The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

Three months after Flyter was launched, the Russian company completed production of an early design model for its PAC VTOL aircraft in May 2018. This was the 15th iteration of a design that had been started back in the summer of 2017. This is the single-seat PAC VTOL 420-120 model—referring to its 420 kg (924 pound) maximum takeoff weight and 120 kg (264 pound) payload. By the end of 2018, the company completed the preliminary design of a two-seat PAC VTOL 720-200 model.

According to Flyter it is not primarily focused on the classic urban air mobility air taxi business model with its short flight segments. Instead, the company is more intent on meeting the needs of longer-range applications, such as connecting remote regions of Russia. The initial hybrid electric-powered version of the PAC VTOL aircraft is expected to have a range as far as just over 560 miles. An alternative electric-powered version would fly up to around 100 miles. 

In November 2019, the company confirmed that it had begun ground testing of the downward-facing propellers and wing structures for the 720-200 model. 

As of February 2020, Flyter was seeking the fresh investment it needs to recruit more engineering staff and build a flyable prototype. It indicated that it may first begin work on a trio of much smaller unmanned aerial vehicle based on the PAC VTOL designs. This, said the company, would require an initial investment of almost $250,000. It estimates that a further $950,000 would be needed to build a prototype of the 420-120 model and another $2.9 million for the 720-200. 

Outlook

Our objective assessment of this program’s probable success.

FutureFlight assesses the probability of success for a new aircraft program by considering the following criteria:

  • Total investment funds available in proportion to the anticipated cost of getting an aircraft certified and in service
  • A company’s in-house capability (in terms of numbers of engineers, technical staff, and customer support teams)
  • The past experience of the company and its senior leadership in developing aircraft
  • The caliber and past experience of key program partners
  • Whether key aircraft systems have been selected and are available for use
  • Whether the preliminary design review has been completed
  • Whether the design for the full-scale prototype has been completed
  • Whether the type certification process has been formally initiated with an appropriate regulator
  • Whether the company has achieved a first flight with a full-scale prototype
  • The number of hours logged in a flight test program
  • Whether type certification has been achieved
  • The number of orders and commitment received for the aircraft
  • Whether the company has adequate facilities to begin series production of the aircraft
Our Methodology

Flyter appears to be about the only Russian company to have made any demonstrable progress in developing an eVTOL aircraft. That said, very little is known about the background of the company's founder and his small team. Their target for raising fresh investment is very modest by Western standards, perhaps reflecting lower costs in Russia. 

The company says it would need two years to build the PAC VTOL 420-120 prototype and three and a half years for the larger 720-200. As is the case for so many eVTOL startups, those timeline clocks can only start ticking when the cold hard cash starts flowing. 

Key Personnel

Yuri Solodovnikov

Founder