A lot of investors are now starting to bet large amounts on the future of small aircraft being (eVTOL) or electrical vertical takeoff and landing. The planes, which are being developed across the globe, are slated to enable short-range trips in urban areas.
The latest startup to tempt the money people is Kent-based four-year-old startup Autonomous Flight. It has just secured £5 million as part of a £25 million Series A funding round.
The money will be spent on the ongoing development of the Y6S Plus, a battery-powered, six-seater craft that operates using a unique category-defining flight system that is based around a three-propeller design. It is still early days for the Y6S Plus though it has just completed its full simulation test and the company is confident that it will launch the plane officially in 2023.
The plane will have a range of 130km (100 mi) on a single charge and is designed to reach cruise speeds of 200km/h (125 mph). Its creators say it will mean that travellers will be able to fly across cities in minutes and the fact that it use electrical power its carbon footprint will be a fraction of that of traditional aircraft.
Martin Warner, founder of Autonomous Flight said: “We are developing an almost noiseless, clean technology that will help solve the problem of urban congestion, exploiting virgin airspace between 300ft and 2,000ft above sea level and revolutionising travel in the world’s busiest cities. The electronic and autonomous VTOL market will be worth $1.5 trillion by 2040, according to Morgan Stanley, and we are one of only a handful of companies in the world to have developed a full-size viable concept/prototype that has led to category-defining innovation for the Y6S Plus”.