Kaman Aerospace, a subsidiary of helicopter maker Kaman, will manufacture the Vy 400 aircraft. GE will develop and certify a custom variant of GE’s CT7-8 turboshaft helicopter engine to power it.
Kaman Aerospace Group has been selected by Transcend Air Corporation to manufacture the Vy 400 high-speed vertical take-off and landing (HSVTOL) aircraft.
Transcend is developing the Vy 400 with the aim of reducing the current time and cost barriers for regional city-to-city travel. The aircraft’s VTOL capabilities will allow it to operate from major city centres, and its anticipated cruise speed of more than 400 miles per hour will mean a journey from Manhattan to Boston, for example, could take just 36 minutes.
Gregory Bruell, Transcend’s co-founder and CEO, stated: “Because of the Vy’s high speed, we can complete many more passenger trips per aircraft. The combination of that with VTOL is key to our revolutionary economics, and Kaman will be key to us scaling up production to meet the huge demand that our mass-market fares will drive.”
Russ Bartlett, Kaman’s senior vice-president and chief operating officer, commented: “Viewed from our unique rotorcraft market experience as both a helicopter manufacturer and a major supplier to other aerospace manufacturers, the Vy 400’s advantages in both civil and military applications are compelling. Transcend Air has over 250 years of collective VTOL experience informing both the aircraft design and their go-to-market strategy.
“Kaman Aerospace Group has components and subsystems on nearly every rotorcraft flying today, and we look forward to the opportunity to be part of this innovative aircraft with Kaman’s singular blend of historical achievements and cutting-edge capabilities.”
Peter Schmidt, co-founder and COO of Transcend, noted: “The time is now for this aircraft. We are reaping the benefits of 50 years of advancements in technology since the pioneering of tilt-wing designs in the 1960s, including computerised fly-by-wire flight control, aeroacoustics, electric control-surface actuation, the Ballistic Recovery Systems whole-airframe parachute, low- and no-carbon sustainable aviation, and with the addition of Kaman’s collaboration to deliver at scale.
“On the day it is certified, the Vy 400 will simultaneously become the world’s fastest helicopter and the world’s fastest single-engine civil turboprop – with Kaman structures, subsystems and assembly making it possible.”
Transcend recently announced that GE Aviation would be supplying the engine for the Vy 400.