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.