Prospective electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) entrant Airspace Experience Technologies (AirspaceX) unveiled its design this week at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. AirSpaceX, a subsidiary of Detroit Aircraft Corp. (DAC), displayed a subscale model of its autonomous eVTOL aircraft, dubbed “Mobi-One,” at the show.
The aircraft is designed to autonomously take off like a helicopter, fly like an airplane, and transport passengers or cargo between urban centers, suburbs, and airports within 60 miles at speeds up to 250 mph. AirSpaceX chief commercial office JP Yorro said the company’s goal is to “deploy 2,500 aircraft at the nation’s 50 largest cities by 2026.”
The company teamed with Camilo Pardo, the chief designer of the 2005 and 2006 Ford GT, to design Mobi-One, which was taken from clean-sheet to fabrication and assembly in just four weeks. AirspaceX plans to seek FAA Part 27 (rotorcraft) certification for Mobi-One.
Founded in 2011 to design pilot-optional aircraft systems for military and commercial applications, DAC has designed and licensed a series of multi-rotor aircraft for commercial data collection and package delivery. It has also provided contract manufacturing, testing, marketing, sales, training, and MRO for a leading U.S. defense contractor, and has built more than 70 small eVTOL aircraft since 2013. In 2015, DAC identified an automotive electric vehicle architecture that would make large-scale multi-rotor aircraft feasible for cargo and passenger transportation.