The U.S. Air Force’s Afwerx program has selected Jaunt Air Mobility for the next phase of its High-Speed Vertical Takeoff and Landing (HSVTOL) Concept Challenge. The eVTOL aircraft developer today confirmed it is one of 11 companies chosen to receive market research funding from the Air Force and the U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM).
The challenge, which attracted 200 entrants, is intended to identify aircraft that could provide the military with “optimal agility in austere environments.” The contract covers work to develop two conceptual designs for what Afwerx has identified as the MAV 55 Multi-Mission Vehicle. This is intended to combine the operational benefits of fixed-wing and VTOL aircraft. The Afwerx team is also looking for an aircraft that will generate minimal downwash and noise for operations where landing is not possible.
“We are confident in our team’s knowledge of the mission requirements, having been personally involved in these types of operations, and our engineering capability to apply Jaunt’s Slowed Rotor Compound technologies,” said Jaunt COO Jesse Crispino.
Jaunt is developing a family of eVTOL aircraft, with both all-electric and hybrid-electric propulsion options, for a variety of civil and military applications. The company says that its design meets HSVTOL requirements in terms of speed, range, survivability, payload, and flexibility to conduct the USAF and USSOCOM missions.
Over the next six months, Jaunt will further develop its MAV 55 solution in partnership with the military teams, along with the HSVTOL Concept Challenge’s prime contractor, Collaboration Ai.
“The HSVTOL Concept Challenge has surfaced an impressive range and caliber of solutions to help understand how to build a new class of air vehicles,” said Reid Melville, chief innovation officer with the USAF Research Laboratory’s Transformational Capabilities Office. “We believe the organizations selected to receive market research investments at this stage have the potential to deliver truly groundbreaking innovation.”