Hyundai and Supernal’s Vision for a New Era of Flight: S-A2 eVTOL

Posted by Florin Muna on January 15th, 2024

The future of urban mobility is taking shape at CES 2024, where Hyundai Motor Group and its Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) company, Supernal, have unveiled their electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle product concept, S-A2. The pilot-plus-four-passenger vehicle is designed to offer a safe, efficient, and affordable alternative to ground transportation, with the potential to revolutionize the way people travel in cities.

S-A2: A New Mode of Transportation

S-A2 eVTOL is the latest milestone in Supernal’s roadmap to commercialize everyday passenger air travel by 2028. It builds on the vision concept S-A1, which was debuted at CES 2020, combining the innovative aerospace engineering of Supernal and the automotive aesthetic design of Hyundai. S-A2 is a V-tail aircraft that features a distributed electric propulsion architecture and has eight all-tilting rotors. It is designed to cruise at 120 miles-per-hour at a 1,500-foot altitude to meet typical city operation needs of 25- to 40-mile trips, initially. It can also operate as quietly as a dishwasher: 65 dB in vertical take-off and landing phases and 45 dB while cruising horizontally.

S-A2 is engineered to achieve the global commercial aviation standard of safety, with a robust airframe structure and redundant components in critical systems such as powertrain, flight controls, and avionics. The all-tilting rotor configuration enables the vehicle to transition smoothly from the vertical-lift to the horizontal-cruise phase of flight with unique efficiency. To ensure superior quality and cost-effectiveness, the vehicle will be manufactured leveraging Hyundai’s mass production capability.

Supernal: A Mission-Driven Company

Supernal is a subsidiary of Hyundai Motor Group that was established in 2020 to develop and commercialize AAM solutions. The company is led by Jaiwon Shin, a former NASA executive who oversees the group’s AAM division and serves as the CEO of Supernal. Supernal has a 600-person team of experts from various fields, including aerospace, automotive, software, and design. The company also collaborates with trusted aviation suppliers and partners around the world to deliver its vision of a new era of flight.

S-A2 eVTOL

“From the beginning, Supernal has been on a mission to create the right product and the right market at the right time,” said Shin. “The unveiling of S-A2 demonstrates our unwavering commitment to deliver on that mission with a safe, efficient vehicle design that provides a clear path to market entry. By leveraging our talented team, the vast technical and business capabilities of Hyundai Motor Group and trusted aviation suppliers around the world, Supernal is ready to deliver a new era of flight.”

Vertiport: A Gateway to the Sky

To complement its eVTOL vehicle, Supernal also showcased its vertiport concept at CES 2024. A vertiport is a landing and take-off facility for eVTOL vehicles, similar to a helipad or an airport. Supernal’s vertiport is designed to be modular, scalable, and adaptable to various environments and use cases. It can accommodate multiple eVTOL vehicles at a time, as well as provide charging, maintenance, and passenger services. The vertiport can also integrate with existing transportation infrastructure, such as roads, railways, and subways, to create a seamless multimodal mobility network.

Supernal’s vertiport concept is based on three core principles: safety, sustainability, and convenience. The vertiport is equipped with advanced safety features, such as sensors, cameras, and lighting, to ensure smooth and secure operations. It also utilizes renewable energy sources, such as solar panels and wind turbines, to minimize its environmental impact. Moreover, the vertiport is designed to offer a comfortable and convenient experience for passengers, with features such as digital check-in, biometric verification, and lounge areas.

Conclusion

Hyundai and Supernal are leading the way in the AAM industry, with their innovative and visionary eVTOL vehicle and vertiport concepts. The companies aim to make air travel accessible and affordable for everyone, while also reducing congestion, pollution, and travel time in urban areas. By combining their strengths and expertise, Hyundai and Supernal are creating a new mode of transportation that will transform the future of mobility.

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Florin Muna

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Florin Muna
Joined: June 13th, 2019
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