In addition to operations consulting, we represent XTI Aircraft, a Denver-based company developing a fixed-wing VTOL aircraft called the TriFan 600. The TriFan 600 is a revolutionary concept, and one we think will significantly disrupt air transportation because of its Vertical Takeoff & Landing (VTOL) capability and then transition to forward flight with light business jet speed and range. This capability is unique and presents a distinct competitive advantage, an advantage we believe will remain for many years to come because of a dearth of competitors in this space, and because of the patents XTI holds.
I’ve flown 28 different aircraft types ranging from tail-draggers to supersonic fighters, and corporate jets to wide-body airliners, and I’m personally very excited about the possibilities of the XTI TriFan 600! It will be a unique addition for any operator, allowing them to provide Vertical Takeoff & Landing (VTOL) capability and fast door-to-door service to passengers. This totally eliminates the time and hassle of getting to and from an airport or dealing with the security, air traffic congestion, and other delays and problems inherent in airport operations, while still providing light-jet range and speed, simply not possible with a helicopter.
You can takeoff vertically from a paved helipad-type surface at your home/office/nearby clearing, climb to 29,000 feet in 11 minutes, and fly 5 passengers (single pilot IFR) at 300 knots/555 kmph to a distance of ~770 miles/1200 km – from downtown San Francisco to LA/San Diego/Phoenix/Las Vegas/Portland and Salt Lake City; or Manhattan to downtown Chicago/Detroit/Indianapolis/Montreal. You can land on a helipad, thus saving time, avoiding traffic and all the airport security and delay hassles. If required, with a conventional takeoff, range is over 1300 miles/2200 km which puts Denver, Oklahoma City/Wichita/Cabo San Lucas/Seattle/Vancouver and Edmonton in range from the San Francisco Bay Area airports; and Dallas/Kansas City/Minneapolis/Miami/Winnipeg and the Bahamas in range from the New York Metro airports. Other use possibilities are endless with its VTOL capability and light-jet speed and range, whether for executive transportation, medical evacuation, servicing oil rigs, access to remote regions, etc.
Once the -600 is developed, future plans include development of variants up to 9 seats. These could serve thin commuter routes well, without the need for much on-ground infrastructure.
Essentially, for short to medium routes, one TriFan can replace a helicopter and a business aircraft by cost-effectively combining both their roles in one airplane.
The TriFan 600 uses one turboshaft engine coupled with batteries and electric motors – hybrid-electric propulsion – thus much cheaper to operate and environmentally cleaner. List price is USD 6.5 million, and direct operating costs are approximately USD 350 per hour. The only competitor is the Agusta Westland 609 (now Leonardo Heli 609) Tiltrotor. The TriFan 600 is one-third the acquisition cost and one-sixth the Direct Operating Cost, with more versatile performance. In the TriFan, we are using existing technology in a unique configuration, thus reducing certification hurdles. Additionally, the recently rewritten FAA Part 23 aircraft certification rules will assist significantly.
The other very relevant differentiator about XTI Aircraft are the individuals and experience behind it. The inventor is Mr. David Brody, Founder & Chairman, and former Chairman and CEO of AVX Aircraft Co (designing co-axial ducted-fan military helicopters). CEO Robert LaBelle is former CEO of Agusta Westland (now Leonardo) North America and who, as President of Agusta Westland Tiltrotor, led development of the AW 609 program. Other members include Dr. James Wang as CTO (named by Wired magazine as the “Steve Jobs of Rotorcraft” in 2013, and who developed and produced the first large electric powered VTOL aircraft in 2010), and Charlie Johnson as a Board member. He is former President and COO of Cessna Aircraft. In the past 35 years, Mr. LaBelle and Mr. Johnson have, between them, taken over 25 aircraft through new aircraft certification with the FAA.
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