Horizon Aircraft, which is developing hybrid electric Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) aerial vehicles, has successfully completed Phase 1 of the AFWERX High Speed Vertical Takeoff and Landing (HSVTOL) Challenge.

Earlier this year the US Air Force selected a small group of companies, of which Horizon Aircraft was one, to proceed with the conceptual development of a HSVTOL aircraft. The initiative is supported by AFWERX, the Air Force’s innovation hub, and US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).

The HSVTOL programme aims to develop an aircraft that could replace the Air Force’s CV-22 Osprey, one that can fly on the order of 400 kts (740 km/h) and conduct a range of missions such as personnel extraction and aeromedical evacuation.

The HSVTOL initiative attracted proposals from over 200 companies. These were narrowed down to 35 of which 11 were ultimately selected for investment in Phase 1 of the programme.

Private industry meets military capability

Brandon Robinson, CEO of Horizon Aircraft said: “The AFWERX programme is a great example of how the US Department of Defence is leveraging the agility of private industry to increase military capability in an extremely cost-effective manner.

“We were honoured to partner with the elite AFWERX team that offered many valuable technical insights throughout Phase 1. We are looking forward to exploring the opportunity to deepen this partnership in Phase 2 and Phase 3 of this challenge.”

Horizon Aircraft will continue with its testing while progressing with detailed design of a full-scale VTOL aircraft – Cavorite X5 eVTOL – that will have commercial and military capability.
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