Jaunt Air Mobility is establishing design and manufacturing operations for its family of eVTOL aircraft in Montreal. Announcing the move today, the U.S.-based company said it has appointed former Bombardier Aerospace executive Eric Côté as president of its new Jaunt Air Mobility Canada.
Côté joins Jaunt from the engineering and manufacturing company Soucy Group. Prior to that role, he spent 15 years with aircraft manufacturer Bombardier with responsibility for manufacturing, operations, continuous improvement, and industrialization.
The decision to base a significant part of its operation in Quebec has been influenced by what Jaunt sees as a positive environment for possible government investment. Côté told FutureFlight that both the Canadian government and Quebec provincial authorities are supportive of ventures involved in making transportation more environmentally sustainable. He added that Quebec has a strong aerospace skills base, making it an ideal location for developing an industrial cluster for advanced air mobility.
“Our announcement today to locate our design and manufacturing operations to Canada aligns with our certification path and commercialization strategy,” commented Jaunt CEO Martin Peryea. “Canada and Québec offer a wider range of opportunities stemming from a long history in the aerospace industry, including an experienced workforce and global suppliers.”
Jaunt intends to certify its aircraft under existing Part 29 rules for rotorcraft and expects to start test flights with a full-scale prototype in 2023, with a view to having it in production by 2026. The family will include a five-seat Jaunt Journey model intended for air taxi operations. The company, whose corporate headquarters will remain in Texas, is also planning versions for applications including military flights, cargo, and emergency medical support.
According to Côté, development work for the eVTOL aircraft is on track, with good progress being made by its power management partner BAE Systems on the battery and propulsion elements. Jaunt is also partnered with the Triumph group, which is providing proprietary thermoplastics technology for the aerostructures.
Initially, the Jaunt Journey will be all-electric. However, the company is working with VerdeGo Aero on a diesel-based hybrid-electric powertrain that would support a longer range.