The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

In 2019, Autonomous Flight started out with the two-seater Y6S eVTOL aircraft, but by early 2021 had resolved to focus all its efforts on a six-seater designated the Y6S Plus. This is intended to primarily be used for scheduled passenger shuttle flights, but also for applications such as emergency medical support. 

In January 2021, company founder Martin Warner confirmed that he has launched a new funding round to raise an additional $25 million to support plans to have a full-scale prototype flying by 2023. He estimates that it could take 8 to 10 years before the company is ready to launch commercial operations. 

Despite the company's name, it is expected that the Y6S Plus will begin operations with a pilot on board. 

Timeline

Projected
Start of commercial passenger shuttle operations
Projected

test flight

Test flight of larger Y6S Plus aircraft

test flight

Autonomous Flight did not achieve its goal of achieving a first flight with the Y6S prototype by mid-2019.

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

Autonomous Flight has revised its business model since 2019, with plans for a larger eVTOL aircraft design to support scheduled shuttle services. During the Covid-disrupted year 2020, it took time for a redesign to allow for a larger passenger cabin. Having been backed entirely by technology and movie distribution entrepreneur Martin Warner, and several other private investors, the company launched a new funding round in early 2021. This is intended to raise around $25 million to get a full-scale prototype into the flight test phase of the program. Originally, it had planned to have a smaller Y6S prototype flying by mid-2019. 

Y6S Models

Y6S Plus Specifications

Optionally-piloted vtol Lift + Cruise

Performance

  • Passenger Capacity
    6
  • Range
    80 mi
  • Cruise Speed
    125 mph
  • Powerplant Type
    multi rotor
  • Power Source
    electric
  • Endurance
    n/a
  • Max Altitude
    1,500 ft
  • Takeoff Distance
    0 ft
  • Landing Distance
    0 ft
  • Empty Weight
    n/a
  • MGTOW
    2,000 lb
  • Payload Weight
    n/a

Dimensions

  • Length
    n/a
  • Width
    n/a
  • Height
    n/a
  • Wingspan
    n/a

The Y6S Plus is designed to fly six people at 125 mph and 1,500 feet above the ground, with a range of around 80 miles (68 miles net of reserve power). The design features a main fixed-wing plus a forward canard. Two sets of twin motors/rotors are positioned in the canard and a third is on the tail. 

Autonomous Flight is lagging behind its original timetable, as it had expected to have a flying Y6S prototype by mid-2019.