Dover, Delaware, USA
The SKYLYS Aircraft AO* is a small passenger vehicle which is being designed for efficient transportation in urban environments. A Dec. 7, 2017 press release states that “SKYLYS AIRCRAFT® is an American company create in collaboration with 5 investors from Dubai in order to develop an Air Speeder and win the insane bet to present a 100% operational prototype in 2018 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).”
Founded in 2017, under the leadership of 9 international founders, including Alexis Rüfenacht, James Desauvage and Gary Chorostecki, SKYLYS Aircraft says it aims to develop electric aircraft and autonomous, connected and modular transport systems. It calls its AO an “air speeder,” an homage to the land speeders and speeder bikes of Star Wars.
The development of a prototype was the result of 30 months of research and development. SKYLYS Aircraft is “currently entering the assembly and machining stage, with a view to performing tests in real conditions in the fall of 2018…. The goal of the last 30 months was to wait to discover all competing projects around the world to ensure a new technological breakthrough by unveiling the Air Speeder.”
With its compact size, SKYLYS Aircraft says “a standard building roof can hold 25 Air Speeders versus 12 eVTOL on average for most competitors.”
Although the graphic images do not reveal the propulsion method, the company says that “it is the real industrial rendering: ready to be machined …. nothing was hidden and everything is present on the visual.” Additional information is planned for release 45 days after the second phase of patent filing.
The AO air speeder is designed as a 3-person shuttle, with one person in front, where, “he or she can turn around to face other people who are facing each other diagonally to optimize space.”
* The company says that “AO” is a Hawaiian word for “cloud” that has very strong symbolism for the 9 founders. Note also that in 2014, James Desauvage had made a graphic design for the Mix Aerospace SKYLYS multimodal flying car, but there is no connection between this historical concept and SKYLYS Aircraft or the AO.
AO Characteristics (Updated December 2017)
|Wing span||3.04 m||~9.97 ft|
|Height||1.3 m||~4.3 ft|
|Range||150 km||93 mi|
|Speed||160 – 240 km/h||86 – 130 kts|
|Empty weight (target)||540 kg||1190 lb|
|Propulsion||Electric motors with electric ducted fans|
- Search eVTOL news posts
- Press release: SKYLYS AIRCRAFT Press release, 7Dec17, Dec. 7, 2017
- Article Véhicule autonome: l’innovation par Skylys Aircraft, Apps & Drones, December 8, 2017 (French)