Horizon Aircraft just released the footage of its 50% scale prototype hybrid-electric eVTOL aircraft completing initial hover testing. The Cavorite X5 is claimed to feature greater range and payload capabilities via the hybrid-electric powerplant and an in-flight battery array recharging feature.

Horizon presented the initial photos of its 50% Scale prototype of Cavorite X5 eVTOL in August of 2022, and by December had accomplished the first hover test. The company has just released footage of the event as seen above.

According to Brandon Robinson, CEO of Horizon: “This aircraft has exceeded expectations during initial hover testing. It is extremely stable, is capable of full hover at only 65% power, and has hovered with 20% of its fans purposely disabled in order to test system redundancy. This is a large-scale aircraft, with a 22-foot wingspan, over 15 feet in length, and capable of speeds over 175 mph. It continues to yield valuable data that is constantly improving our full-scale design.”

The company has a dedicated flight testing location at the ACE Climatic Wind Tunnel located near Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Within the first quarter of 2023, Horizon expects to achieve transition flight with its scale prototype aircraft. The prototype utilizes the same ‘lift and cruise’ design as will the full-scale iteration, meaning that its in-wing rotors lift the aircraft vertically before being propelled forward for cruise by a larger rear-facing propellor. 

Why it’s important: Following the the Canadian startup’s return to an independent path, after having separated itself through a stock buy-back from Astro Aerospace, Horizon seems to have made substantial progress on its vehicle development. The company’s funding, partly in the form of a Phase 1 contract from the U.S. Air Force’s AFWERX unit, has evidently enabled Horizon to expedite flight testing and make notable progress.

Posted by Naish Gaubatz