search

UMD    CORE





A new collaboration between Lusby, Maryland-based HopFlyt Corporation and Assistant Professor Huan Xu seeks to reduce commuting time and traffic with the development of an air vehicle that aims to “hop” over traffic for distances up to 30 miles, carrying up to three passengers at a time.

The new project envisions reducing the 90-minute drive from Baltimore to Washington, D.C. during rush hour to just 15 minutes. The highly autonomous but piloted vehicle, called the Venturi, will take off and land like a helicopter and fly like an airplane, according to HopFlyt CEO and Chief Design Engineer Rob Winston.

“Our plan is to use it as an on-demand vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicle. People could schedule a flight similar to a service such as Uber.”

The Venturi is all-electric, with 16 motors that adjust to make flight smooth for passengers. It gains efficiency, Winston explained, by eliminating control surfaces such as the hinged part of a wing used to provide balance. Instead, the Venturi will tilt its wings and adjust power in its motors to steady its flight.

That’s where Xu comes in. “We are working on the control laws for how you model this,” she explained. “We are coming at it from a theoretical modeling perspective—this should be this length, this motor should be this fast, so it is as safe as possible for people. I am excited to be working on this project and eventually see this type of technology transition to the public.”

Xu’s project with HopFlyt is supported by $100,000 in joint funding from the Maryland Industrial Partnerships (MIPS) program, an initiative of the Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech) in the A. James Clark School of Engineering, and the company. MIPS supports technology development projects that team Maryland companies with University System of Maryland faculty.

HopFlyt also received a $25,000 pre-seed investment through the Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO) Rural Business Innovation Initiative.



October 24, 2018


«Previous Story  

 

 

Current Headlines

George Dieter Celebrates His 90th Birthday, Applauds Social Change Course

Inventor Enjoys Fame in the Hall

Fearless Ideas: An Exploratory Outlook

A Fearless Flight

Clark School Faculty Members Named Highly Cited Researchers

Nationwide Urban Flooding Disrupts Local Economies, Public Safety, and Housing Equity

Palm, Murray research featured on cover of ACS Photonics

University of Maryland Links Drone and Robotic Boat in Communication Network

Rethinking Orbital Debris: More Space for Industry

Designed to Fail, Better

 
 
Back to top  
CORE Home Clark School Home UMD Home Aerospace Engineering