Founded in 2017, and working four years in a stealth mode, Israeli electric aviation startup, AIR has introduced its personal electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL) for the individual consumer market.
According to the company, AIR ONE is based on technology and manufacturing techniques from the automotive and aerospace sectors and is designed to be a fun, safe, and practical vehicle that complies with aerospace standards and regulations.
It is a two-seater vehicle that takes off and lands vertically but also features a wing that increases its speed and range. AIR ONE can take off and land on any flat surface.
The company has raised $10 million to date, most of it from two automobile manufacturers. AIR thinks that serial manufacturing may begin in 2024 and has already begun receiving its first orders, which include a $1,000 down payment.
Unlike other similar models announced by Airbus, Boeing, and other companies that are designed a flying car for commercial usage (Air Taxis), AIR targets private use and will cost some several tens of dollars for flying hour.
AIR ONE is equipped with ‘fly by intent’ software that automates complex operations like navigation, allowing it to be used by anyone, not just highly competent pilots and trained professionals.
Among the safety features are an AI-enabled monitoring system that performs frequent checks of the vehicle and eliminates the need for riders to complete checklists to assure their safety, even with minimal training.
AIR is currently accepting orders for its maiden aircraft, AIR ONE with a range of 110 miles on a single charge and a flight time of one hour.
Rani Plaut, cofounder and CEO of AIR, stated, “The future of mobility is in the sky, but in order to get there, we must first establish customer confidence in eVTOLs as a genuine method of everyday transport and then mass-produce vehicles to realize that vision. AIR ONE is our entry into the market, showcasing the first in a line of diverse, entertaining personal flight models while also displaying cutting-edge technology that will enable high-volume production and scalability.”
According to “Reuters,” AIR has been working with the FAA for almost two years and intends to gain G1 certification by the end of 2023, allowing for commercial usage of the eVTOL in 2024.