Air passenger taxis and air ambulance seen as the biggest eVTOL growth markets

Air pas­sen­ger taxis, air ambu­lance and car­go trans­port are three areas of the eVTOL mar­ket that will see the biggest growth over the next five years accord­ing to new research from Hori­zon Air­craft.

Key to growth of the eVTOL mar­ket will be the devel­op­ment of bat­tery tech­nol­o­gy, mak­ing longer flights of over 100 miles more prac­ti­cal and sus­tain­able. Forty per­cent of pri­vate equi­ty and ven­ture cap­i­tal pro­fes­sion­als believe bat­tery tech­nol­o­gy will make this achiev­able.

Hori­zon Air­craft CEO Bran­don Robin­son said: “The ver­sa­til­i­ty of eVTOLs is what makes them attrac­tive to investors. We designed our unique air­craft to tar­get ear­ly use cas­es that are under­pinned by sol­id eco­nom­ics.

“Our air­craft doesn’t require sig­nif­i­cant reg­u­la­to­ry changes, huge bat­tery improve­ments, or new types of pow­er sys­tems; it is designed with cur­rent tech­nol­o­gy to do use­ful work today across a wide vari­ety of mis­sions.”

Hori­zon Air­craft, and its Cavorite X5 eVTOL enjoy sev­er­al grants, a US Air Force con­tract award, and a fly­ing large-scale pro­to­type. It is cur­rent­ly test­ing its 50%-scale pro­to­type and devel­op­ing a detailed design of a full-scale pro­to­type as it pur­sues the next phas­es of the AFWERX HSVTOL chal­lenge that could offer up to $35 mil­lion in financ­ing over the next three years.

In 2022, the US Air Force select­ed a small group of com­pa­nies, of which Hori­zon Air­craft was one, to pro­ceed with the con­cep­tu­al devel­op­ment of a High-Speed VTOL (HSVTOL) air­craft.

The ini­tia­tive is sup­port­ed by AFWERX, the Air Force’s inno­va­tion hub, and US Spe­cial Oper­a­tions Com­mand (USSOCOM). The HSVTOL pro­gram aims to devel­op an air­craft that could con­duct a range of mis­sions such as per­son­nel infil­tra­tion and extrac­tion, tac­ti­cal mobil­i­ty, and aeromed­ical evac­u­a­tion.

The HSVTOL ini­tia­tive attract­ed pro­pos­als from over 200 com­pa­nies. These were nar­rowed down to 35, of which 11 includ­ed the Cavorite X‑series VTOL air­craft, which were ulti­mate­ly select­ed for invest­ment in Phase 1 of the pro­gram.

Horizon’s approach allows its Cavorite X5 to fly 98% of its mis­sion in a low-drag con­fig­u­ra­tion like a tra­di­tion­al air­craft. The full-scale air­craft will also be pow­ered by a hybrid elec­tric sys­tem.

Ear­li­er this month, Hori­zon Air­craft suc­cess­ful­ly com­plet­ed ini­tial hov­er test­ing of its Cavorite X5 scale pro­to­type.

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Jason Pritchard

Jason Pritchard is the Editor of eVTOL Insights. He holds a BA from Leicester's De Montfort University and has worked in Journalism and Public Relations for more than a decade. Outside of work, Jason enjoys playing and watching football and golf. He also has a keen interest in Ancient Egypt.

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