Personal air vehicle for the masses

July 12, 2021 // By Rich Pell
Personal air vehicle for the masses
Air mobility startup NeXt has unveiled an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing personal air vehicle.

The iFLY, says the company, was created for safe, convenient, and "planet-friendly" transportation, and has undergone extensive successful proof-of-concept flight testing. It has eight propellers guarded in protective safety enclosures, eight electric motors that run on batteries, and a comfortable passenger compartment.

A mobile companion app enables users to simply tap a map to select a destination landing site using the touchscreen on their iOS or Android mobile device, which provides instructions to iFLY for a seamless and autonomous flight experience to a destination without the need for pilot interaction in the traditional sense of conventional airplanes. The vehicle automatically returns home or lands in a safe area, if necessary, in the event the battery approaches a minimum acceptable safe power level.

The air vehicle's simplicity in design and multiple redundant flight systems, says the company, allow it to fly safely with a motor out. It will also be provided with a ballistic parachute that automatically deploys in the event of an emergency.

The company says that it is currently exploring the possibility to qualify iFLY initially as a Powered Ultralight by the FAA so that no pilot's license will be required to fly. The company is also seeking an investment partner for funding iFLY, which has recently been awarded United States Patent 10,427,790.


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