Autonomous Flight in January will invite prospective customers to place pre-orders for its six-seat Y6S Plus eVTOL aircraft, which it aims to start delivering in 2024. This week, the UK-based start-up also confirmed that it is set to launch a Series C fund raising round to raise an additional $100 million to support work to get the all-electric model certified and into production.
Design work on the Y6S prototype is now complete, and Autonomous Flight intends to work on this vehicle in 2022 as it prepares to complete the assembly of the Y6S Plus production version in 2023. The company says the aircraft will offer a range of around 100 miles and cruise at 125 mph, supporting commercial flights at altitudes below 2,000 feet across large cities such as London, while also connecting cities across the north of the UK, including Manchester and Liverpool.
The planned Series C funding round will build on an initial $ 7 million Series A round, and a Series B round that is now being concluded and which is expected to raise a further $25 million. “We are edging ever closer to a reality where drones will become a regular mode of transport in cities around the world. We are years away from this reality, not decades,” commented IT entrepreneur Martin Warner, who founded Autonomous Flight.
In 2015, Warner sold his 3-D printing company, Bot Objects, for $50 million. He also runs an air logistics software company called Parcel Fly and is involved in the movie distribution business through the Flix Premiere streaming service.
The company has not published a list price for the Y6S Plus or said what deposit will be required to support pre-orders.