Astro Aerospace is stepping up its plans in the eVTOL aircraft sector with the acquisition of Horizon Aircraft. The Texas-based group announced the deal with the Canadian start-up on February 18 and expects to complete the transaction by the end of the second quarter.
Horizon is working on a prototype for its hybrid-electric Cavorite X5 eVTOL aircraft, which is expected to carry five passengers on flights of just over 300 miles. The propulsion system features 16 ducted fans, 12 of which are built into the main wing, with the other four in a forward canard.
Earlier this week, Astro Aerospace announced the appointment of Kingswood Capital Market to help it to prepare for an initial public offering on New York’s Nasdaq market. It has not disclosed how much it is paying to buy Horizon, which was founded by mechanical engineer and former fighter pilot Brandon Robinson along with his father, Brian.
Astro Aerospace has been working on a two-seat multicopter design called Elroy, which made a first manned flight in 2018, and another eVTOL model called Alta. The status of these programs is unclear, and it remains to be seen whether Astro will now focus its efforts on supporting the Horizon team in getting the Cavorite X5 to market.
Horizon has previously said that it intended to have a half-scale prototype built by the end of 2020. It has indicated that it might need an investment of around $100 million to complete development work in time for projected certification by the end of 2024.