The U.S. Air Force and U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) have confirmed the inclusion of Jaunt Air Mobility among the 35 contenders for the High Speed VTOL (HSVTOL) Concept Challenge organized by the USAF’s Afwerx unit to evaluate options for possible military applications. The company is offering a new hybrid-electric MAV55 Multi-Mission Air Vehicle based on the patented slowed rotor compound (SRC) technology it is using to develop its Jaunt Journey all-electric VTOL aircraft for civil applications.
The MAV55 is a larger airframe than the Journey, based on the alternative hybrid-electric vehicle Jaunt is developing with powertrain specialist VerdeGo Aero and featuring GE Aviation's Catalyst engine. The new design will have a useful load of around 11,000 pounds, and be able to carry 12 troops up to 1,610 miles at speeds of 308 mph.
The HSVTOL Concept Challenge is being run by the Afwerx unit of the Air Force Research Laboratory. Earlier this year, Jaunt completed three Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) contracts for Afwerx’s Agility Prime program. These covered work on extreme fast charging for batteries, advanced thermoplastics, and acoustics.
Jaunt’s VTOL models combine a high-aspect-ratio, small-area fixed-wing for cruise flight with a single main rotor for hover, takeoff, and landing. According to the company, 300 hours of flight tests have demonstrated a lift-to-drag ratio that is five times better than that of a helicopter. Jaunt’s program partners also include BAE Systems, Qarbon Aerospace, and CAE.
“Having worked within USSOCOM in rotary-wing special operations forces during my military service, our team fully understands the mission requirements of infiltration and exfiltration, personnel recovery, aeromedical evacuation, and tactical mobility at jet-like speeds,” commented Jaunt’s chief operations officer, Jesse Crispino. “These are the core fundamentals we applied in designing the MAV55. We’ve also added the elements of lower acoustic noise signatures and minimal downwash in hover operations.”