New TriFan 600 airplane brings vertical takeoff and landing to passenger travel (VIDEO)

Forget Runways: This Concept Jet Takes Off Vertically (Video)

Forget Runways: This Concept Jet Takes Off Vertically (Video)

Slate in motion.
Sept. 14 2015 1:36 PM

Looking Up

A jet that can take off vertically.

trifan

There’s a new aircraft that may take to the skies, and it’s a little ... different.

XTI Aircraft, the people who plan to build the futuristic TriFan 600, see it as the next step in aviation, and it’s certainly cool. While VTOL (Vertical Take Off and Landing), Harrier-style aircraft have been in military use for some time, the TriFan 600 would be the first plane to bring the tech to civilians.

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It’s still in the design phase, but the TriFan 600 is no pipe dream, since XTI’s team includes people from Sikorsky and Cessna, who know what they’re doing.

The TriFan 600 gets its name from three rotating ducted fans powered by two high-performance turboshaft engines. The fans produce columns of air that push the plane straight up into the sky, no runway required. Once aloft, the plane’s two wing fans swing forward 90 degrees, the fuselage fan switches off, and the TriFan 600 is on its way in a matter of just seconds. It takes just 90 seconds for it to reach its maximum speed of 400 miles per hour. The plane has a maximum cruising altitude of 30,000 feet and a range of 800 to 1,200 miles, comparable to conventional private jets.

You can learn more about the TriFan 600—and get a look inside—on XTI’s crowdfunding page.

Robby Berman is a writer currently living in the upper Midwest.