BMW-backed company unveils world’s first hydrogen-powered VTOL

For one good reason, this is like nothing else we've seen before.
  • A company backed by BMW and Sauber is planning to launch two different types of VTOL
  • A VTOL is basically a drone that you can fly, the acronym stands for Vertical Take-Off Landing
  • The range-topping VTOL planned by the company can travel up to 1,150 miles on a ‘tank’

Published on Jan 19, 2024 at 5:00PM (UTC+4)

Last updated on Jan 19, 2024 at 7:55PM (UTC+4)

Edited by Adam Gray
Sirius Aviation hero image

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.

READ MORE: This Jetson eVTOL is basically a private helicopter for one

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.

Fingers crossed.

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