Recent changes in the leadership team at XTI Aircraft have prompted a fresh approach to efforts to produce the TriFan 600 aircraft. First, the Colorado-based company has opted out of the rush to be first to market in the advanced air mobility sector. Second, it has resolved to press ahead with turboshaft engines certified to use 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and defer the introduction of electric propulsion until later iterations of the aircraft.
Earlier this month, newly appointed CEO Michael Hinderberger reported that planned first deliveries for the TriFan 600 have been pushed back by up to three years to 2027.
XTI’s primary objective appears to be to readdress the needs of the business aviation sector by getting closer to combining a helicopter’s operational flexibility with a fixed-wing aircraft’s range, payload, and speed, to deliver what it calls “the missing link” in air travel.
Carrying four or five passengers, the TriFan 600 aims to offer a range in VTOL mode of up to 600 nm and in CTOL operations, using a short runway, extending up to 750 nm. Top speeds are expected to reach 300 knots.
The company is confident of finding an off-the-shelf engine solution that will mitigate the technology challenges. XTI further believes it will take until 2029 to be ready to introduce an electric or hybrid-electric TriFan.
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