Published: 08th September 2021
An aircraft that can take off vertically in India? This MVJ College team's design is aces high
Team Abhimanyu 4.0 is all set to change the aviation industry with its electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft. We speak to the students of MVJ College of Engineering who have designed it
Engineering is not just about being theoretically ready, it also requires one to learn skills and be industry ready too, believes Keerthi GN, an Aeronautics student at MVJ College of Engineering in Bengaluru. Recently, their project, Inter-city Electric Vertical Take-off and Landing Aircraft (ICeVTOLA) won them the first prize at the National Aerospace Conceptual Design Competition (NACDeC-IV). Abhimanyu 4.0 consisting of Keerthi GN, Amruthamshu KP, Koushik Udayachandran, Mithun Francis P and Atyab Hakeem is the team behind designing the ICeVTOLA. "We started working on this project last October while discussing the designs and points virtually and we were able to present it last month,” says Keerthi.
While vertical landing and takeoff by an aircraft is something we've seen only in movies, so far, this is one of the first unique designs. Keerthi explains, "Our theme was to design an electric mode of transport system that could carry four people and a pilot. We designed this aircraft in a way that it can land and take off vertically. This conceptual design is a potential idea that can usher in a remarkable revolution in the aviation industry. Currently and even in the future, the transportation sector will face the challenges of meeting a growing demand for convenient passenger mobility, while reducing congestion, improving safety and mitigating emissions. That’s where the ICeVTOLA plays an important role. It could overcome these limitations of surface transportation by enabling urban and regional aerial travel services and is a technology that could end traffic jams."
Since it is an aircraft carrying four people and a pilot, including the cargo capacity, they have designed it in a way that it can be used to connect the metros to nearby cities and provide connectivity to augment tourism and aid in the strategic travel by public agencies. Keerthi says, "Urban air mobility (UAM) is an emerging aviation market that seeks to revolutionise mobility around metropolitan areas via a safe, efficient and accessible on-demand air transportation system for passengers and cargo. Although the airborne mobility using VTOLA is not novel, as helicopter-based taxi services have been and still exist in different countries globally. The main idea behind developing this electric aircraft is keeping the future in mind. It will not only reduce the usage of diesel but also the emission of carbon footprint in comparison to conventional helicopters.”
When asked if it is practically possible to produce the EVTOLA, Keerthi says, “Yes, we can produce the EVTOLA and we actually want to take it forward when we get investors. We believe that the expected entry of this aircraft into the market is possibly 2031 across all countries. But we also need 5G technology in India to roll this out. The reason being real-time communication to keep city skies safe — as the volume of EVTOLAs traffic grows, 5G will be crucial for situational awareness, aircraft to aircraft and aircraft to ground communication. Whenever there are extreme weather conditions, 5G will be useful to predict accurate forecasts of cloud formation, turbulence, real-time monitoring, passenger Wi-Fi, preventive maintenance and entertainment services.”