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ASX teams up with Spirit AeroSystems for affordable eVTOL UAM

Airspace Experience Technologies (ASX) is an electric vertical takeoff & landing (eVTOL) partners. The company just signed a memorandum of understanding and a definitive agreement to cooperate with Spirit AeroSystems design. ASX moves closer to manufacturing what it says will be an affordable, certified eVTOL.

Can carmakers help eVTOL UAM?

ASX hails itself as an aviation start-up re-imagining personal air transportation for mass mobility. Their eVTOL – MOBi-One – is eco-friendly and quiet. Headquartered in Detroit, MI, ASX is teaming. up with Spirit AeroSystems. This partnership will leverage automotive mass production technologies with that of commercial aerospace standards.

Recently, carmaker Hyundai and Uber Elevate unveiled a partnership at CES and showed off the S-A1, confirming aviation startups are looking to automotive mass-manufacturing. But designing a $40,000 car isn’t the same thing as doing the same for a multi-million dollar airplane. The Aviation industry relies on very precise and extremely high-quality manufacturing. Many feel the urban air mobility (UAM) eVTOLs industry must bring the costs down to a more “reasonable” $500,000 bracket. This is something Hyundai told me they are very well aware of and working on.

ASX Mobi-One. Photo: Courtesy of Airspace Experience Technologies

ASX says it’s approaching the launch of its low-cost ASX’s eVTOL aircraft by establishing first engineering services. After it will focus on parts fabrication and system integration. To do this, it will rely on Spirit AeroSystems as a global supplier of structures, fuselages, and wing components for commercial aircraft manufacturers.

ASX leveraging the automotive industry for affordable UAM

I reached out to Dr. Anita Sengupta, Co-Founder at ASX who said:

Our collaboration will bring affordable, reliable eVTOLs to the commercial market place, bringing the best of aviation and automotive to bear. Having Spirit as an engineering partner, with their world-class expertise in the design and manufacture of aerostructures, is a major step for us to commercialization.

According to Jon Rimanelli, CEO and co-founder of ASX:

Spirit not only brings its design and manufacturing expertise to the partnership, but most importantly, its deep knowledge in FAA Certification of the aircraft. Our partnership with Spirit aims to deliver simple, safe and robust electric VTOL aircraft that are accessible to the mass traveling public.

ASX Mobi-One. Photo: Courtesy of Airspace Experience Technologies

ASX Mobi-One. Photo: Courtesy of Airspace Experience Technologies

Keith Hamilton, Executive Director, Programs and Business Development for Spirit was quoted saying:

We look forward to working with ASX, an early pioneer in the emerging urban air mobility market. Spirit is actively developing new concepts, designs, and solutions that will help build next-generation aircraft and solve challenges in the future. This collaboration gives Spirit the opportunity to bring our world-class capabilities to this important future market for logistics and personal transportation.

ASX is launching a Series A funding round in March 2020. The company was touting harnessing automotive manufacturing as key to making eVTOL UAM affordable. For this new industry to succeed, UAM players and the car industry say they can leverage mass production with aviation-grade quality.

ASX Mobi-One specs. Photo: Courtesy of Airspace Experience Technologies

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Avatar for Nicolas Zart Nicolas Zart

Nicolas was born and raised around classic 1920 cars and it wasn’t until he test drove an AC Propulsion eBox and then a Tesla Motors Roadster that the proverbial light bulb went on.

Since then, he has been covering the world of electric mobility for over a decade with a focus on electric aviation. He brings over a decade’s worth of industry deep insight with ties to industry leaders.

Nicolas is published on various outlets both in print and online, such as Electrek, the Vertical Flight Society, and Aviation International News.