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UAE backs plans for aerial utility VTOL Speeder series

UAE backs plans for aerial utility VTOL Speeder series

Charles Alcock

February 24, 2023 – 9:16 am

The United Arab Emirates’ Strategic Development Fund is investing $3 million in Mayman Aerospace’s plans to bring remote-controlled Speeder VTOL aircraft to market. The capital injection, announced on Feb. 22, is the latest investment in the advanced air mobility sector by the venture capital arm of the Tawazun Council, which oversees the Gulf states’ sovereign wealth funds.

The full-scale P2 turbine-powered model, which Mayman calls the Air Multipurpose Vehicle, is expected to have a 1,000-pound payload. The company believes it can fly 400 miles at speeds in excess of 500 mph and be used in a variety of applications, including cargo delivery and military logistics. The California-based startup said the fresh funding from the UAE will support the Speeder’s ongoing flight-testing activities as it aims to gain FAA type certification in 2024, as well as broader product development of new versions of the vehicle, initially aimed at in military applications.

The new Speeder Micro is ready to take off

The company is currently developing a small vehicle called the Micro, which it says is “significantly smaller” than the P2 model. The exact dimensions and specifications of the Micro have not been disclosed, but founder and CEO David Maiman told future flight It will offer speed and range currently unattainable by rotorcraft of its size. According to Mayman, defense export customers have shown interest in the Speeder Micro as a compact, high-performance vehicle that could be used in a target drone or counter-drone systems role.

Mayman Aerospace's Speeder Micro VTOL aerial utility vehicle.

Mayman Aerospace is preparing to begin flight testing of its Speeder Micro VTOL aerial utility vehicle. (Image credit: Mayman Aerospace)

Once the company receives FAA approval for the experiment or a suitable exempt military installation, it intends to begin high-speed, tetherless test flights with the new version. Mayman Aerospace, which is jetpack aviation team, which began tethered flight tests with the first full-scale prototype in May 2021.

SDF is exploring the establishment of a manufacturing center to build flying car Distributed in Abu Dhabi to the MENA region. “As part of our strategic mission, we look forward to exploring and developing synergies through our related portfolios and partnerships in aerospace, defense and autonomy, which will potentially support the development of a range of primarily defense-focused Speeder air vehicles Utility vehicles,” said Mohamed Musabah Al Mazrouei, director of investments and portfolio management at Emirates Group.

In the short term, Mayman Aerospace’s top priority is getting the Speeder certified for military use. “FAA type certification for civilian applications remains an important but longer-term goal, as the basic rules and infrastructure for heavy-duty fuel-powered compact VTOL aircraft are still in the early stages of development,” Mayman explained.

Last year, Mayman confirmed that it was reviewing plans for an international joint manufacturing agreement and would submit an application to comply with the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations for the export of products for military use. In 2021, Speeder is selected by the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Special Operations Command to participate in High Speed ​​Vertical Takeoff and Landing (HSVTOL) Concept Challenge Organized by Afwerx units to evaluate options for military missions. It also holds expressions of interest for 25 cars from its Swedish dealership, Savback Helicopters.

One potential civilian application for the Speeder is what the manufacturer describes as port-to-port delivery of bulk commercial packages. It says the vehicle can quickly climb to 10,000 feet, where the noise of its engine doesn’t cause ground disturbance, then cruise at 500 mph before quickly descending to make a delivery.

In this case, the company says the Speeder can transport a blood sample from New York City to Boston in 30 minutes, or a key electronic component from London to Paris in 25 minutes. “Speeder will disrupt their expectations of package delivery,” Mayman commented.

Speeder Cargo and Endurance models are in development

In addition to the current “mid-size” Speeder P2 vehicle that Mayman describes, Mayman also sees room for a larger Speeder Cargo Class model in addition to the entry-level Micro. The company has not disclosed projected specifications for the cargo-grade vehicle.

Also working with the company’s research and development team is an all-new aircraft called the Speeder Endurance Class.Maiman told future flight This will offer similar payload and range to its Speeder sibling, while being able to fly, “for hours using a very unique propulsion system.”

Current vehicles are being designed and built in the United States and use commercial off-the-shelf turbine engines that will run on jet or sustainable aviation fuel. Mayman is working with Prometheus Fuels to explore its potential use Titan Fuel Forging Technology Produce zero-carbon fuel to power the Speeder’s engines. The Titan process will “make fuel from air” by recycling atmospheric carbon through a proprietary process that strips carbon dioxide molecules from the air and “excites” them into hydrocarbons that can be made into any type of fuel .

“The optimization of the Speeder’s existing propulsion control system, which can be adapted to future technologies, combined with its flexible operating capabilities, influenced our investment decision,” Al Mazrouei commented.

This story comes from FutureFlight. AviationDepend on Ain Provides objective, independent coverage and analysis of cutting-edge aviation technology, including the development of electric aircraft and advanced aerial mobility.

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