AutoFlight, an Advanced Air Mobility aircraft developer, and Groupe ADP, a world leader in airport operations, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to experimentally operate the “Prosperity I” electric take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) aircraft from Pontoise Vertiport during the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Under the MoU, AutoFlight will conduct experimental piloted flights from the Pontoise Vertiport, Europe’s most advanced airfield for sustainable air mobility. Pontoise Vertiport offers a comprehensive infrastructure encompassing dedicated take-off and landing areas, a state-of-the-art passenger terminal, a fully equipped maintenance hangar, and advanced control areas. As Groupe ADP is spearheading the development of eVTOL infrastructure in the Paris Region with five additional vertiports in the making (Paris heliport in Issy-les-Moulineaux, Paris Austerlitz, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Paris Le Bourget, Saint-Cyr l’Ecole), Pontoise offers the optimal setting to experiment AutoFlight’s cutting-edge eVTOL technology.
AutoFlight’s Prosperity I fixed-wing aircraft represents a remarkable leap forward in terms of efficiency, as demonstrated by its record-breaking longest flight for an eVTOL aircraft in March 2023. AutoFlight is one of only a few eVTOL OEMs to have demonstrated the ‘transition phase’ from vertical to horizontal flight, which is heavily reliant on complex flight control systems. AutoFlight touts that the advanced engineering of the aircraft allows for significant reductions in trip length while maximizing asset utilization in urban environments, ushering in a new era of sustainable logistics and passenger transportation.
Mark Henning, Managing Director of AutoFlight Europe, said: “Through conducting experimental piloted flights from the Pontoise Vertiport, a best-in-class infrastructure operated by Groupe ADP, we aim to showcase the immense potential of Advanced Air Mobility. Our 250km-range eVTOLs will operate in real-world conditions, highlighting their capabilities in urban environments and their invaluable contribution to sustainable logistics and mobility. The 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games will be a global celebration and we would take pride in AutoFlight’s technology being part of it. We are grateful to Groupe ADP for their collaboration. “
Groupe ADP also expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration. “We are delighted to be working with AutoFlight to enable experimental flights of their eVTOLs during the 2024 Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games” affirmed Edward Arkwright, Deputy CEO of Groupe ADP. “Pontoise Vertiport, equipped with exceptional infrastructure and facilities, serves as an optimal platform to support electric, innovative aircraft. This collaboration resonates with our commitment to delivering sustainable and efficient aircraft infrastructure as we continue to pave the way for the future of aviation.”
This collaboration is part of a broader framework of air mobility experiments, that Groupe ADP gathered since 2020 in a unique ecosystem. It also contributes to the efforts of the Paris Region to position itself at the forefront of urban mobility.
Why it’s important: As the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games are set to serve as a global stage for innovation and progress, AutoFlight intends to showcase the exceptional capabilities of its world-record holding 250km-range Lift & Cruise eVTOL, while Groupe ADP reinforces its commitment to fostering innovative air mobility. Sealed on Tuesday, June 20, by Tian Yu, CEO of AutoFlight, and Edward Arkwright, Deputy CEO of Groupe ADP, this collaboration aims to highlight AutoFlight’s potential in scaling up sustainable urban logistics and passenger transportation under real-world conditions.