As you probably know, Hyundai is one of the automotive OEMs which are trying to break into the “urban air taxi” segment—which is purported to go big in the coming years. At CES 2020, the company showcased its eVTOL taxi concept called ‘S-A1’ which can carry four passengers (excluding the pilot). Now, at the 2022 Farnborough International Airshow, Hyundai Motor Group subsidiary Supernal unveiled an eVTOL Vehicle Cabin concept.
So, what’s this Cabin concept all about? Well, it’s exactly what the name suggests. The concept showcases a 5-seater cockpit with available creature comforts in an upcoming commercial eVTOL aircraft. That’s right, Supernal is planning to commence commercial operations in 2028 starting with the U.S. market, followed by the EU and UK shortly after.
The cockpit uses sustainably-sourced materials such as recyclable carbon fibre reinforced thermoplastic, plant-based leather, recycled plastic fabric and responsibly sourced woods. The seat frame also utilizes excess raw material from the airframe manufacturing process. Creature comforts for the end users include a charging station and a stowage compartment for personal items. Since these are gonna be short urban flights, you probably wouldn’t require more anyway. However, the concept also integrates overhead lights inspired by automotive sunroofs; these lights adjust automatically with various stages of flight to emulate a so-called “light therapy”.
Also, Hyundai has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Rolls-Royce (not Motor Cars) to co-develop a fuel-cell electric aircraft prototype by 2025, and also for a couple more things. Another MoU has been signed with Safran “to explore potential cooperation in various fields such as electric propulsion systems, avionics and flight control, and cabin interiors, but not limited”.