Airspace Experience Technologies (ASX) is partnering with Spirit AeroSystems to jointly develop its Mobi-One electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Aerostructures group Spirit will provide support for the startup in design, manufacturing, and type certification work.
Announcing the planned partnership on February 17, ASX also indicated that it intends to launch a Series A funding round in March 2020. The privately-owned company had previously said that it would start the process of finding fresh investment before the end of 2019. At the time, it indicated that it hoped to raise $6 million in order to take it through to the end of the preliminary design phase of the program.
ASX co-founder Dr Anita Sengupta told AIN that the company is now building a full-scale testbed vehicle that it aims to fly "within 12 months." At the same time, it is also working on an engineering design version of the Mobi-One that will be closer to the production version of the aircraft. Previously, ASX has said that it will have the aircraft certified to start cargo flights in 2023 and passenger-carrying operations in 2024.
Wichita-based Spirit AeroSystems designs and builds aerostructures for various civil and military aircraft manufacturers. The company, which specializes in advanced composite and aluminum manufacturing, has facilities in the U.S., France, the UK, and Malaysia. Initial technical meetings between the Spirit and ASX teams are due to start in late February.
Detroit-based ASX was formed in April 2017.