AirSpaceX Unveils Prototype Electric VTOL Unmanned Aircraft

By Mike Ball / 17 Jan 2018

AirspaceX Mobi-One VTOL UAS

Airspace Experience Technologies (AirSpaceX), a subsidiary of Detroit Aircraft Corp. (DAC), has revealed a sub-scale model of its autonomous, electric VTOL unmanned aircraft, “MOBi-ONE,” at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. MOBi-ONE is designed to autonomously takeoff like a helicopter, fly like a plane, and transport passengers or cargo between urban centers, suburbs, and airports within 60 miles. MOBi-ONE will fly at a top speed of 250 MPH leveraging existing Electric Vehicle (EV) architecture and autonomous technologies.

Recent advances in electric propulsion, automation, and lightweight materials now make the development of this new class of aircraft possible. “MOBi-ONE will offer clean, quiet, and connected on-demand air mobility to the mass traveling public at an affordable price,” said Jon Rimanelli, founder and CEO of Detroit Aircraft and AirSpaceX. “Our vision is to mass produce aircraft leveraging lean automotive design and mass production techniques so our vehicles are affordable to the mass traveling public.”

“Our goal is to deploy 2,500 aircraft at the nation’s 50 largest cities by 2026, targeting existing infrastructure at first,” said JP Yorro, Chief Commercial Officer at AirSpaceX. “The MOBi development program will be capital intensive, but air Mobility as a Service could generate billions for the economy. We are considering a broad array of financing options, including potential fractional ownership interest and profit sharing models.”

“There is an urgent need for innovation in urban mobility, and I believe on-demand air mobility will go a long way toward reducing pressure on roads while improving the quality of life for commuters on the ground,” continued Rimanelli.

MOBi-ONE was designed and built by Detroit Aircraft Corp. at Detroit City Airport. AirSpaceX teamed with Ford designer Camilo Pardo, prototyping and developing several VTOL concepts over the years. “The evolution of these prototypes culminated in an iconic design with the MOBi-ONE. We wanted to create an aircraft with a unique appearance that stands alone and also reflects its function,” explained Pardo.

Upon completion of engineering packages, a full-scale aircraft will be manufactured, undergo Part 27 Certification, and be operated by AirSpaceX. The sub-scale MOBi-ONE was taken from clean sheet design, fabrication and assembly in 4 weeks.

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact