Overair nabs $145M to provide eVTOL prototype by 2023

Overair, a California-based electrical vertical takeoff and touchdown (eVTOL) automobile startup, has secured $145 million in funding that may go towards the event of Butterfly, the corporate’s experimental plane prototype, by the second half of 2023. As Overair works towards attaining Federal Aviation Administration certification, the startup will use this prototype to validate its designs and mitigate any technological dangers, in keeping with Josh Aronoff, head of enterprise improvement at Overair.

We’ve confirmed Butterfly’s propulsion system, so we’ll now start validating Butterfly’s potential to function safely in real-world climate circumstances, carry vital payloads and fly extremely quietly,” mentioned Ben Tigner, co-founder and CEO of Overair, in an announcement.

As a result of Overair is a by-product from Karem Plane, Butterfly’s propulsion system advantages from many years of navy VTOL packages led by the legacy firm, in keeping with Overair. The corporate claims to have the broadest flight envelope and smallest sound footprint of any plane within the burgeoning business, due partially to its propulsion system that makes use of 4 massive propellers that spin slowly when hovering and even slower when cruising. Quiet plane that doesn’t noise pollute dense city environments is crucial for commercializing eVTOL.

“Our know-how was meant to drop Navy SEALs into sizzling zones, and we’re going to make use of it for city air mobility (UAM) so that you simply and I can go to a Rams recreation from Orange County,” Aronoff instructed TechCrunch.

It’s the patents and core applied sciences behind Butterfly that attracted Hanwha Programs and Hanwha Aerospace — the protection and data know-how unit and plane engine producer of South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group, respectively — as buyers in Overair. Hanwha, which holds a 30% stake in Overair in keeping with the startup, beforehand invested $25 million into Overair’s Collection A in 2019. This newest spherical brings its whole funding in Overair as much as $170 million.

As a part of Hanwha’s funding, the corporate will present Overair with electrical motors and battery packs for the startup’s eVTOL prototypes, in keeping with the startup.

Hanwha Systems recently joined up with Korea Airports Corporation and SK Telecom, a South Korean telecommunications large that’s working to deliver air taxis to market within the nation by 2025, to introduce an working mannequin for commercializing city air mobility in a metropolitan space. Overair wouldn’t affirm if it’s straight concerned on this partnership, however mentioned it might be collaborating in South Korea’s UAM Grand Challenge to commercialize air taxis.

With the contemporary capital, Overair may also start constructing out its commercialization workforce and go-to-market technique, in keeping with Aronoff. Whereas Overair’s relationship with Hanwha will open up the South Korean marketplace for the startup, Aronoff mentioned Overair is concentrating on a U.S. launch first.

“I’d anticipate it to be cities that may be completely different from people who you’ve heard others announce,” mentioned Aronoff. “So that you’ve heard LA, Dallas and Miami. The Northeast Hall is probably the most economically productive stretch of the world. So for us, the place the climate just isn’t like it’s in LA – 75 levels and sunny day by day – to have a automobile that’s in a position to fly folks in probably the most economically productive cities, that are comparatively shut collectively, that works rather well for our use case.”

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