The Israeli aerospace startup AIR announced the next phase in its participation in the United States Air Force’s AFWERX Agility Prime program to help propel the development of the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) industry, currently revolutionizing aviation.
AIR was accepted into the program in 2022 and has successfully completed Agility Prime’s third phase, leading to a formal agreement to work together. The company is now searching for suitable locations to establish its American presence and continue flight testing of its inaugural eVTOL aircraft in the U.S.
The partnership will drive AIR’s continuous development and certification efforts on the company’s journey to launch personal air mobility as a viable option for consumers’ everyday commutes.
The hours of flight testing performed in the U.S. will also offer AFWERX valuable data to determine AIR ONE’s viability for use in Air Force logistics missions. The program seeks eVTOL aircraft that can carry 1-2 people more than 10 miles (16 km) at a speed of at least 45 mph (72 km/h). AIR ONE’s unique size and platform offer the Air Force a distinct reference point in the program.
The AIR ONE aircraft is an all-electric two-seater that can take off and land on any flat surface with a payload of up to 550 pounds (250kg). What’s more, it can travel long distances on a single charge and achieve speeds of up to 155 mph (250 km/h).
Unlike other eVTOLs, which often use more complex, costly tilt motor designs, AIR ONE has a simple, cost-effective design with eight fixed motors. This makes it a great option for a variety of applications, including eVTOL pilot training, defense, cargo, and agriculture.
“Agility Prime analytics predict lower operations and maintenance costs of eVTOL aircraft through mechanical simplicity,” said Lt. Col. John Tekell, Agility Prime Branch Chief. “The successful transition to forward flight from a VTOL mode with fixed motors highlights the ingenuity of small businesses in achieving mechanically simple designs.”
AIR has made significant progress in the aviation industry in a short amount of time. The company’s prototype, AIR ONE (AIR ZERO), has performed numerous rounds of full-scale, full-weight flight tests, including hover-to-cruise and cruise-to-hover transitions.
AIR has already received more than 800 preorders from customers and has a waiting list for its innovative vehicles, which will be delivered after obtaining the necessary certification. AIR has also formed strategic alliances with other mobility providers across the world to ensure a high-quality service and support for its growing user base.