Astro Aerospace has entered into a binding agreement to acquire Horizon Aircraft – the Canadian company which is currently developing its Cavorite X5 eVTOL.

The transaction is expected to close on or before the start of Q2 2021 pending customary closing conditions. In a press release, Astro has said the acquisition ‘will only push the company further, with the ability to reach greater heights working in tandem with Horizon’s exceptional team’.

Astro CEO Bruce Bent, said: “The acquisition of Horizon will allow the visions of both Horizon and Astro to align, creating a powerful force in the eVTOL market. Astro shareholders can soon anticipate exponential growth as we enter this next chapter as an even greater player in the aerospace industry.”

In 2018, Astro was at the time one of the first electric aircraft developers to successfully fly a piloted eVTOL aircraft, which was named ‘Elroy’. In the same year it bought PassengerDrone, which was the brainchild of Boyan Zhelev and Ivaylo Nikolov and conducted its first manned flight in September 2017 in Bulgaria.

According to an article by Ken Swartz, which goes into detail about the origins and progress of the PassengerDrone, Astro conducted three unmanned flight tests in September 2018 at Markham Airport, northeast of Toronto in Canada. During a four-and-a-half minute flight, Elroy reached heights of more than 60 ft and speeds of over 30mph (50 km/h) while flying a figure eight pattern.

Horizon Aircraft is led by CEO Brandon Robinson – a retired CF-18 fighter pilot – and his father Brian, who built his first aircraft at the age of 14. The Cavorite X5 has been designed to have reduced hydrocarbon emissions, and is built for operational cases including bad weather, traffic avoidance, and low-time pilots. Its patented fan-in-wing patent enables it to become be the world’s first eVTOL that can fly the majority of its mission exactly like a normal aircraft.

Brandon spoke to eVTOL Insights last month as part of an in-depth interview, which talked about how Horizon’s journey began and its vision for the market – going into detail about its Cavorite X5.

Speaking about this latest announcement, he said: “My father and I have long admired the unprecedented advances Astro has achieved in the aerospace sector. Astro is a pioneer in the industry, and its work has remained incredibly relevant amongst the rise of eVTOL popularity.

“Horizon could not be happier to join forces with such an influential company who will contribute its high-calibre expertise to bring our design to market.”

“Astro’s depth of experience and history will provide the foundation for future growth with the addition of the Cavorite X5. As you know, we will have a functional prototype very shortly and now we will give investors the opportunity to partake in this incredible growth story.

He added: “We will add our extensive aerospace engineering team in order to dramatically accelerate the development programs of Astro Aerospace, among which the Cavorite X5 will be central.”