NEO Aeronautics, founded by Neo Kok Beng, is a innovation-driven technology company with a vision to empower individuals and communities for personal urban mobility. The company invested just over $145,000.00 USD into the development of the Crimson S8 VTOl aircraft and is open to external funding.
Current indoor unmanned flight testing have been taking place inside a warehouse in Loyang, Singapore in 2019. They plan to start flight tests in the USA by March 2020 with a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA, USA) approval by September 2020. A launch time frame late in 2020 is also their goal. The company plans to launch the aircraft in the United States because the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore does not allow personal aerial vehicles flying in their air space.
The unveiling of their one (1) passenger VTOL, the Crimson S8, took place on April 25, 2019 in Singapore but no flight demonstrations took place. The “S” in S8 stands for Sunbird. It is designed for low-level flight and has four (4) propellers to provide lift and forward flight.
The Crimson S8 can fit in a standard US parking space and can fly at a height of 15 m (49 ft) with a payload of up to 100 kg (220 lbs) and have a maximum speed of 100 kmh (62 mph). The current prototype can stay airborne for about 20 minutes but NEO Aeronautic’s goal is to increase the flight time to up to 100 minutes with a hybrid-electric engine. The team is also installing Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar) sensors to detect obstacles and help users avoid collisions.
Since the aircraft is expensive to build, the company plans to have a membership fee to use the aircraft so that multiple people can share the aircraft each day, similar to how scooters and bicycles are being rented by multiple people in cities around the world currently. You’ll be able to find the location of their aircraft by using an app and NEO Aeronautics will take care of the maintenance and upkeep of each aircraft. They predict the fee to rent their aircraft will be about $50 USD for 30 km (18.6 miles).
Crimson S8 was designed as an ultralight to make it easier for people to fly in USA FAA airspace. This means a person will not require a pilot’s licence to fly the VTOL aircraft. Neo Aeronautics claims it takes about 2 hours of training to learning how to fly the Crimson S8 and plan on only training those who are 16 years of age and older. The company says it will be as easy to fly as flying a small drone. They plan to have an auto-pilot but the vehicle is not completely autonomous at this time.
They hope to bring the aircraft to about 25 U.S. cities in the next six (6) years.
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- Article: Asia Minute: Flying Cars in Singapore?, Hawaii Public Radio, Apr. 26, 2019
- Article: S’pore firm unveils flying vehicle with an eye on US market, The Straits Times, Apr. 26, 2019
- Article: Singapore start-up aims to take homegrown ‘flying car’ to US skies in 2020, Today, Apr. 25, 2019
- Video: Singaporean flying car can’t launch in its home country, CNET, May 6, 2019
- Video: Neo Aeronautics founder and chief executive Neo Kok Beng on the Crimson S8, The Straits Times, Apr. 25, 2019
- Video: Crimson Sunbird 8 | Episode 1 | Pilot: Singapore First Personal Aerial Vehicle (PAV), Neo Aeronautics, Apr. 24, 2019