Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Overair unveils military-inspired Butterfly eVTOL for advanced air mobility

A California-based air taxi startup, Overair, has revealed the commercial design of its revolutionary Butterfly all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for advanced air mobility.

Overair’s Butterfly eVTOL aircraft is a sleek and elegantly designed quad-tiltrotor aircraft based on military aircraft design and decades of experience. It is designed to be the most robust, efficient, and quiet aircraft in its class – a mobility workhorse that produces zero carbon emissions in flight.

Butterfly uses the company’s breakthrough propulsion system, called Optimum Speed Propulsion (OSP). Its four large propellers spin slowly in hover and even slower cruise, resulting in two primary aerodynamic advantages. First of all, the props are so efficient that hover flight consumes only a small fraction of the available motor power, which gives the aircraft extra payload capacity and power margins to operate safely in challenging environmental conditions. Second, the slow-turning props produce very little noise, making Butterfly the quietest eVTOL on the market.

Butterfly is designed to be the most robust, efficient, and quiet aircraft in its class.
Butterfly is designed to be the most robust, efficient, and quiet aircraft in its class. Credit: Overair

According to the company, using large slow tiltrotors makes the Butterfly a more efficient and faster aircraft with less power. The eVTOL can carry five passengers plus cargo at 200 mph (322 km/h) of top speed, while a 150 mph (241 km/h) cruise allows you to get 60 miles (97 km) across your city in under 20 minutes, saving over an hour in typical traffic.

Butterfly’s novel design combines the low energy and maintenance costs of all-electric vehicles with the robust flight qualities of OSP, unlocking a reliable aviation solution over congested metropolitan areas. The unique propulsion system makes the air taxi robust enough for all-weather operation. It’s even able to fly with one or even two propellers inoperative.

This is just a fundamentally different type of aircraft,” says Ben Tigner, Overair CEO. “Butterfly is a transportation system optimized for safety, utilization, passenger experience, and affordability. Our goal is to become a trusted part of our riders’ daily routines and a trusted partner for the communities we serve.

Overair expects to certify Butterfly with the FAA by 2025 and enter commercial service in 2026.