The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

Manta Aircraft was formed in June 2019 by a group of European entrepreneurs. It is based in southern Switzerland. The company is in the early stages of developing a pair of light hybrid-electric aircraft that it describes as VTOL/STOL. These include the two-seat ANN2 and the four-seat ANN4, as well as a high-performance drone. Plans call for the propulsion system to transition to all-electric or hydrogen power as the technology behind these options advances.

The ANN2 is intended for personal transportation, as well as roles such as law enforcement, disaster control, and emergency medical support. The ANN4 is aimed at commercial air taxi and other business aviation applications, as well as potentially for freight deliveries and various special missions roles.

On December 9, 2020, Manta made a short first flight with a one-third scaled model of the ANN2. It aims to start testing a full-scale prototype in 2022 and be ready for the pre-production phase by the end of 2023, with a view to achieving type certification and service entry in 2025.

Early drawings of the all-composite aircraft show a V-shaped tail, a main fixed wing and a forward canard. A hybrid propulsion system consists of an unspecified engine with electric motors driving eight ducted fans, with four of these installed in the wing and the other four in the fuselage. The aircraft are intended to be used in either vertical takeoff mode, or (for more range) in short takeoff and landing environments. Range is projected to be between 300 and 900 km (186 to 559 miles) and cruise speed up to 300 km (186 mph).

Manta intends to forge a partnership with a partner to handle the production phase of the program. It has applied for patents covering the flight control system that it is developing in-house. Composites specialist Ycom, which has extensive experience in the motorsports sector, is making fuselages and wings for early development models. In November 2021, the company signed a collaboration agreement with artificial intelligence and augmented reality specialist Foviatech to explore how these technologies might be applied to the ANN family's flight controls and also during the production process.

Timeline

first delivery

Manta Aircraft intends to have its ANN2 VTOL/STOL aircraft certified and in-service in 2025.

Projected

test flight

First flight of full-scale prototype
Missed Projection

test flight

First flight of one-third scale model

Outlook

Our objective assessment of this program’s probable success.

FutureFlight assesses the probability of success for a new aircraft program by considering the following criteria:

  • Total investment funds available in proportion to the anticipated cost of getting an aircraft certified and in service
  • A company’s in-house capability (in terms of numbers of engineers, technical staff, and customer support teams)
  • The past experience of the company and its senior leadership in developing aircraft
  • The caliber and past experience of key program partners
  • Whether key aircraft systems have been selected and are available for use
  • Whether the preliminary design review has been completed
  • Whether the design for the full-scale prototype has been completed
  • Whether the type certification process has been formally initiated with an appropriate regulator
  • Whether the company has achieved a first flight with a full-scale prototype
  • The number of hours logged in a flight test program
  • Whether type certification has been achieved
  • The number of orders and commitment received for the aircraft
  • Whether the company has adequate facilities to begin series production of the aircraft
Our Methodology

Manta Aircraft's small team appears to be at the very early stages of developing its aircraft. They have some design experience, but much of it comes from other fields such as cars and yachts. However, co-founded and CEO Lucas Marchesini was previously with Pilatus Aircraft.

After achieving a first flight with a one-third scale model in December 2020, the company has made progress in advancing preparations to fly a full-scale prototype in 2022. It has also forged some worthwhile alliances with several technology specialists. However the status of its fund-raising efforts remained unclear as of December 2021.

Manta ANN Models

ANN2 Specifications

local vtol Fixed Wing

Performance

  • Passenger Capacity
    2
  • Range
    559 mi
  • Cruise Speed
    186 mph
  • Powerplant Type
    ducted fan
  • Power Source
    hybrid_fe
  • Endurance
    n/a
  • Max Altitude
    n/a
  • Takeoff Distance
    n/a
  • Landing Distance
    n/a
  • Empty Weight
    n/a
  • MGTOW
    n/a
  • Payload Weight
    n/a

Dimensions

  • Length
    28.54 ft
  • Width
    n/a
  • Height
    22.31 ft
  • Wingspan
    22.31 ft

The ANN2 is a two-seat hybrid-electric VTOL/STOL aircraft being developed by Manta Aircraft. The Swiss-based company is also working on a four-seat design called the ANN4 and a high-performance drone.

Depending on whether operating in VTOL mode or in STOL mode from a short runway, the aircraft is expected to offer a range of between 300 and 900 km (186 to 559 miles) and a cruise speed of 300 km/h (186 mph). Plans call for the propulsion system to transition to all-electric or hydrogen power as the technology behind these options advances.

The ANN2 is intended for personal transportation, as well as roles such as law enforcement, disaster control, and emergency medical support. The ANN4 is aimed at commercial air taxi and other business aviation applications, as well as potentially for freight deliveries and various special missions roles.