AIR ONE (technology demonstrator)
Pardes Hanna, Israel www.airev.aero
AIR is an Israeli electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) development company based in Pardes Hanna. The company was founded in 2018 (originally called Polarity Mobility) by chief technical officer Chen Rosen, and the team later expanded to include chief executive officer Rani Plaut and chief operational officer Netanel Goldberg. The team at AIR focuses on providing solutions for private flight, aiming specifically to allow individual consumers the freedom to "drive the skies" and experience the exhilaration of operating a sports vehicle in the third dimension.
The AIR ONE is a fixed-wing eVTOL passenger technology demonstrator aircraft that holds two passengers. Both passengers will have access to the aircraft's controls, allowing copiloting to be conducted. The aircraft is powered by eight electric motors, and uses eight pairs of rotors to fly at a max speed of 155 mph (249 km/h) and a max range of 110 miles (177 km). The range of the AIR ONE is credited in part to the lightness of the aircraft: the wings and rotors of the AIR ONE do not tilt, and the absence of machinery needed to tilt the wings reduces the weight.
Photos from the AIR AIR ONE's first full transition flight on Dec. 18, 2022.
The aircraft incorporates AIR's "fly by intent" system, currently utilized in drones manufactured by AIR, which allows those with little experience flying to pilot the AIR ONE safely and easily. The aircraft is also planned to include technology that will automatically monitor the status of the craft to ensure safety of operation for passengers. The wings of the aircraft may be folded towards the vehicle, and while in this configuration it may fit in any parking spot sized for a car. A 60% scale prototype of the AIR ONE has undergone uncrewed flight-testing and a full scale model is currently in development.
AIR currently seeks to receive certification from the FAA for the aircraft by 2023. The AIR ONE is currently available for preorder.
On Dec. 20, 2022, AIR announced that the AIR ONE had completed its first transition from VTOL to forward flight. The demonstration occurred in a flight in Israel on Dec. 18, and involved an AIR ONE aircraft loaded to full capacity — 2,425 lb (1,100 kg). In a statement, the company said that the flight is that start of a comprehensive test campaign as part of its certification process with the FAA. "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," added CEO Rani Plaut.
Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers (or ducted fans) and motors on the aircraft so if one or more propellers (ducted fans) or motors fail, the other working propellers (or ducted fans) and motors can safely land the aircraft. There are also redundancies in the sub-systems of the aircraft.
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