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December 20, 2023
The U.S. Air Force has entered into an agreement with eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) Israeli startup Air to further develop advanced air mobility (AAM).
The deal with the Air Force AFWERX Agility Prime program provides a formal arrangement for the two organizations to work together, a process started in 2022.
The coming planned testing by the Air Force aims to determine the viability of using the Air One electric aerial vehicle (EAV) for logistics missions.
The tests would include the EAV carrying one to two people more than 10 miles at speeds of at least 45 mph.
“Agility Prime analytics predict lower operations and maintenance costs of eVTOL aircraft through mechanical simplicity,” said Lt. Col. John Tekell, Agility Prime branch chief. “The successful transition to forward flight from a VTOL mode with fixed motors highlights the ingenuity of small businesses in achieving mechanically simple designs.”
The Air One has eight motors and can take off and land on any flat surface with a 550-pound payload and can travel at speeds up to 155 mph, according to the company.
The Air One prototype has performed numerous full-weight flight tests, including hover-to-cruise and cruise-to-hover transitions.
Air has more than 800 preorders for its EAV with deliveries planned following FAA certification, according to the company.
“It’s thrilling AFWERX understands the unique promise of Air One, which is capable of ranges and speeds that far exceed AOI-2 requirements,” said Rani Plaut, CEO and co-founder of Air. “We are confident in our ability to deliver the freedom of flight to everyday consumers, especially with the support of such a prestigious program as Agility Prime. We’re looking forward to demonstrating that AAM is truly a team sport, as we assemble alongside other industry leaders working with the U.S. Air Force to accelerate eVTOL takeoff and market delivery worldwide.”
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Editorial Director AI & IoT
Chuck Martin, a New York Times Business Bestselling author, futurist and columnist, is Editorial Director at Informa Tech, home of AI Business, IoT World Today and Enter Quantum. Martin has been a leader in emerging digital technologies for more than two decades. He is considered one of the foremost emerging technology experts in the world and his latest book is titled "Flying Vehicles" (The Emergence of Personal Air Travel, Flying Cars, and Air Taxis). He also is the author of "Digital Transformation 3.0" (The New Business-to-Consumer Connections of The Internet of Things). He hosts a worldwide podcast titled “The Voices of the Internet of Things with Chuck Martin,” where he converses with top executives from the companies driving the adoption of emerging technology.
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