Colorado-based XTI Aircraft Company has successfully completed the first test flights of its 65 per cent scale prototype TriFan 600 VTOL aircraft. The prototype completed multiple takeoffs, hovers and landings that tested and validated the electric motors, battery power system, ducted fan propulsion, flight controls, other electrical systems and instrumentation. The aircraft was on a short tether during the tests at an airport location in northern California, where it was constructed. Future flights at a certified UAV test facility will be untethered in hover and will also test forward, wing-borne flight as well as the transition phase between vertical and forward-flight modes.
“This is the moment the entire XTI team, our investors, customers and many others have been waiting for and working toward,” says chief executive officer Robert LaBelle. “In one year we have progressed from conceptual design to a flying prototype. The aircraft proved to be stable in hover and had no problems throughout several runs.”
XTI has already booked early reservations for 77 aircraft from customers across six continents, representing $500 million of future revenue. It has also received approval of its design and utility patents, made a number of industry executive appointments and is creating strong supplier relationships.
In September 2018 the company announced its new investment offering on the StartEngine platform. “This is a rare opportunity for unaccredited and accredited investors around the world to own a piece of the future of flight,” said LaBelle at the time.
The TriFan 600 is a breakthrough in aviation and air travel. The six-seater will have the speed, range and comfort of a luxury business aircraft as well as the ability to take off and land vertically like a helicopter. It will travel at 345 miles an hour with a range of up to 1,400 miles. Using three ducted fans, the TriFan lifts off vertically. Its two wing fans then rotate forward for a seamless transition to cruise speed and initial climb and it will reach 29,000 ft in just ten minutes.
“The market continues to recognise the value proposition of our unique and revolutionary airplane,“ adds LaBelle. “The company's patented technology includes vertical takeoff combined with the ability to fly long-range, the speed and comfort of a business aircraft and our quieter and cleaner state-of-the-art hybrid-electric propulsion system.”
Alongside the equity crowdfunding financing, accredited investors may participate in XTI's $25 million Series B round.