Yet another aviation startup has moved forward with testing of its inaugural electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) system. AIR successfully completed its first full forward flight, transitioning from hover position to cruise.
Based in Israel, the flight was completed using its AIR One prototype that took off and transitioned to cruising speed. The flight was part of AIR’s U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certification process.
AIR said it is focusing on personal mobility and not necessarily air taxis as the AIR One is a two-seated, all-electric aircraft capable of taking off and landing on any flat surface. It can fly at speeds of up to 155 mph and can be stored in garages, driveways or trailer hauls.
After this first successful forward flight, AIR said it plans to transfer the bulk of its operations and R&D to the U.S. for further testing, development and ongoing certification in collaboration with the FAA. This will lead up to the full transition flight testing.
Prior to the forward flight, AIR completed multiple tests on propulsion and necessary electronic and stability tests.
The company is just one of many that have tested their aircrafts this year as part of a larger move to roll out air taxi and air mobility services in the coming years. This includes:
- Archer Aviation earlier this month completed its first full transition flight of its four-seater aircraft.
- Wisk Aero four-seat air taxi completed its first self-flying test.
- XPeng, a Chinese developer of both autonomous vehicles and aircraft, conducted its first public eVTOL flight in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
- Air taxi vendor Lilium demonstrated its full eVTOL transition of its Phoenix 2 prototype.