NBAA Convention News

Kaman To Build Transcend's High-speed VTOL

 - October 14, 2021, 12:27 PM
Transcend Air’s Vy 400 high-speed VTOL, at BACE in mockup form, might be unique at a bizav show, but then again, this could be how we’ll all be traveling in the not-too-distant future. (Photo: Ash Trautvetter)

Transcend Air has selected Kaman to build its Vy 400 high-speed vertical takeoff and landing (HSVTOL) aircraft. A mockup is on display this week at NBAA-BACE in Kaman’s booth (#3017). The $3.5 million fly-by-wire, tilt-wing Vy 400 will be powered by a single 2,500-shp GE CT7-8 turboshaft and is designed to expeditiously connect city centers with a targeted top speed of 356 knots, enabling flight from Manhattan to Boston in 36 minutes.

Transcend claims the six-seat Vy 400 will deliver door-to-door prices that are lower than those of current air travel options, and door-to-door times that are 65 to 80 percent less. 

“Because of the Vy’s high speed, we can complete many more passenger trips per aircraft," said Gregory Bruell, Transcend Air co-founder and CEO. "The combination of that with VTOL is key to our revolutionary economics, and Kaman will be key to us scaling up production to meet the significant demand that our mass-market fares are expected to drive.” 

Separately, Kaman announced that its Kaman Aerospace Jacksonville (Florida) division expects to receive its FAA Part 145 repair station approval by the end of this year. “We will be the supplier of choice for aging and underserviced aircraft with high metallic structure content, offering manufacturing capabilities to OEMs, as well as a service center and repair source for operators and owners,” said Bruce Dailey, Kaman's executive director of business development and compliance.

The facility is expected to serve both military and civilian aircraft and will focus on nacelles, flight control surfaces, and components. It will accelerate aftermarket growth through investment in tooling and test equipment, training, exchange units, and tech data. It currently specializes in aerostructures, major and complex metallic/composite assembly, sheet metal details, extruded parts, CNC machining, design engineering, and MRO repair.

Meanwhile, Kaman Composite Structures's (KSC) FAA Part 145 Repair Station in Wichita recently earned EASA approval for composite structures repair. “This approval is just one step in the process of offering more composite repair capabilities to the commercial and business aviation markets,” said Malissa Nesmith, Kaman's senior director of business development.

“Kaman has historically performed most of the repair services of the Part 145 station for military support programs. This past year, we have extended those repair services to the commercial market,” she added.

KCS offers services from design, prototyping, and testing to full production of composite components and assemblies. KCS companies fabricate components for the defense, aerospace, and commercial markets, as well as for the medical industry, and they provide MRO composite repair services at their FAA-certified Part 145 repair station in Wichita.