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Portuguese consortium presents prototype of modular and intermodal transport system

16 October 2023
 It looks like a prop from some futuristic film, but it's actually the concept of a personal air transport system that was presented this month at the Ponte de Sor airfield. It was born as part of an entirely Portuguese project, called FLY.PT, which started in 2020, and several of its components were developed at INEGI.

The 1:4 scale prototype demonstrates a concept that allows aerial mobility supported by a drone, an autonomous skateboard for land mobility, and a cabin attachable to each of the two vehicles, creating an intermodal system. Alongside this prototype, a full-scale mockup of the cabin was also developed to validate the ergonomics and environment for future occupants.

INEGI's team was in charge of developing and manufacturing the entire cabin/drone integration system and designing the cabin structure. At the Institute, structural battery systems were also studied and a cryogenic engine concept was developed, essential to guarantee the energy and propulsion necessary for the operation of this innovative transport system.

At the same time, the team participated in the development of a condition management system where sensing technologies were studied and selected to be applied to the vehicle for its structural monitoring, resulting in a system that was also applied to this prototype.

After three years of work, FLY.PT becomes a technological and knowledge base to address the ongoing revolution in air transport, in terms of concepts of use and multimodality, and technologies related to the electrification of aircraft, with autonomous systems, and with the structures of the future, new materials and processes, and concepts of use that are becoming the great technological challenges of the disruption that is foreseen in this sector.

The consortium was led by the company Tekever UAS and, in addition to INEGI, had the participation of AED Portugal (Portuguese Cluster for Aeronautics, Space and Defense Industries), SETSA, Optimal Structural Solutions, CONTROLAR, Almadesign, TEKEVER II, CEIIA, ISQ, INESC TEC, IPL, ISEP, PIEP, EMPORDEF, University of Évora, CODI, FHP and Critical Materials.

The project "FLY.PT – Mobilize the national aeronautical industry to disrupt the urban air transport of the future" is part of the Mobilizing Programs, which aim to promote the growth of knowledge-intensive economic activities and the creation of value based on innovation. This project is co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), through Portugal 2020.


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