Aston Martin has previewed its latest Volante concept… meet the flying Aston. Unveiled today to correspond with the opening of the Farnborough Air Show, it’s a luxury personal flying machine that goes beyond anything even Q has come up with for 007.
The vertical take-off and landing Volante Vision Concept takes Aston where it has never been before, and follows on from the submersible previewed last year as a plaything for superyacht owners. From the seabed to the skies, Aston is deadly serious about exploring new avenues of future luxury personal mobility.
And doesn’t it look cool – not unlike an Aston, you’d have to say – with its sharp lines and geometric shapes. Stealth bomber meets Aston Martin Valkyrie!
It’s the work of Aston design chief Marek Reichman who tells us: “We are at the beginning of a new generation of urban transportation, vertical mobility is no longer a fantasy. We have a unique chance to create a luxury concept aircraft that will represent the ultimate fusion of art and technology.”
A complex front wing arrangement, like a shovel-nose shark from above, encloses two of its three propeller motors and attaches to the pencil thin fuselage with its huge glass canopy. Delta wings droop down Concorde-style while the wing trailing edge and twin tailfins are all precisely geometric. The third motor providing the downward thrust is set inside a large opening at the rear of the plane between the delta wings.
Could it possibly work? Who knows? But with Aston Martin’s partners in the project being boffins from Cranfield University and the pioneering aerospace futurists from Cranfield Aerospace Solutions Limited, you’d have to say there’s a very good chance.
Rolls-Royce (as in engineering, not Motor Cars) has been involved too, and provides the thinking behind the trio of motors to get the Volante Vision Concept off the ground. The motors are hybrid-electric. From the drawings it appears that while the rear motor provides the lift the front pair swivel to prove either lift or forward motion as required.
It’s a three-seater, McLaren F1-style, and drawings show a cabin trimmed as you would expect of an Aston. It is, says the company, designed for both urban and inter-city travel and if you are wondering who will fly you to your destination, then worry not because autonomous technology will have that covered.
Ready for take-off? Maybe not quite yet but the firm does say it is a near-future study. Aston chief Andy Palmer told us: “With Aston Martin and our ‘dream team’ of British innovation we are positioned to change the future of transportation, giving our customers a new dimension of freedom.
“We need to look at alternative solutions to reduce congestion, cut pollution and improve mobility. Air travel will be a crucial part in the future of transportation, the Volante Vision Concept is the ultimate luxury mobility solution.”