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Supernal’s S-A2 eVTOL Hits 120 MPH with Cutting-Edge Tech

In the realm of advanced air mobility, Hyundai Motor Group’s subsidiary, Supernal, is making waves with its groundbreaking electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, the S-A2. This innovative flying car, unveiled at CES 2024, promises to revolutionize urban transportation by combining the efficiency of airplanes with the convenience of helicopters. The S-A2 stands out not only for its impressive speed of up to 120 miles per hour but also for its unique design and technological advancements.

Design and Technology

The S-A2, evolving from the SA-1 concept showcased in 2020, is a testament to Supernal’s commitment to merging aesthetics with functionality. The aircraft’s design, inspired by the eyes of a bee, features a glassy cockpit and body, offering pilots and passengers an unparalleled view of their surroundings. This design is not just for visual appeal; it enhances the overall flying experience by creating a sense of openness and connection with the environment.

The S-A2’s ability to accommodate up to four passengers in its modular seats is another notable feature. These seats are designed for flexibility, allowing for quick reconfiguration to suit different needs. This adaptability is crucial in urban settings, where space and convenience are paramount.

One of the most striking aspects of the S-A2 is its propulsion system. The aircraft is equipped with eight rotors, which pivot to facilitate vertical takeoff and then shift forward for efficient cruising. This dual functionality embodies the fusion of airplane and helicopter characteristics, offering a smooth, safe flight experience while maintaining the agility needed for urban mobility.

Power and Efficiency

Addressing the challenge of power density in batteries, especially in a power-intensive application like flight, was a significant hurdle for Supernal. The S-A2’s power requirements are immense, akin to a car accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in two seconds, but sustained over a longer duration. Despite this, the aircraft manages to maintain a relatively low noise level, comparable to a modern dishwasher, at just 65 decibels during takeoff.

The Supernal’s power and efficiency will be exemplary!
Photo taken from IoT World Today.

The modular design of the S-A2 is a forward-thinking approach, anticipating future advancements in battery technology. This adaptability ensures that the aircraft can evolve with emerging technologies, maintaining its efficiency and performance over time.

Urban Integration and Safety

Supernal plans to operate the S-A2 from vertiports located in dense urban areas. These hubs are envisioned as the central points for eVTOL operations, facilitating quick and efficient urban transportation. The company aims to adhere to the stringent safety standards of commercial aviation and is working closely with government aviation authorities to develop appropriate operating procedures.

The integration of the S-A2 into urban landscapes is not just about providing a new mode of transportation; it’s about transforming the way we perceive and navigate our cities. By bypassing traditional traffic congestion, the S-A2 offers a glimpse into a future where air mobility is as commonplace as road travel.

Advanced Design and Biomimicry

The Supernal S-A2, a pioneering eVTOL aircraft, is not just a technological achievement but also a marvel of design. Luc Donckerwolke, the chief design officer of Hyundai Motor Group, played a pivotal role in shaping the S-A2’s aesthetics. The aircraft’s design, particularly the placement and design of its windows, draws inspiration from the natural world, specifically bees. This biomimicry approach ensures maximum visibility for both pilots and passengers, a crucial factor in urban air mobility. The design allows passengers to look down, essential for vertical takeoff and landing, while also providing a forward view akin to traditional airplanes.

Innovative Seat Design and Safety Features

The S-A2’s seat frames were created using generative design, a method that minimizes material use while maximizing strength and safety. This approach not only reduces the aircraft’s weight but also enhances the energy-absorbing properties of the seats, crucial for dispersing forces during vertical takeoff and landing. Safety is a paramount concern for Supernal, and the S-A2 is designed to meet commercial aviation safety levels. This includes redundant components in the powertrain, flight controls, and avionics, ensuring the aircraft’s reliability and safety. Interestingly, the S-A2 can operate even if not all eight propellors are functional, showcasing its built-in redundancy and robustness.

Battery Technology and Operational Efficiency

The S-A2 houses eight separate battery units in the rear of the fuselage, each isolated for enhanced safety. In case one unit fails, the others can continue powering the vehicle, ensuring uninterrupted operation. While specific details on battery capacity or charging rates are not yet available, Supernal’s approach points towards a high-voltage, fast-charging system. This system would not require charging between each flight, potentially only after several flights or even overnight, significantly enhancing operational efficiency.

Light Signature and Brand Recognition

Donckerwolke, with his background in car design, is also focusing on the light signature of the S-A2. He envisions a scenario where the Supernal eVTOL can be recognized in the air by its unique light signature, similar to how car light clusters are used for brand recognition. This aspect, while aesthetic, plays a crucial role in brand identity and public perception of the aircraft.

The Future of Urban Air Mobility

Supernal’s S-A2 is set to enter the urban air mobility market in 2028, with test flights expected later this year. This timeline places the S-A2 at the forefront of transforming urban transportation. The promise of a quiet, efficient, and safe air travel option within urban areas could significantly reduce traffic congestion and open new avenues for city planning and development.


The Supernal S-A2 represents a significant leap forward in eVTOL technology. Its innovative design, inspired by nature, advanced safety features, and efficient battery technology set it apart in the burgeoning field of urban air mobility. As we approach its expected launch, the S-A2 not only symbolizes a new era in transportation but also highlights the potential for harmonious integration of technology and design, inspired by the natural world. With its anticipated impact on urban landscapes, the S-A2 is poised to redefine how we perceive and navigate our cities, making air travel a regular part of our urban experience.