Metro Skyways Ltd., a subsidiary of Urban Aeronautics, have announced they are working on a four-person car, which they hope will soon be taking to the skies above the world's biggest cities.
In a statement, they shared: "CityHawk is unique in combining a compact, car-sized design that has a four passenger capacity, no exposed rotors or wings, no batteries and potential for zero carbon emissions. Hydrogen's only byproduct is pure H2O. Perhaps most critical is that CityHawk achieves these groundbreaking qualities while meeting all design criteria that are the basis for eventual FAA/EASA certiﬁcation. This paves the way for true, unrestricted commercial viability.
"The development of CityHawk is expected to take ﬁve years and draws on UrbanAero's experience in developing and ﬂight testing its one ton, unmanned Cormorant that is being developed by the company's second subsidiary, Tactical Robotics Ltd. CityHawk will be similar to Cormorant in shape and size. Cormorant has so far accumulated in excess of 200 ﬂight tests. CityHawk's ﬁrst public demonstration will take place at an airshow shortly after completion of development."
The CityHawk will initially be controlled by a human onboard but there is hope it will eventually be developed to run autonomously.
They added: "The technology is being developed and tested on Tactical Robotics' Cormorant prototype which already ﬂies fully autonomously. As the technology of autonomy and regulatory infrastructure mature, CityHawk will eventually transport passengers robotically.
"CityHawk's future, groundbreaking hydrogen power may rely on direct feed of hydrogen into a state-of-the art (FAA/EASA certiﬁed) turboshaft engine as an alternative to fuel cells, power conditioners, cables and electric motors. This direct and compact conversion of hydrogen into shaft power, combined with UrbanAero's unique Fancraft aerodynamics, makes CityHawk's unique size and passenger capacity possible, while keeping an FAA/EASA certiﬁed primary power unit at the 'heart of the machine.'"
And the team are also working on a safety feature for the CityHawks, with each car "equipped with a standard rocket deployed parachute that will bring them safely down to the ground should any ﬂight critical event occur while airborne".