The AIR ONE, a two-seat eVTOL capable of flying up to 100 miles on all-electric power, has officially completed its first flight in which it transitioned from hover to forward cruise. This is a major milestone for the company, as it proves out the aircraft’s designed capabilities as a personal aerial mobility vehicle.
On December 18th, the Israeli startup AIR announced that its prototype eVTOL successfully took off vertically, loaded at full capacity (550lbs), and then transitioned to its normal cruising speed using its main wing for lift.
According to a recent press release from the company, this milestone was reached just five months after completing successful hover flight testing in August of 2022, keeping the company on track to deliver the first batch of its of production AIR ONE’s for personal ownership in late 2024.
“It is thrilling to have reached this moment in our journey as we strive to build the foundation to make personal air mobility a reality,” said Rani Plaut, CEO and co-founder of AIR. “AIR is incredibly proud to play a role in the global Advanced Aerial Mobility movement, and we’re looking forward and upward to 2024 when adoption of privately-owned eVTOLs takes flight.”
Unlike many eVTOL aircraft currently in development, AIR’s goal with the AIR ONE is to create a ‘personal mobility’ aircraft that’s privately owned, rather than a shared vehicle to be flown commercially by major operators. The aircraft can fly up to 155mph, and can even fold its wings to fit in most garages or driveways.
Above: AIR ONE takes to the skies in its maiden unmanned flight on Dec 18th, 2018
Following this latest milestone, AIR plans to transfer the bulk of its operations and R&D to the United States, where further flight testing, development, and ongoing certification collaboration with the FAA will continue. In addition, AIR has invested in strategic partnerships with aviation companies around the world and unveiled the full-scale AIR ONE prototype at this year’s Kentucky Derby, EAA AirVenture, and the Detroit Auto Show, all since coming out of stealth nearly a year and a half ago.
Why it’s important: Several personal aerial mobility aircraft are currently in development alongside the AIR ONE, such as the Skyfly Axe, the PAL-V, the Jetson One, and the Ryse Recon. However, the AIR ONE has show some of the strongest developmental progress towards commercialization, combined with the largest passenger capacity and flight range. With this latest significant engineering milestone compete, the AIR ONE has taken a major next step towards certification, as well as proved the company’s ability to meet its developmental timeline and vision for production sales by 2024.