Israel-based eVTOL startup Air EV announced that its inaugural vehicle, Air One, has successfully completed its first hover test after receiving its airworthiness certificate. The first flight of a full-scale Air One prototype (868 kg) took place on June 21 in the green fields of Megiddo in northern Israel.
The Air One completed multiple hovers throughout the day and the following two weeks, safely lifting off, hovering in place, and returning to the ground, performing optimally in a stable flight envelope. All of the personal aircraft‘s systems functioned as designed, proving full control and stability. In addition, Air One’s energy use during the flight was exactly as predicted, demonstrating its ability to execute expected performance metrics.
Capable of taking off and landing on any flat surface with a 250 kg payload, the all-electric two-seater aircraft offers a practical range on a single charge at speeds up to 155 mph (250 km/h). It is propelled by eight vertical lift rotors mounted coaxially on four pods extending from the front of the cabin and the twin tail fins. With its retractable landing gear and collapsible wings, Air One can be stored in most garages and driveways and is suitable for trailer hauls, providing commuters and travelers with a daily dose of adventure on their own terms.
“It was truly awe-inspiring to watch Air One lift off the ground for the first time. We’ve been on this upward journey for nearly five years and cannot wait for the public to join us on this ride,” said Rani Plaut, CEO, and Co-founder of Air, in a statement. “This momentous milestone secures Air’s spot as a market leader in the personal air mobility space, making the thrill of flight achievable on a daily basis. We look forward to continued growth as we launch into the next phase of development.”
Air plans to expand to full flight envelope testing throughout 2022 and deliver the first batch of its inaugural eVTOL for personal ownership by 2024. The company has so far completed successful drop testing, ensuring the personal eVTOL’s structural integrity, conducted multiple propulsion tests, and has performed a series of electronic and stability tests leading up to Air One’s first takeoff.