AIR, creator of eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft, has announced that its inaugural vehicle, AIR ONE, has successfully completed its first hover test after receiving its airworthiness certificate.

On 21 June, the full-scale AIR ONE prototype (weighing 868kg) took flight in Megiddo in northern Israel.

Flight testing

AIR ONE completed multiple hovers throughout the day and the following two weeks, safely lifting off, hovering in place, and returning to the ground, performing optimally in a stable flight envelope.

All of the aircraft’s systems functioned as designed, providing full control and stability. AIR ONE’s energy use during flight was as predicted, demonstrating its ability to execute expected performance metrics, the company said. AIR plans to expand to full flight envelope testing throughout 2022.

Capable of taking off and landing on any flat surface with a 250kg payload, the all-electric two-seater aircraft operates at speeds up to 155 mph (250 km/h).

‘Truly awe-inspiring’

“It was truly awe-inspiring to watch AIR ONE lift off the ground for the first time. We’ve been on this upward journey for nearly five years and cannot wait for the public to join us on this ride,” said Rani Plaut, CEO & Co-founder of AIR.

“This momentous milestone secures AIR’s spot as a market leader in the personal air mobility space, making the thrill of flight achievable on a daily basis. We look forward to continued growth as we launch into the next phase of development.”

The company continues to work with the FAA to finalise vehicle certification, as well as guidelines for eVTOL pilot licensing.

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