Jaunt Air Mobility acquired what it now calls the ROSA program from Carter Aviation in April 2019. By June 2019, it had been selected by Uber as the sixth prospective partner for the ride-sharing giant's plans to establish Uber Air using eVTOL aircraft. The program now has the backing of prominent partners Honeywell (providing avionics, navigation systems, electric propulsion system and connectivity systems) and Triumph Group (engineering services).
The company intends to build several versions of the aircraft being developed and all would have similar performance. These would include a passenger-carrying air taxi aircraft called the Jaunt Journey, the Jaunt Jambulance (for emergency medical operations), the Jaunt Joust (for military use) and the Jaunt Geap (for package delivery).
As of early 2020, privately owned Jaunt planned to achieve type certification of a piloted version of ROSA by the end of 2025, followed by an autonomous version by the end of 2029. However, in October 2020, the company acknowledged that the timeline had slipped by almost a year, in part due to disruption caused by the Covid pandemic. It now aims to start low-rate production of the aircraft in 2026 and achieve initial type certification by the end of that year. On September 18, 2020, it started flying a sub-scale technology demonstrator in the Dallas area. The company aims to fly a full-scale prototype in 2023.
Jaunt plans to achieve type certification under the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration's Part 29 rules, which apply to rotorcraft operated commercially. ROSA is described as a "compound helicopter" which has both a main rotor and a fixed wing with propellers.
On October 23, 2019, Jaunt finalized the agreement for Triumph Aerospace Structures to provide engineering and manufacturing services to support the ROSA program. Triumph will design and test the aircraft structure to optimize weight and cost factors, as well as defining how best to ensure they are ready for production. This work will be done at Triumph's Technology and Engineering Center in Arlington, Texas, where they built the technology demonstrator.
Jaunt is also working with BAE Systems to develop the energy management system for ROSA. On December 5, the two companies announced a memorandum of understanding covering work on ROSA's aircraft power management requirements. BAE's Controls and Avionics Solutions division is handling the project.
BAE Systems has 20-plus years of experience developing and integrating electric propulsion systems. The company has more than 10,000 electric-hybrid systems on transit buses and marine vessels around the globe, including major cities such as Paris, London, New York, and San Francisco. The company also has more than 40 years of experience in controls and avionics for military and commercial aircraft.
In October 2020, the company reported that it had started a Series A funding round. At the same time, it said it is in talks with a possible manufacturing partner outside the U.S. This followed a board decision to replace co-founder Kaydon Stanzione as CEO, with CTO Martin Peryea being appointed on an interim basis.