At the Kentucky Derby, Israeli startup AIR unveiled the full-scale prototype of its first electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle, AIR ONE. The AIR ONE, which we discussed in October of last year, is a two-person electric fixed-wing aircraft powered by eight vertical lift rotors. Its eight electric motors can produce a maximum of 771 horsepower (575 kW).
The electric vehicle can take off and land on any flat surface and has a range of 110 miles (177 km) on a single charge at speeds of up to 155 mph (250 km/h). It can be fully charged in an hour and has a maximum payload of 441 pounds (200 kg).
With collapsible wings and retractable landing gear, AIR ONE is suitable for trailer hauls and can be stored in most garages and driveways. The cabin has a glass section at the bottom that allows both the pilot and the passenger to see what’s underneath.
The company has been testing several prototypes since 2017, including a 60 percent scale prototype in 2020. So far, AIR has successfully completed a drop test and completed the first stage of power and communication system integration. In addition, the company is preparing to begin hover testing soon and is continuing to work closely with the FAA to finalize its formal application en route to Step 2 of the G1 Certification Basis Document.
AIR combines aerospace innovation and excellence with the maturity of the automotive industry’s products and manufacturing techniques to provide everyday users with safety, comfort, and a sense of adventure. The sleek and modern design of AIR ONE truly distinguishes it as the sportscar of the sky.
It is planned to begin manned flight tests in the third quarter of this year, followed by a certification prototype in 2023 and the first customer deliveries in 2024.