Supernal LLC, Hyundai Motor Group’s high-flying division, just showed off their latest sky-skipping toy, the S-A2, at CES 2024. This electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle is like a magic carpet for the modern age, designed to zip people around cities faster than you can say “Up, up, and away!”
The Supernal S-A2 is clearly the cooler, upgraded sibling of the S-A1, which debuted in 2020. It’s a mix of Hyundai’s snazzy car design and some serious aerospace engineering. It is a pilot-plus-four-passenger ride that’s set to turn everyday air travel into something out of a sci-fi movie. And they’re not just dreaming big; they’re planning to hit the market by 2028.
Jaiwon Shin, the big boss at Hyundai Motor Group and CEO of Supernal, is all about getting this right – safe, efficient, and ready to change how we think about getting from point A to B.
Now on with the geeky stuff: The S-A2 is a V-tail aircraft that cruises at a chill 120 miles-per-hour (193 km/h or 104 knots), perfect for 25- to 40-mile (40-64 km) city hops. It’s got eight rotors that tilt, making it as quiet as a dishwasher during takeoff and landing, and even quieter when cruising.
Safety is a big deal for the Supernal S-A2 – obviously, and they’re all about sustainability and comfort, too. They’ve got this airframe with all the bells and whistles for safety, and Hyundai’s mass production know-how is going to make it affordable.
Ben Diachun, Supernal’s tech guru, is jazzed about turning this concept into something real. They’re thinking ahead with interior modularity and upgradable batteries, which is pretty smart.
Design-wise, it’s like they’re marrying a car with a plane but do not call it a flying car because it is not. The S-A2’s look is all about drawing in both aviation operators and passengers. The design team went all out with different colors, materials, and even special lighting to make the cabin feel bigger and guide passengers.
Luc Donckerwolke, another Hyundai Motor Group bigwig, is stoked about this “auto meets aero” concept. They’re pulling ideas from their smart cars and electric vehicles to make the S-A2 a top-notch passenger experience.
In short, the S-A2 is like the futuristic flying machine we’ve all been dreaming of – think less traffic, more sky, and a whole lot of cool tech! Not sure if this kind of short-range flying contraptions take to the skies, will it make the sky more dangerous? Come on, you have to admit that my worry is legit.