GKN-led project concludes eVTOL bus is viable concept


The GKN Aerospace-led Skybus eVTOL aircraft research program has successfully completed  feasibility studies.

The Skybus would be a six-rotor, 30-person eVTOL aircraft for urban areas that would operate alongside air taxis.

Mass transit eVTOLs of this size would operate from Vertiports on scheduled journeys in the future, akin to bus network on today’s roads.

The Skybus research project was launched in January last year as part of the UK’s Future Flight Challenge in January as a GKN Aerospace-led project, in collaboration with Swanson Aviation Consultancy, Pascall+Watson and the UK Government’s Connected Places ‘Catapult’.

The initial feasibility studies also developed a Thames-based Vertiport concept as well as economic models and demand forecasts for a London based intra-city use case,

Further analyses will now be carried out of the concept, said GKN.

Russ Dunn, CTO GKN Aerospace said, “We are committed to a more sustainable future for aviation and we believe there is no single solution to achieve this. It will take a range of technologies and collaboration across the whole industry to achieve our net zero goal.

“Skybus is a great example of GKN Aerospace’s ambition to work in partnership to inspire our customers into new markets, products and technologies.”

Gary Cutts, Director of the Future Flight Challengeat at UK Research and Innovation said, “Our market studies show a real potential for a substantial distributed aviation system using the types of aircraft concept envisaged by the Skybus consortium and we welcome the system-wide insights gained from their feasibility studies.”

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About Author


Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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