Bartini is a Russian startup that presents yet another potential competitor in a quickly oversaturating flying car prototype landscape. The flying car is an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) design.
The company has both two- and four-seat designs, and the team recently built a half-scale prototype at the National University of Science and Technology’s High Complexity Prototyping Center in Moscow. The design incorporates coaxial, ducted blades that reportedly double the thrust of one-meter engines.
The prototype looks cool, and a video from earlier this year shows the team working on the blade design and the half-scale prototype in flight tests.
The video shows Bartini CEO Ilya Khanykov standing next to the flying car, or "air taxi," and it looks conspicuously clean. If you look at the fine print, you read, "Computer generated image. Final product may vary." It just seems like an odd way for a startup to blow the marketing budget.
The team wants to keep the aircraft small — about five by five meters — with low noise (equivalent to a truck passing by) and panoramic views: as you can see, the cockpit is almost all glass. The CTO even admits that he was inspired by Back to the Future, so it's no wonder that they added the Delorean’s falcon-wing doors.
The flying car will only have a range of about 93 miles, flying about 186 mph on a 30-minute charge. That is total flight time, so the range could be significantly less, but the aircraft is envisioned as an air taxi for in-town commutes.
Bartini is part of the McFly air taxi incubator, which is essentially trying to replicate Uber's success and business model, only in the sky. The plan is to have a flying car, that can cross almost any city in 15 minutes, ready for the commercial market by 2020.
Next, Bartini and the Prototyping Center will collaborate on a full-scale prototype. Maybe put that one in the follow-up video.