VTOLs are taking off, no pun intended, but the latest company to join the party is doing things differently.
This is the Sirius Jet, made by Sirius Aviation in partnership with Sauber and BMW, and there’s one crucial reason why this doesn’t compare to anything else we’ve seen before.
Most VTOLs are actually ‘eVTOLs‘.
And this is because the extra ‘e’ at the beginning of the acronym VTOL (which stands for ‘Vertical Take-Off Landing’) stands for electric.
The vast majority of VTOLs are powered by batteries.
This one’s different, as it is powered by hydrogen.
The key difference between an electric vehicle and a hydrogen vehicle is that even though they’re actually both powered by an electric motor, the former uses batteries while the latter type uses fuel cells.
Hydrogen, this became almost like a mantra, is the most abundant element in the universe, but there’s a key reason why hydrogen vehicles still don’t sell in big numbers.
The main issue is hydrogen needs to be stored in fuel cells and the process is expensive and complex.
The upside is that it is more sustainable in the long term than batteries.
And there’s another thing, too.
Charging an electric vehicles can take hours – charging a hydrogen one takes the same time as filling up a tank i.e., a few minutes.
As for the Sirius Jet, the company is planning two versions.
Pictured below: Left, Sirius Business Jet – Right, Sirius Millenium Jet
The first one is called the Millenium Jet, designed for commercial aviation and coming in with 650 miles of range.
The other is the Sirius Business Jet, offering a 1,150-mile flight range.
Unlike other VTOLs, which are sometimes designed to be flying cars, the Sirius Jet aims to be an alternative to private jets for short distances.
Sirius is confident the first VTOLs will be available by 2025.