“Silent, Clean, Autonomous, Amphibious, Safe, Revolutionary.” These are the words SKYLYS Aircraft CEO Gary Chorostecki uses to describe the SKYLYS AO, a prototype electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle being shared with the public in detail for the first time today.
“The time has come to unveil the main lines and above all to show you the first copy,” the company announce in a video introduction launched on December 20th.
The AO aircraft has been designed to provide a “multimodal” transport solution combining air transport with vertical accent and decent. Small and light enough for several to park on a roof, there will also be the option for the AO AQUA to perform amphibious take-off and landing, allowing a wide option of open areas from which to take flight.
The vehicle will be aimed primarily at the developing market for Urban Air Mobility, which refers the anticipated safe and efficient system for piloted and autonomous aircraft that will transport passengers or cargo within a city.
SKYLYS believes that the model of individual vehicle ownership is coming to an end and that a sharing economy should take precedence. The AO could be employed as a “pay-per-use” model for up to three passengers, allowing for a time-sharing approach for each vehicle. A cargo variant will be also available.
The company plans to leverage the digital revolution’s convergence of geo-located vehicles, automated flight and robotic logistics. “The AO will be integrated in the Smart City Mobility plans,” Chorostecki says.
An environmentally-friendly vehicle and transportation system are at the forefront of Chorostecki’s mind. Conceived ten years ago, the AO (a Hawaiian word for “Cloud”) was designed from the outset to make a positive and valuable contribution to the growing need for aircraft free from producing carbon dioxide and impacting the climate.
Chorostecki soon reached out to form a technical committee. “I am supported by a strong team of technical experts from the aeronautics industry. I set up a board of advisors with whom we are sharing the same vision and the same sense of urgency. All these team members are working together to make this project the reality. We started from a white sheet. We didn’t try to graft wings to a car, or wheels to a small helicopter.”
The SKYLYS team faces a daunting schedule. They will unveil the AO cockpit and next generation landing gear this January. They start their certification campaign in February and plan on their first flight that month as well. SKYLYS plans to start pre-orders of the AO in June and the first deliveries could begin by the end of 2019.