Newly released video from Horizon Aircraft shows the company’s half-scale Cavorite X5 eVTOL technology demonstrator conducting its first transition flight tests at the ACE Climatic Wind Tunnel in Oshawa, Ontario.
“After several months of successful hover flight testing, this marks the exciting beginning of our transition flight test program,” Horizon Aircraft announced on Twitter. During a transition flight, the aircraft transitions from hovering with vertical lift to forward flight using wing-borne lift. The Cavorite X5 features a patented fan-in-wing vertical lift system with 16 ducted fans built into the wing and canard.
Horizon Aircraft, which is based in Lindsay, Ontario, conducted the first tethered hover flight tests with the half-scale model in January. Now that the aircraft has successfully conducted a transition flight test in the wind tunnel, the company plans to begin transition flight tests outdoors later this spring or in the summer.
“Aircraft performance exceeded our expectations,” said Horizon Aircraft CEO Brandon Robinson. “We explored forward speeds of up to almost 100 km/h, measuring aerodynamic forces, control authority, and mechanical system function with the wings open at varying fan speeds.”
“We were particularly happy with pitch and roll stability and control throughout the entire transition envelope, as well as the embedded fan performance,” Robinson added. “Having real-world test results match our detailed predictions was further endorsement of our world-class engineering. We can now use these results to refine our CFD [computational fluid dynamics] modeling and further de-risk the outdoor transition flight test program that is beginning soon.”