Aeroauto Agrees to Distribute Land Rotor eVTOL in Deal Worth Up to USD700 Million

evtolinsights.com fea­tured Aeroau­to in a recent fea­ture enti­tled ‘Fly­ing Car Show­rooms Make Per­fect Sense’ (please see arti­cle below).

The company’s lat­est news is huge. The eVTOL deal­er has com­mit­ted to deliv­er­ing, via an exclu­sive dis­tri­b­u­tion agree­ment signed on Sep­tem­ber 18th, as many as 10,000 Land Rotor Sport­sters by 2030, a deal worth up to USD700 mil­lion (each vehi­cle costs around USD70,000). At present, no mon­ey is chang­ing hands.

So what and who is Land Rotor?

flyingmag.com who first broke this sto­ry, explains, “Land Rotor’s busi­ness mod­el is one of the most intrigu­ing in the entire AAM space. At the moment, it’s twofold. The com­pa­ny is work­ing toward mass pro­duc­ing sports recre­ation vehi­cles for the con­sumer mar­ket, both for off-road and “street legal” use cas­es. Before that, though, it will focus on a sur­pris­ing core mar­ket: amuse­ment parks.”

It con­tin­ues, “Orlan­do, Flori­da, is an amuse­ment park goer’s dream. But nes­tled between two of the city’s top des­ti­na­tions is a ride like no oth­er. Sand­wiched by Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios and Sea­World, the Drone Ride, cur­rent­ly under devel­op­ment, will be oper­at­ed by Orlan­do-based fly­ing sports car man­u­fac­tur­er Land Rotor. The attrac­tion will fea­ture a pro­to­type of the company’s advanced air mobil­i­ty (AAM) Sport­ster — unveiled in full last week — teth­ered to the ground inside a build­ing. With an audi­ence already in place at these amuse­ment park venues, Land Rotor is able to install its tech and imme­di­ate­ly get eyes on it.”

Thomas-john Veilleux, Founder and CEO of Land Rotor, com­ment­ed, “The sales fig­ures are aggres­sive, but we think they’re very tan­gi­ble based on mar­ket con­di­tions and con­sumer inter­est in the price point that we’re aim­ing at.”

Veilleux, an avi­a­tor for more than 30 years who got his start fly­ing heli­copters and fixed-wing air­craft, found­ed a pair of drone firms, Maine UAV and Fire­DroneUSA, before decid­ing to put down roots into the AAM space with Land Rotor.

He con­tin­ued, “The Ford Mod­el A wasn’t a Fer­rari. Those ear­ly cars were low, slow and under­pow­ered. And that was nev­er Hen­ry Ford’s moti­va­tion, to pro­duce a race car ear­ly on. He saw the need to sell con­sumers on some­thing that was low, slow and afford­able.”

Please Watch Video 

Veilleux and his team came up with the Drone Ride con­cept short­ly before the Covid-19 pan­dem­ic struck. The idea was to take the risk out of prod­uct devel­op­ment. Veilleux said Land Rotor could have been sell­ing pro­to­types, but it opt­ed not to because of safe­ty con­cerns and a lack of pol­i­cy and edu­ca­tion around AAM. “We real­ly need it to be safe,” he points out. “That comes before prof­it.”

To ensure that’s the case, Land Rotor teth­ered its pro­to­type to the floor of an FAA-approved build­ing and will soon begin offer­ing rides to thrill-seek­ing cus­tomers. The con­trolled envi­ron­ment will not only help the com­pa­ny skirt test­ing require­ments, but will allow it to use rid­ers as pseu­do-test pilots, col­lect­ing data on each sim­u­lat­ed jaunt to assess the health of the Sportster’s com­po­nents.

Veilleux con­tin­ued, “It gives us the abil­i­ty to test the equip­ment and rack up lots and lots of hours as a lab­o­ra­to­ry of sorts indoors. So we can track flight hours and log var­i­ous com­po­nents for time between over­haul and main­te­nance sched­ules.”

