The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

Samad Aerospace (more recently trading launched in 2017 with plans to develop a family of electrically powered, ducted fan aircraft, starting with a UAV (the UAV Starling) and also including a light eVTOL aircraft (e-Starling) and a business jet (Starling Jet). When the company was launched in 2017, the plan called for the UAV to enter service in 2019, followed by the e-Starling in 2022 and the Starling Jet in 2024.

However, in November 2019, founder and CEO Dr. Seyed Mohseni told FutureFlight that these timelines slipped back to accommodate the need to raise a further $60 million funds and changes to the business plan. The UAV Starling project now appears to be sidelined. Instead, work has now begun on a smaller two-seat version of the e-Starling that will be called the Q-Starling (formerly known as the Q22). In early September 2020, Samad was preparing to fly a 50 percent scale model of the e-Starling, having earlier flown 10 and 20 percent scale models.

The plan now calls for a full-scale prototype of the six-seat e-Starling to make a first flight in 2023, en route to achieving type certification and first deliveries by the end of 2025. The e-Starling is intended mainly for personal and business transportation use, with range to allow for city-to-city flights.

As of September 2020, Samad had suspended work on its planned 10-seat Starling Jet and also the two-seat Home & Urban Mobility Aircraft (HUMA).  The HUMA is a fundamentally different design from the e-Starling and is intended specifically for air taxi urban air mobility applications. The design features counter-rotating rotors that tilt forward for horizontal cruise mode. The wing and the cabin can also turn 90 degrees. Samad anticipates that the purchase price for HUMA could be around $250,000.

Samad intends for all its planned models to be all-electric aircraft. However, acknowledging that current battery technology does not support the longer-range it has in mind, the company intends to bring the models into production with a hybrid-electric powerplant. This would be based around an as-yet-unspecified diesel motor. The company believes operators would be able to land at gas stations to refuel. At the same time, it is considering hydrogen fuel cells as an alternative to electric batteries.

In September 2020, Mohseni told FutureFlight that he was close to signing one or more memorandums of understanding with prospective investors as he seeks to raise up to around $80 million to complete the e-Starling and Q-Starling programs. He indicated that he intends to partner with a medium-sized aerospace manufacturer to allow them to focus on the Q-Starling and to allow his team to focus on the e-Starling. He also suggested that the company may relocate some development activities to another lower-cost country, in part in reaction to not receiving what Mohseni considers to be appropriate levels of financial support from UK authorities.

In November 2020, Samad achieved a first flight with a half-sized model of the e-Starling operating in conventional takeoff and landing mode. The company said that it expects to be ready to start vertical takeoff and landing test flights by the end of April 2021. As of mid-March 2021, the company was assembling what it says is the second airframe for this half-scale prototype.

Samad continued the development of the Starling throughout 2021. In August, Samad increased its engineering team to further progress the development of the Starling program. In September, the company announced its goal was to start deliveries in the fourth quarter of 2022. In late November, South African aerostructures and aircraft equipment manufacturer Aerosud Aviation partnered with Samad for the development of the Starling cargo.

In January 2023, at which point Samad acknowledged that it is now trading as Arc Aerosystems, the company presented altered designs for the Starling aircraft under the names C-600 and C-150. These models now seem to feature external rotors rather than the earlier ducted fans.


test flight

Samad Aerospace said it expects to start vertical takeoff and landing test flights with a half-scale mode of the e-Starling aircraft during 2021. 

test flight

During November 2020, Samad Aerospace achieved a first test flight with a half-sized model of the e-Starling aircraft. This flew in conventional takeoff and landing mode.


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

After trying to gain traction with its proposed Starling family of eVTOL aircraft for several years, in May 2022 Samad Aerospace quietly changed its corporate structure in the UK to trade as Arc Aerosystems. The reason for the change is not clear and it was only publicly acknowledged in January 2023, when the company also announced plans for a new hybrid-electric rotorcraft called the Linx P9. At the same time, it seems to have reworked the designs, including propulsion systems, for its Starling models, which have now been dubbed the C-600 and C-150.

The company is still seeking fresh investors and says that it is preparing to move into a new purpose-built headquarters at Cranfield in England. It is also still advancing plans to develop what it calls an eVTOL Aviation Innovation Village. 

Starling Models

e-Starling Specifications

local vtol Lift + Cruise


  • Passenger Capacity
  • Range
    400 mi
  • Cruise Speed
    300 mph
  • Powerplant Type
    ducted fan
  • Power Source
  • Endurance
  • Max Altitude
  • Takeoff Distance
  • Landing Distance
  • Empty Weight
  • Payload Weight


  • Length
  • Width
  • Height
  • Wingspan

The e-Starling is one of four members of Samad Aerospace's Starling family of aircraft, the other two being the UAV Starling, the larger Starling Jet and the two-seat Q-Starling. 

Key Personnel

Samad Aerospace CEO Seyed Mohseni
Seyed Mohseni

Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Founder