ARC Aero Systems is pressing ahead with the development of a smaller version of the Linx P9 compound rotorcraft it announced earlier this year. The UK company has confirmed it is aiming to bring a three-seat model called the Linx P3 to market in 2026, three years ahead of the nine-seat P9 model.
The Linx aircraft are based on a 1960s-vintage gyroplane design called the Pegasus (formerly known as the Avian), for which ARC owns the intellectual property and rights to the type certificate. The Cranfield-based company says that the smaller version will the certification process more straightforward.
Like the P9, the P3 features a main rotor that draws electric power only during jump takeoffs and no-roll landings. For the P9, ARC is adding a fixed wing to increase the range for the hybrid-electric aircraft to around 950 kilometers (594 miles). The all-electric P3 will have only a main rotor and will be able to fly up to 110 kilometers (69 miles), cruising at up to 150 km/h.
ARC is now accepting orders from commercial operators and private buyers for the Linx aircraft. In both designs, an electric motor spins the rotor head until there is enough speed to make the rotors turn, at which point the pilot changes the tilt angle of the rotors for takeoff, after which a pair of pusher propellers and the fixed wing will support horizontal cruise flight. Once airborne, the rotor will be unlocked to act as a wind turbine generating more electrical power.
At the same time, ARC is also still working on a pair of UAVs called the C-600 and the C-150. Both are derivatives of Samad’s earlier Starling aircraft, but with rotors replacing ducted fans used for the earlier designs, which included models such as the eStarling, the QStarling, eStarling Cargo, and the Starling Jet. The new models will be available with both all-electric and hybrid-electric powertrains, offering ranges of, respectively, 400 and 100 kilometers and payloads of 150 and 30 kilograms.