Mayman Aerospace, developer of a high-powered VTOL utility aircraft, recently announced that it has received $1.25MM from the U.S Air Force’s Agility Prime initiative to continue development of its vehicle. Other partners to Agility Prime include Joby Aviation, Electra.Aero, Beta Technologies, and LIFT Aircraft.
Above: Depiction of Mayman Aerospace’s Speeder AUV (Air Utility Vehicle) acting as a cargo drone.
Mayman’s ‘Speeder’ AUV aircraft uses eight small jet engines to carry up to 600lb+ of payload at 500mph for a range of over 400 miles per flight, all with remotely piloted or autonomous options. According to a recent press release from Mayman, these features, along with its small size and ability to stay in the air for over several hours at a time, make the aircraft highly valuable to the U.S Air Force for logistics missions in contested and/or remote areas.
In addition to its unique range, speed, and payload capabilities, the Speeder AUV’s size is scalable, meaning its platform could be customized ‘from as small as a suitcase to the size of a small car’. A smaller size would make the aircraft highly transportable, such as in the back of a pickup truck, while larger versions could be ideal for delivering delivering higher amounts of essential materials and support in active military areas.
According to Founder David Mayman, the company will use funds provided by Agility Prime to “deliver and certify Speeder for military requirements within the next eighteen months.” A recent press release from Mayman Aerospace mentioned that the USAF’s particular interest in the aircraft is thanks to how well suited it is to handle complex, demanding and often dangerous DOD contested logistics missions, where speed, accuracy, and immediacy are key factors.
Above: A photo of one of the flight-ready Speeder prototypes on exhibition
In addition to military purposes, the company intends to market the Speeder for wildfire response, emergency rescue, land surveillance, and even recreational use. The company has already completed initial tethered flight trials with two Speeder prototypes. Trials with a third, the P2 prototype, are currently underway, with the aircraft expected to receive FAA Experimental certification by the end of 2022.
Why it’s important: While eVTOLs will be a low-impact option in cases of flights between consistent locations, the Mayman Speeder will be a far more capable option in higher-need situations where required flight times and capabilities will be high and unknown prior to missions. Use in active military areas represents a perfect use-case for the Speeder, although the company can be expected to expand into many more logistics areas as it grows with support from the USAF.
Source // Mayman Aerospace