Sо far this year, Aston’s released a new 715bhp V12 car made for going fast on roads, and it’s working away on the Valkyrie to tear holes in spacetime on racetracks. We’ve even seen the company put a toe into the water of the high seas, with the l,000bhp AM37 speedboat.
Now, Aston is taking to the skies. This is the Volantc Vision Concept. To answer your question: no, it doesn’t exist yet. These arc renderings of what a ‘luxury personal air mobility’ craft from Aston might look like. But the company says it’s no very late April fool. Aston is serious about exploring small, electrically powered, vertical take off and landing craft as a possible future product.
The Volante Vision Concept [VVC] is an Aston idea that’s been designed by the same man who draws Aston’s beautiful bodywork
Marck Reichman – and had input from Rolls- Royce (the aviation engine folks, not the builders of the Phantom), Cranfield University and Cranficld Aerospace Solutions.
Don’t fancy flying your VVC yourself? Aston says that it’ll take over, courtesy of “the latest advances in aerospace, electrification and autonomous technologies, coupled with Aston Martin’s signature design.”
Many exciting claims, but not much in the way of concrete whens and hows. So, over to Simon Sproulc, Aston Martin’s vice president and marketing boss: “When we started this project 18 months ago, it seemed outlandish, but this market has potential. We see lots of brands studying it – Audi, Porsche, Mercedes arc all investigating aerial vehicles.”
Sproulc added: “Aston Martin is a luxury brand today – known for our cars and we also have our marine product. But we’re interested
in next-gcn propulsion, and Rolls-Royce and Cranfield arc interested in the same [things].” “With this craft we’re testing reaction, but Rolls-Royce and Cranfield wouldn’t have put their names to it if you could just look at the design and know it wouldn’t fly.”
The design brief as it stands is for the electrically propelled VVC to have a top speed of 200mph and a 200-milc range. As Sproulc secs it, this would get you from London to Birmingham in half an hour – a lot quicker than the proposed HS2 rail link, should it ever exist.
Or, perhaps you’d fancy dinner in London but dessert in Paris? The VVC is sized to fit on existing helipads, Simon explains, and can deploy its vertical take-off and landing to avoid the need for runways. So, it works with existing helicopter infrastructure, but would be quicker, quieter and cooler than a chopper, with a more eco-friendly image than a private jet.