Uber to Develop Rotors With University and Army

A US university is to collaborate with Uber’s aviation arm on the development of rotor technology.

Following Uber’s announcement at its Elevate conference in May of its plans to launch an urban aviation ride-sharing network (uberAir) in Los Angeles and Dallas, the University of Texas (UT) at Austin says its engineers are to collaborate on the program with personnel from Uber Elevate and the US Army’s Research Labs (ARL).

At the conference, Uber published design concepts for the aircraft the scheme would utilize. The plans are for the electric planes capable of vertical take-off and landing (eVTOLs) to reach their flight altitude quickly and then switch to forward motion. They will have four pairs of stacked rotors, each going in one direction. The UT and ARL engineers are bring brought on-board to develop these rotors.

Among the UT researchers working on the project is Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering Jayant Sirohi. He claims that one of the attractions of his department for Uber is that it has “a rig to test new rotor configurations right here on campus”. He and his team will explore the rotors’ efficiency and noise signature.

Senior officials from Uber, UT and ARL officially launched the project at the UT campus last Thursday.


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