Electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft manufacturer AIR reported today that its first vehicle, the AIR ONE, has successfully passed its first hover test following receipt of an airworthiness certificate. The full-scale AIR ONE prototype (868 kg) took off in the lush plains of Megiddo in northern Israel on June 21 at around 7 am Israel time. AIR ONE successfully lifted off, hovered in place, and landed on numerous occasions throughout the day and the two weeks that followed, operating at its peak in a stable flight envelope.
The aircraft’s systems all performed as intended, giving it complete control and stability. Furthermore, AIR ONE could meet expected performance metrics since its energy consumption during the flight was exactly as expected. Throughout 2022, AIR intends to advance to full flight envelope testing.
While eVTOL air taxis for commercial usage make up a large portion of the developing advanced air mobility (AAM) market, AIR enables individual customers to embrace eVTOL flight for the first time as a licenced, personal transportation alternative for daily, short distance travel. The all-electric, two-seater aircraft has a practical range of up to 155 mph (250 km/h) and can take off and land on any flat surface with a payload of 250 kg. AIR ONE offers commuters and vacationers a daily dose of excitement on their terms and can be stored in most garages and driveways. It is also appropriate for trailer hauls.
The firm collaborates closely with the FAA to develop eVTOL pilot licence and vehicle certification standards.
The full-scale AIR ONE prototype was shown at this year’s Kentucky Derby. AIR also recently announced partnerships with the air mobility firms FlyOnE, Espère AAM, and AeroAuto, opening one of the first electric aircraft showrooms in the US. AIR is still taking preorders for the AIR ONE even though it has already received 150 of them.