Israel-based AIR, creator of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for the consumer market, announced that its inaugural vehicle, AIR ONE, has successfully completed its first full forward flight, perfectly transitioning from hover to cruise. AIR’s full-scale AIR ONE prototype, loaded to full capacity of 1,100kg (2,425lbs), took off and transitioned to its nominal cruising speed on Dec. 18, 2022. The accomplishment kicks off thousands of flight hours planned for the AIR ONE as part of its FAA certification process, which will see range, speed, and endurance increase as AIR continues to optimize the aircraft to achieve its design flight profile.
While much of the emerging advanced air mobility (AAM) market focuses on commercial applications such as air taxis, AIR is spearheading a new category in the industry: personal air mobility. AIR’s unique eVTOL for personal use offers an everyday alternative for short distance commuting in the sky. Capable of taking off and landing on any flat surface with a 250kg payload, the all-electric two-seater aircraft offers a practical long range on a single charge at speeds up to 155mph (250km/h). AIR ONE can be stored in most garages and driveways and is suitable for trailer hauls.
“It is thrilling to have reached this moment in our journey as we strive to build the foundation to make personal air mobility a reality,” said Rani Plaut, CEO and co-founder of AIR. “AIR is incredibly proud to play a role in the global AAM movement, and we’re looking forward and upward to 2024 when adoption of privately-owned eVTOLs takes flight.”
Following this latest milestone, AIR plans to transfer the bulk of its operations and R&D to the United States, where further flight testing, development, and ongoing certification collaboration with the FAA will continue. Leading up to the full transition flight testing, AIR completed multiple successful and extensive propulsion tests and performed a series of necessary electronic and stability tests prior to AIR ONE’s first forward flight, which served as an important proof of concept. In addition, AIR has invested in strategic partnerships with aviation companies around the world and unveiled the full-scale AIR ONE prototype at this year’s Kentucky Derby, EAA AirVenture, and the Detroit Auto Show, all since coming out of stealth nearly a year and a half ago.
With a growing network of brand ambassadors, more than 260 AIR ONE preorders have already been secured.