Yes, the LA-44 SkyBus eVTOL can carry that many!
With several tilting propellers and wings, the Lyte Aviation LA-44 SkyBus eVTOL from the UK company resembles previous vertical takeoff and landing aircrafts. Able to carry 40 passengers, this eVTOL has almost a 5-ton payload capacity!
The LA-44 SkyBus eVTOL has a projected range of 625 miles and a top speed of 185 mph. Lyte Aviation CEO Freshta Farzam has claimed that the LA-44 will be five times more efficient and have ten times less carbon output when compared to existing helicopter designs.
The SkyBus will have hybrid propulsion, in contrast to its much smaller battery-only eVTOL competitors. The first form of propulsion will be electric and driven by hydrogen fuel cells, while the second will be made up of four jet fuel-fueled turbine engines.
“Conventional, reliable engines will likely remain unavoidable for the foreseeable future,” said Farzam. “They’re the best option for our aircraft program for the time being, with the aim to operate and refuel practically anywhere with the current infrastructure.”
Lyte’s goal with the LA-44 is to disrupt traditional transportation hubs, which include buses, railroads, and regional planes, even if it is bigger than a traditional air taxi. In an effort to reduce travel times between cities like Paris, Munich, and London, Lyte announced that it has teamed up with Twente Airport in the Netherlands to provide regional routes.
Lyte recently announced a cooperation with Volatus Infrastructure and Energy Solution to investigate the SkyBus’ requirements for charging, refueling, and vertiport systems as the future of eVTOL draws nearer. The aircraft could land in an area around 130 by 130 feet because of its 56-foot wingspan.
“Advanced Air Mobility will come in many different shapes, sizes and means of propulsions,” stated Dan Sloat, CEO of Volatus. “That includes bold, game-changing designs like the LA-44 SkyBus. As infrastructure and energy providers, we believe in the importance of accommodating as many designs as possible so that eVTOL operators have more safety divert options available for landing.”
The first prototype of the Lyte Aviation LA-44 SkyBus eVTOL is expected to debut in 2025.