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Carter Aviation Technologies, LLC (Carter) has teamed up with Mooney International Corporation (Mooney) to explore developing a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft in support of the Uber Elevate initiative. The companies announced this partnership at this week’s Uber Elevate Summit during their respective presentations.
The aircraft will be a four- to six-seat air taxi for the intra city market, utilizing Carter’s patented Slowed Rotor Compound (SR/C) technology for efficient hover and efficient cruise at 175 miles per hour, and benefitting from Mooney’s extensive general aviation experience.
Uber has defined several challenging requirements for this project – requirements that Carter and Mooney are confident they can meet. The aircraft must be powered by all electric propulsion, be much more quiet than existing conventional VTOL aircraft, be capable of fully autonomous flight (although Uber expects to have a pilot onboard for the first several years of operation), cruise efficiently at 175 miles per hour, and above all else, be extremely safe.
SR/C technology uniquely addresses these requirements. The low disc loaded single main rotor can operate at low tip speeds in hover to reduce takeoff and landing noise, and be slowed in cruise to reduce cruise noise and allow for high speed efficiency on par with a fixed-wing aircraft. And, with the high inertia rotor always turning, it can operate in effect as a built in parachute, but one that can be ‘deployed’ at any altitude or any airspeed, and one which allows for directional control all the way down to the ground.
“We’re excited to be working with Mooney,” said Jay Carter, Jr., founder and CEO of Carter Aviation. “They’re a tremendous company with a prestigious history of high performance aircraft. In fact, I used to own a Mooney M20. They bring a lot of engineering expertise and a lot of experience in developing a product to market and getting it certified. I’m looking forward to this partnership, and can’t wait to see what we can achieve.”