At Farnborough: Aston Martin VTOL, GE Open Cockpit


Volante Vision

Aston Martin unveiled a luxury VTOL concept this week at the Farnborough International Air Show in Great Britain. The Volante Vision is designed to seat three adults and to be completely autonomous, powered by a hybrid-electric engine. The company partnered with Cranfield University and Rolls-Royce to develop the design. “Vertical mobility is no longer a fantasy,” said Marek Reichman, Aston Martin’s chief creative officer. “We have a unique chance to create a luxury concept aircraft that will represent the ultimate fusion of art and technology.” No plans for further development or production of the aircraft were announced. Also at the show, GE introduced a demonstrator for its open-systems flight deck, now in development.

“Our customers tell us that they have major frustrations with the inflexibility and high cost of change in some avionics systems,” said Alan Caslavka, president of avionics for GE Aviation. “We aim to give our customers the tools to control the configuration of their own systems, avoiding vendor lock and creating a lower-cost route to innovation.” In a news release, GE said there is “significant opportunity … [for] operational improvements” in avionics systems. The company is currently working to develop the underlying software and hardware platform, as well as the enabling infrastructure, to provide customers with the ability to customize the look and feel of their flight decks. GE is working with several other companies and academic institutes to develop the technology.