Astro Aerospace, a developer of eVTOL aerial vehicles and drones based in Lewisville, Texas, and Horizon Aircraft, a Canadian developer of advanced eVTOLs, have entered into an agreement under which Astro will acquire privately held Horizon for five million common shares of Astro stock, the material terms of which are disclosed in the company's related 8-K filing.
The transaction was unanimously approved by the respective boards of directors. The acquisition will broaden Astro's capabilities, and enable it to become a leading eVTOL platform while continuing to invest and innovate. The company's acquisition of Horizon is expected to close imminently, subject to customary closing conditions. Upon closing the transaction, the CEO and co-founder of Horizon, Brandon Robinson, will be appointed as president of Astro and will sit on the board of directors. Jason O'Neill, Horizon's COO, will be appointed executive VP of Astro.
Astro's existing Alta and Elroy programmes, combined with Horizon's accomplished team of engineering and design talent, are expected to better position the company to pursue its goal of commercialisation. This approach will emphasise existing technology and elegant design to become a leader in the eVTOL market. The new funding provided by Astro will enable Horizon to accelerate development of its Cavorite X5 eVTOL advanced prototype. The company believes this new aerospace technology offers significant advantages over current conventional aircraft, including lower operating costs, a reduced noise footprint, increased safety and lower carbon emissions.
“Astro and Horizon, two organisations focused on developing innovative air mobility solutions, are a very exciting and promising combination,” says Astro CEO Bruce Bent. “Our aligned business model, enhanced by the complementary expertise and capabilities of the founder-led Horizon team, creates significant opportunities for accelerated growth while simultaneously delivering value to our shareholders.”
Horizon co-founder and CEO Brandon Robinson adds: “The Horizon family has found a great home in Astro and will continue operating with its distinct culture: excellence in product development and a deep passion for aviation. Horizon and Astro share in the mission of being at the forefront of eVTOL design, and together we will be a more attractive and exciting company for our employees, our partners and our investors.”
Horizon has successfully completed more than 200 test flights of its sub-scale prototype Cavorite X5, a five-seat hybrid-electric eVTOL. The primary objective for the sub-scale eVTOL prototype's test flights is to verify aerodynamics, control systems and transitional flight. For vertical flight, the wing surfaces retract to open its ducted fans before closing again after it achieves a minimum forward speed, maximising the craft's aerodynamic efficiency while lowering operational costs.
The full-scale Cavorite X5, which is expected to travel up to an estimated 450 km/h with a 500-kilometre range, is designed for reduced hydrocarbon emissions, operation in poor weather and ease of flying for low-time pilots. The aircraft targets urban air mobility but also long-range regional air mobility, currently an underserved portion of the market. The patented fan-in-wing technology allows the Cavorite X5 to be the world's first eVTOL that can fly the majority of its mission exactly like a normal aircraft.