Falcon Aviation Services (FAS), a key player in the UAE government's AAM strategy, is to collaborate with eVTOL manufacturer AutoFlight. The operator already has agreements in place with Archer Aviation to operate its Midnight air taxis across Dubai and Abu Dhabi; with VPorts to operate flights in an AAM integrator centre in Dubai that houses dedicated flight-testing airspace to facilitate the airworthiness certification of eVTOLs; and with Eve Air Mobility for up to 35 eVTOL aircraft for sightseeing flights, deliveries expected in 2026.
Mark Robert Henning, managing director of AutoFlight Europe, says: "Our collaboration with Falcon Aviation Services is a major milestone in the advancement of advanced air mobility in the UAE and the broader MENA region. Together in this strong partnership we take pride in being able to showcase the capabilities of our innovative Prosperity passenger eVTOL and cargo CarryAll to the Emirates."
FAS COO captain Raman Oberoi adds: "This partnership with AutoFlight aligns with our dedication to delivering an effective and sustainable new urban transportation mode. With our unparalleled reputation and expertise in helicopter operations and MRO for nearly two decades, Falcon is leading the way to launch this revolutionary AAM concept in the UAE and MENA region."
FAS provides an extensive range of operational and aviation support services. It currently serving 70,000 sightseeing passengers annually, a figure it aims to double within the next three years. It is gearing up to introduce the first eVTOL tourist, cargo and air taxi flights in the region.
AutoFlight's Prosperity is an electric aircraft that employs rotor technology for vertical take off and seamlessly transitions into horizontal flight, akin to traditional aircraft. It is capable of speeds in excess of 200kmh over a range greater than 250km. AutoFlight is one of only a few eVTOL OEMs to have mastered the challenging transition phase from vertical to horizontal flight, clocking thousands of flight miles on multiple iterations of its aircraft.
Prosperity was designed by Frank Stephenson, who revolutionised the Mini and the Fiat 500, and created iconic designs for Ferrari, McLaren and Maserati before turning his design talents to flying taxis.
AutoFlight has been setting new benchmarks in the electric air taxi landscape over the past 12 months, including establishing the world record of flying 250.3km on a single battery charge. It also recently successfully executed a world-first formation flight of three autonomous eVTOL aircraft.
The unmanned cargo version of Prosperity, the CarryAll, is expected to achieve production and airworthiness certification from the CAAC by early 2024, helping pave the way for certification of the passenger model. The cargo model has two metric tons MTOW and is designed to lift a 400kg payload up to 200km.
AutoFlight is a vertically integrated OEM and has developed the composite airframe, electric motors, battery packs, flight controllers and cockpit avionics in-house.