US Air Force backs Valkyrie’s high-speed, amphibious jet-powered eVTOL
Reno-based Valkyrie Systems Aerospace has received a research grant from the US Air Force to further develop its remarkable HoverJet Guardian concept, which combines electric VTOL and high-speed jet cruise with amphibious and hovercraft capabilities.
The USAF’s AFWERX High-Speed Vertical Takeoff and Landing (HSVTOL) concept challenge sees the military throwing the floor open to a range of private companies in search of ideas that’ll eventually lead to next-gen VTOL aircraft capable of going a lot quicker than current VTOL machines like the V-22 Osprey.
Valkyrie’s HoverJet Guardian concept certainly seems to fit the bill. Essentially, it appears to be a powerful, optionally-piloted jet aircraft with an electric VTOL system built in.
The VTOL system appears to use a quadcopter layout, with four props (or perhaps eight mounted coaxially) hiding in holes in its fat wings. These get it off the ground in relatively civilized fashion, but then a pair of Pratt & Whitney 545c turbofan engines…