Canada-based eVTOL developer Horizon Aircraft has successfully completed the construction of its half scale Cavorite X5 prototype.
The aircraft will fly 98 per cent of its mission in a very low-drag configuration like a traditional aircraft; both safer, and should make the aircraft easier to certify than other eVTOL designs. The full scale aircraft will be powered by a hybrid electric system that can recharge the battery array in-flight while providing additional system redundancy.
CEO Brandon Robinson says: “With a 22 ft wingspan and at 15 ft in length, capable of speeds over 250 km/hr, this 50 per cent scale prototype is an impressive aircraft. Furthermore, it will yield valuable information that will help to reduce technical risk as we move forward with detailed design of our full scale aircraft.”
Horizon Aircraft will continue with rigorous testing of its half scale prototype with a strong focus on safety, and with the detailed design of a full scale prototype as it pursues the next phases of the AFWERX HSVTOL challenge that could offer up to $35 million in non-dilutive financing over the next three years. The company will soon proceed through transition testing and high speed flight testing.
Horizon has also entered into a binding agreement with parent company Astro Aerospace and several of Astro's key shareholders (the purchasers) whereby Astro has agreed to sell 100 per cent of its equity to the purchasers in exchange for certain Astro public securities and a fraction of the ownership of the newly privatised Horizon.
Robinson says: “This mutually beneficial transaction will allow Horizon Aircraft to accelerate development of our highly innovative Cavorite X-series eVTOL aircraft in the private sector with access to more flexible funding mechanisms. Retaining Astro as a key shareholder and partner moving forward represents natural progression of this programme that has seen tremendous success over this last year.”
“Horizon's progress has been nothing short of outstanding over the last year with several grants, a USAF contract award and a large-scale prototype ready to fly,” adds Astro CEO Bruce Bent, “Astro is grateful to remain a strategic investor and partner as we collectively move towards building a better future.”