Swiss Start-up Sirius Unveils Hydrogen-powered VTOL Business Jet

Sirius Aviation has revealed the design for its Sirius Jet, a hydrogen-electric business jet with vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) capabilities that the company intends to have certified and in service by 2025. The Swiss start-up intends to produce two variants of the aircraft, one tailored for private use and the other for commercial air taxi services. 

The private-use Sirius Business Jet will accommodate one pilot and up to three passengers and have an anticipated flight range of 1,150 miles (1,850 kilometers), whereas the larger Sirius Millennium Jet seats up to five passengers and can fly just over half that distance, with a range of 650 miles (1,050 kilometers). Both versions should be able to fly at altitudes of up to 30,000 feet at a cruise speed of 323 mph (520 kph). Refueling the aircraft, which involves pumping the hydrogen fuel cells full of hydrogen gas, will likely cost around $500, according to Sirius.

The Sirius Jet’s propulsion system uses hydrogen fuel cells to power 28 electric ducted fans, 20 of which are mounted to the aircraft’s main wing while eight are in the canard. This ducted-fan concept is somewhat reminiscent of the battery-electric Lilium Jet, although Sirius has incorporated a distinctive V-shaped tail whereas Lilium opted for a wingless design. Sirius designed the two Sirius Jet aircraft in collaboration with BMW’s Designworks innovation studio and Swiss motorsport company Sauber Group. 

Sirius says its aircraft will be nearly silent in operation, generating less than 60 decibels of noise at a distance of 100 meters (328 feet). That’s about as loud as a typical dishwashing machine and quiet enough to enable operations in populated areas where noise pollution is a concern. 

The company plans to unveil its proprietary hydrogen-electric propulsion system during a media briefing at Payerne Airport in Switzerland on January 17, and attendees will have the opportunity to see the system in action with what the company says will be its “first public inaugural ignition.”


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