Future mobility will take many forms. One of the most exhilarating areas of innovation is in personal aviation, where drone technology is dovetailing with the research and development of the industry’s big players to create bold new ideas. Innovative propulsion systems, semi-automated flight control systems and the promise of big changes in the way in which private aircraft are regulated and controlled offer almost unlimited potential for the skies of tomorrow.
The Aston Martin Volante Vision Concept swoops straight into this potential new market, harnessing the engineering know-how of Rolls-Royce and the innovative industry think-tanks at Cranfield University and Cranfield Aerospace Solutions to create a futuristic aviation concept. This is the first time that the legendary Volante moniker has been applied to a flying machine, a strictly conceptual vision that extrapolates Aston Martin’s design language, using the same approach to forms and surfaces that shape the company’s line-up of luxury sports cars. A three-seater vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) craft, the Vision Concept is intended for autonomous flight, with a hybrid-electric powertrain linked to three sets of tilting turboprops that create lift and swivel for forward propulsion.
I believe air travel will be a crucial part in the future of transportation and this is the ultimate luxury mobility sector
The projected use is an inter-city and urban machine, flying above congestion and making direct links from downtown to airports, country retreats or race tracks. A luxurious, high-tech interior evokes the very best of Aston Martin’s craftsmanship and design, while the huge bubble canopy gives it unparalleled visibility of the skies.
Dr Andy Palmer, Aston Martin’s President and CEO, describes the Vision Volante Concept as an “alternative solution to help reduce congestion and improve mobility”. He adds: “I believe air travel will be a crucial part in the future of transportation and this is the ultimate luxury mobility sector.”
Aston Martin’s meticulous approach to form and surface can also be seen in the ongoing collaboration with Triton Submarines, Project Neptune, but an aircraft poses many more technical and logistical challenges. “The Volante Vision Concept uses forms and proportions that express the same devotion to design, engineering and beauty that shape our cars,” says Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s Chief Creative Officer. “This is a unique chance to create a luxury concept aircraft that will represent the ultimate fusion of art and technology.”