20 Jul Pioneering air mobility: YCOM and Manta Aircraft
The mobility revolution is set to touch every element of the transportation industry, but disruption within aviation and air mobility poses a number of interesting challenges and opportunities. In this blog article, we will take a look at our work with the team from Manta Aircraft and how we’ve supported to accelerate the development of the ANN2 aircraft with an engineering design support.
YCOM for air mobility
Getting started with Manta was a very exciting time for YCOM. While we had amassed an abundance of experience at the top of motorsport and been involved in e-mobility programmes, this was our first foray into air mobility. While the aerospace industry is – rightfully – bound by process and red tape, Manta was still in the initial concept phase and the perfect point to enlist our collaboration.
While it might be a tired cliché, our expertise in the fast-paced world of motorsport enables us to be far more dynamic than a conventional engineering company. Our approach to advanced engineering and composites brings a level of agility and adaptivity that allows us to bring concepts into reality within surprisingly short timescales.
For Manta Aircraft, we were tasked to translate into a 1:3 scale model the ANN2 design, to have a flying aircraft for the first tests of the flight computer.
First, a bit of context…
Manta Aircraft, the OEM of hybrid-electric eV/STOL platforms, offers both piloted and unmanned models. They address the high costs and limitations of helicopters and traditional aircraft, providing a cost-effective solution for utility, business, and defense sectors. Like conventional helicopters, Manta’s aircraft isn’t tied to runways or ground infrastructure, can land in unprepared areas, but with a reduced carbon footprint, with potential for hydrogen or full-battery propulsion and, very importantly, at a fraction of the cost of a helicopter. Distinct from eVTOL air taxis, Manta targets regional and interregional markets, boasting long range, high speed, and low costs.
So, what did we do?
First of all, starting from the Manta platform design, we created the composite structure to guarantee stiffness, manufacturability and easy assembly.
All of this was achieved in a matter of months, allowing the Manta team to fast-track the development of the full-scale ANN2. Given the investment and interest in air mobility, being first-to-market is important but, perhaps even more important than that, it is to get there with the right aircraft concept, not only in terms of design but also in terms of projected aircraft operations.
At the forefront of mobility
It is not the first time we have delivered advanced mobility projects either, our work on the innovative S1-X eSkootr and the record-destroying Volkswagen I.D. R were equally challenging projects delivered within almost impossible timescales.
The ANN2 is a true engineering challenge with very little precedent. It has allowed us to showcase our expertise in state-of-the-art composites, advanced engineering, and technology integration applied to air mobility. Working on such a disruptive project has been both thrilling and fulfilling, and we are very excited to see what the future holds. As the transport and aviation sector is redefined, we are right at the forefront, solving the engineering challenges of tomorrow.
If you would like to learn more about YCOM’s offering, please get in touch.