In addition to the transcendent technological gadgets and new four-wheeled prototypes and non-prototypes, the Las Vegas CES also hosted a less expected, flying premiere from Hyundai.
The reason for the Supernal S-A2, a new prototype but functional version of the Korean compact aircraft that is a hybrid between a plane and a helicopter and works with pure electric technology.
The S-A2 is an evolution of the S-A1 that Hyundai presented a few years ago and of course a version closer to production. According to the planning of the Korean brand, this is expected to start around 2028.
In terms of its characteristics, the S-A2 has eight vertical and horizontal propellers that allow it to take off and land vertically and, depending on the situation, have maximum stability.
Its power comes from an all-electric set that, according to the relevant recommendations, allows the Supernal S-A2 to reach speeds of up to 195 km/h and fly at a height of up to 1,500 feet. In terms of autonomy, Hyundai’s target for its range is between 40 and 65 km depending on the version. It should be noted that thanks to its electric operation, the S-A2 is almost silent, producing sound essentially only from its propellers, which has been measured at 65 db during takeoff and 45 db during flight.
The fuselage features a not-inconsiderable-sized glass surface at the front which, according to Supernal designer Luc Dockerwolke, draws its design inspiration from the eyes of the bee. The rear section, the V-tipped tail, is designed this way for aerodynamic reasons but also to refer to the Supernal logo. It is worth noting that Luc Dockerwolke, an experienced car designer, said about the design process of the S-A2, that the cars he has designed in the past took their inspiration from the world of aviation. In a way, the imprint of the S-A2 is like completing a circle in his career.
As for the next steps before the production of the electric aircraft, Supernal will now conduct exhaustive tests ensuring that the S-A2 keeps up with the strictest safety standards of commercial aviation. It should be noted, however, that when its previous version, S-A1, was presented in 2020, Supernal had also made reference to autonomous flight capabilities, a reference that was not made in its new appearance as S-A2 at CES as apparently its creators they want to focus first on the parameters that will make it feasible and marketable before they start adding extra features to its features. After all, the concept of autopilot is not as foreign to aircraft as it is to cars.