Thomas-john Veilleux

The com­pa­ny plans to install fur­ther rides in New York City, Las Vegas, and Hous­ton, as well as out­side the U.S in Mex­i­co, Cana­da, the U.K, and sev­er­al mar­kets in the Mid­dle East and Asia-Pacif­ic Region. Land Rotor has a five-year growth strat­e­gy for the Drone Ride, eye­ing launch­es in 14 major cities.

While the attrac­tions will pro­vide some rev­enue, Veilleux believes, the real ben­e­fits will be the abil­i­ty to test com­po­nents and pop­u­larise the expe­ri­ence the vehi­cle can pro­vide.

Aeroau­to, mean­while, will han­dle all sales of Sport­ster air­craft and pro­vide main­te­nance, dis­tri­b­u­tion, and flight train­ing ser­vices when the time comes. It will also con­nect cus­tomers with charg­ing sta­tions, land­ing areas, stor­age facil­i­ties, and what­ev­er infra­struc­ture they need to get fly­ing. Strate­gic part­ner­ships will add insur­ance and financ­ing options to the equa­tion.

Sean Bor­man, the CEO of Aeroau­to, explained that dis­trib­ut­ing 10,000 Sport­ster units “shouldn’t be an issue.” While the com­pa­ny oper­ates only a hand­ful of facil­i­ties in Flori­da, it expects to have more deal­er­ships world­wide by 2030, with plans to expand to Texas along­side inter­est from cus­tomers in Cal­i­for­nia, India, Italy, Colom­bia, Argenti­na, and the Unit­ed Arab Emi­rates.

Bor­man remarked, “In my hum­ble opin­ion, Land Rotor is going to be the Hen­ry Ford of this new fly­ing car and AAM. Being able to bring these vehi­cles to the mass­es on a grand scale, pric­ing it to the point that any­body can get one.”

flyingmag.com con­tin­ues, “Land Rotor’s Sport­ster is designed to glide over roads like a rotor­craft, using lidar tech­nol­o­gy that keeps it close to the ground until flight con­di­tions enable a legal, safe take­off. The cur­rent pro­to­type is not yet per­mit­ted to hov­er over the street.

“Ini­tial Sport­ster mod­els will be pow­ered by lithi­um-ion bat­ter­ies. Cur­rent­ly, the air­craft requires three hours of charge for just less than an hour of flight at emp­ty weight, which Veilleux acknowl­edged is not ide­al. How­ev­er, the plan is to improve effi­cien­cy by swap­ping bat­ter­ies for hydro­gen or hybrid propul­sion sys­tems using bio­fu­els.”

Adding, “The air­craft has a redun­dant elec­tri­cal sys­tem, rely­ing on four motors to lift a sin­gle 200-pound pas­sen­ger. Anoth­er four motors allow any one of the main pro­pellers to fail. Its machined alu­minum frame is sur­round­ed by a car­bon-fibre body, fea­tur­ing a small wind­shield. A sweep­ing aero­dy­nam­ic nose cre­ates an aes­thet­ic appeal.” The cur­rent pro­to­type falls under the FAA’s Part 103 com­pli­ance for exper­i­men­tal air­craft.

Bor­man points out, “From what we’ve seen, this is the low­est priced vehi­cle in the indus­try at the moment.” And Veilleux remarks, “It is our hope that Land Rotor will be that pio­neer who con­nects with audi­ences and peo­ple. Nobody yet, is real­ly con­nect­ing with the con­sumer in the way Hen­ry Ford did.”

He pre­dicts the first Sport­ster pro­duc­tion mod­el could be on dis­play in an Aeroau­to show­room by 2025.

For more infor­ma­tion



(News Source: www.flyingmag.com)

(Top image: Land Rotor)

eVTOL Insights is part of the Industry Insights Group. Registered in the UK. Company No: 14395769