Nepal and Moreno Valley, California, USA
Garudeus Aviation was founded in 2017 by Rishav Shrestha MD, PhD, and has a team of Nepalese aviation enthusiasts, electric vehicle makers and entrepreneurs. They are building a one (1) passenger compact air-land electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) vehicle for urban transport named KiiRA. The team has announced that KiiRA is the world’s first compact trike-hexacopter.
What set the team in motion to invent an air-land eVTOL vechicle was that the founder and the rest of the team found themselves and others, getting delayed in traffic which gave them the idea to conceptualized and create their patent-pending road-worthy and air-worthy KiiRA. Several designs goals include to make it easy to transition from ground travel to air travel without the need of a runway or landing strip, and to make the vehicle as simple as possible. As of July 2019, little to no specifications are on their website about the vehicle.
While not stated outright, it looks like team will make their aircraft so it can be manually piloted or autonomous depending upon the level of the flying skill of the passenger. The vision for KiiRA is for personal land and air transportation. As of this writing, nothing has been stated about other uses they foresee for their vehicle. The team hopes to start pre-orders in late 2019. No word as of yet to if they have made a sub-scale or full scale flying prototype.
Coincidentally, around the same time the Garudeus team was conceptualizing their eVTOL land-air vehicle, Boeing launched the GoFly Prize competition. Garudeus Aviation was created in hopes that with the GoFly Prize competition, this would provide them with a better chance to bring their vision to the market quicker. They entered the GoFly Prize Phase II and hope to be in Phase III of the competition.
- Search eVTOL news posts
- Garudeus website
- Article: Meet the Teams: Get to Know Team Garudeus, From Nepal, GoFly Prize, Jun. 29, 2019