Doroni Aerospace is aiming to complete the construction of a full-scale prototype of its planned H1 eVTOL aircraft by June as it prepares to begin flight testing later in 2022. Over the past year or so, the U.S.-based start-up has shifted its plans to develop a two-seater vehicle after hearing feedback from prospective customers on an earlier single-seat model.
According to founder and CEO Doron Merdinger, the H1 is mainly aimed at personal transportation and freight operations, rather than commercial air taxi services, and has a target base price of up to $150,000. The company intends to certify the vehicle under light-sport aircraft rules that would not require operators to have a full pilot’s license; they would simply need to undergo 15 hours of training and complete five solo flight hours.
The all-electric design features two sets of wings, each integrated with a pair of ducted fans. With a 500-pound payload, the H1 is expected to have a range of 60 miles and fly at speeds of up to around 140 mph. Merdinger told FutureFlight that the range limit might double by 2024 when his team aims to be ready to start deliveries.
The company was founded in 2016 by Merdinger and Ukrainian aerospace engineer Roman Antonov, who started his career with the country’s famous Antonov Design Bureau. Merdinger’s own background has mainly been in the luxury goods business.
In 2021, Doroni achieved second place in the Florida Aerospace Consortium’s Innovation and Tech Forum. To date, it has raised almost $500,000 through crowd-funding and recently moved into a production facility in Coral Springs, Florida.