vy’s success.”
Peter Schmidt, Transcend’s co-founder and COO, added: “The time is now for this aircraft. We are reaping the benefits of 50 years of technology advances since the pioneering tiltwing designs of the 1960s, including computerised fly-by-wire flight control, aeroacoustics, electric control-surface actuation, the Ballistic Recovery Systems whole-airframe parachute, sustainable aviation fuels and, not least, with GE’s remarkable advancements of their industry-standard T700 engine family.
“On the day it is certified, the Vy 400 will simultaneously become the world’s fastest helicopter and the world’s fastest single-engine civil turboprop – with CT7-8 power.”