Tuesday, April 16, 2024

AIR unveils full-scale eVTOL prototype for personal flight

Israeli startup AIR has unveiled the full-scale prototype of its inaugural electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle, AIR ONE, at the Kentucky Derby.

The AIR ONE, which we discussed in October last year, is a fixed-wing two-person electric aircraft propelled by eight vertical lift rotors. Its eight electric motors can deliver a peak of 771 horsepower (575 kW).

Capable of taking off and landing on any flat surface, the electric vehicle offers a range of 110 miles (177 km) on a single charge at speeds up to 155 mph (250 km/h). It can be fully charged within an hour, and the maximum payload is 441 lbs (200 kg).

With collapsible wings and retracting landing gear, AIR ONE can be stored in most garages and driveways and is suitable for trailer hauls. The cabin features a glass section at the bottom, which allows both the pilot and the passenger to get a better view of what’s underneath.

Since 2017, the company has been busy testing several prototypes, including a 60% scale prototype in 2020. So far, AIR has completed a successful drop test and finalized the first stage of the power and communication system integration. The company is also currently preparing to begin hover testing shortly and continues to work closely with the FAA to finalize its formal application en route to Step 2 of the G1 Certification Basis Document.

AIR merges aerospace innovation and excellence with the maturity of the automotive industry’s products and manufacturing techniques, providing safety, comfort, and a sense of adventure to everyday users. AIR ONE’s sleek and modern design truly makes it the sportscar of the sky.

It is expected to begin manned flight tests in Q3 this year, ahead of a certification prototype in 2023 and the first customer deliveries in 2024.