AIR confirms next phase of participation in AFWERX Agility Prime, as it continues to develop its personal eVTOL aircraft

AIR ONE Personal eVTOL Demonstrator - AIR Photo

Personal eVTOL aircraft developer AIR has announced its next phase of participation in the US Air Force’s AFWERX Agility Prime program, which is helping to propel the development of the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) industry.

Following AIR’s acceptance to the program in 2022, the company has now completed Agility Prime’s third phase and entered into a formal agreement to execute its work together. The company is currently scouting several locations to build out its presence in the USA and continue flight testing of its inaugural eVTOL aircraft, AIR ONE, in the country.

The partnership will drive AIR’s continuous development and certification efforts on the company’s journey to launch personal air mobility as a viable option for consumers’ everyday commutes.

Rani Plaut, CEO and co-founder of AIR, said: “It’s thrilling AFWERX understands the unique promise of AIR ONE, which is capable of ranges and speeds that far exceed AOI‑2 requirements. We are confident in our ability to deliver the freedom of flight to everyday consumers, especially with the support of such a prestigious program as Agility Prime.

“We’re looking forward to demonstrating that AAM is truly a team sport, as we assemble alongside other industry leaders working with the U.S. Air Force to accelerate eVTOL takeoff and market delivery worldwide.” 

The hours of flight testing performed in the USA will also offer AFWERX valuable data to determine AIR ONE’s viability for use in Air Force logistics missions, per its Area of Interest (AOI) 2 goal seeking eVTOL aircraft capable of carrying one to two people more than 10 miles at a speed of at least 45 miles per hour. Originally created for personal civilian use, AIR ONE’s distinctive size and platform offers the Air Force a unique reference point within the program. 

Capable of taking off and landing on any flat surface with a 550-pound (250kg) payload, the all-electric two-seater AIR ONE can fly at speeds of up to 155 mph (250 km/h) on a single charge.

Expanding the eVTOL profile types within the program, AIR ONE’s simple design includes eight fixed motors, compared to more complex, costly tilt motor designs. The aircraft’s profile is relevant for a slew of other applications, including eVTOL pilot training, defense, cargo, and agriculture. 

Lt. Col. John Tekell, Agility Prime Branch Chief, added: “Agility Prime analytics predict lower operations and maintenance costs of eVTOL aircraft through mechanical simplicity. The successful transition to forward flight from a VTOL mode with fixed motors highlights the ingenuity of small businesses in achieving mechanically simple designs.” 

Since AIR’s emergence from stealth only two years ago, the AIR ONE prototype (AIR ZERO) has performed numerous rounds of full-scale, full weight flight tests, including hover-to-cruise and cruise-to-hover transitions, making AIR one of very few in the industry to have completed such milestones.

Having already garnered more than 800 customer preorders and a waiting list, AIR plans to deliver the first batch of AIR ONE vehicles to consumers following aircraft certification. The company has also previously announced international partnerships with air and sea mobility companies, establishing a network to service and support AIR’s growing community of users. 

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