The proposed Sirius Jet marks a major aviation world first. A vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft pitched at the business community, the Sirius Business Jet features a pioneering hydrogen-fuelled powerplant. In theory, this makes it a zero-emission solution for regional business trips, with a projected range of 1,850km at speeds of up to 600km/h. It’s pitched alongside the larger Sirius Millennium Jet, and the two craft are still a long way from production.
That’s because hydrogen-powered flight is still very much in its infancy. Sirius’ own Hydrogen-Electric Ducted Fan Propulsion System is due for commercialisation late in 2025. The system uses hydrogen in a fuel cell to produce electricity, rather than as a combustible fuel. There are plenty of prototypes in development around the world, including concepts from Boeing and Airbus, but mass take-up of the technology isn’t expected until the 2030s.
Sirius Business Jet, a futuristic VTOL aircraft
Sirius is hoping to leapfrog all this, not least because of the futuristic form of the Business Jet. With a capacity of four (a pilot and three passengers), the Sirius Jet gets its VTOL capabilities from two wings full of electric propellors, each powered by a proprietary electric motor. It’s a scaled-up version of the one-person Helix, built by American company Pivotal, which offers land-anywhere capability in an ultra-compact package.
The Sirius Business Jet is a much larger proposition. Designed by BMW’s design consultancy arm Designworks, in collaboration with the Sauber Group, the Swiss motorsport company that’s heavily involved in F1. Both the Business Jet and the Millennium Jet have a sleek, piscine fuselage, with short wings peppered with air intakes for the electric propellors.
Alongside the benefits of using a fuel that produces water as its only by-product, Sirius is betting on the aircrafts’ VTOL capabilities being a huge draw for corporate clients and commercial aviation alike. We’ve tracked the growing interest in such aircraft over the past few years, as engineers, designers and architects plan new ways of integrating air travel into the urban landscape.
Will Sirius be a big player in this new landscape, should it ever materialise? The Swiss company is obviously hoping, first and foremost, to become a key player in the tech that underpins this aircraft. However, by building such an elegant prototype, it’s doubtless hoping to lead on both fronts.
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Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.
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