U.S. aircraft retail outlet Aeroauto Aeromall is to be a distributor for the Air One personal eVTOL vehicle after joining its developer Air in exhibiting a prototype of the two-seat model at the Kentucky Derby horse race this past weekend. Aeroauto says it is establishing the world’s first showrooms and dealership for urban air mobility vehicles.
The Kentucky Derby event was the first public showing for the full-scale Air One prototype, for which Air is now taking preorders in anticipation of first deliveries in 2024. Invited guests were able to sit inside the aircraft and experience a virtual flight using the company’s simulator. The vehicle is priced at $150,000, with pre-orders requiring a $1,000 deposit.
The prototype will make further appearances on a U.S. tour for which the next stop will be the EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in July. Between stops, it will be on display in the new Aeroauto showroom at Witham Field Airport in Stuart, Florida. The company is opening another showroom at North County Airport in Palm Beach, Florida.
Customers who buy the vehicle through Aeroauto will have access to its flight training for new owner-pilots through a partnership with its sister company Sky Blue Jet Aviation. According to Israel-based Air, its new partner will also help to develop local infrastructure for eVTOL operations, as well as providing maintenance support. SkyBlue trains private and corporate pilots, as well as maintaining various aircraft types.
The Aeroauto website also lists several other makes of eVTOL aircraft, including those being developed by Aska, EHang, Jetson One, Lift, Volocopter, and Vertical Aerospace. The company's chief aeronautic officer Tomas Bueno told FutureFlight that it has approached these companies with proposals for retail sales representation.
Air One is expected to provide a range of 110 miles (177 km) on a single charge at speeds up to 155 miles per hour (250 km). The manufacturer says it will be able to take off from any flat surface and be stored in most garages and driveways, as well as being able to be hauled around on a trailer.
According to Air, it is now preparing to begin hover testing the full-scale prototype and is also working with the FAA to complete the second stage of the G1 type certification basis process. It has previously conducted drop tests and has finalized the first stage of integrating the aircraft’s power and communication systems.
Aeroauto is the second distributor to commit to marketing the Air One. In March, Australian electric aircraft distributor and support provider FlyOne said it had reserved 25 of the aircraft for distribution to end-users starting in 2025, and it will also provide supporting infrastructure.
Air co-founder and CEO Rani Plaut believes events like the Kentucky Derby provide a prime opportunity to gain public acceptance of self-piloted eVTOL flights.
“It is a great honor to become the world’s first specialized urban air mobility vehicle showroom and dealership, bringing an international manufacturer to North America as an Air Brand Ambassador while becoming their North America flagship retailer for sales, service, and the customer training center,” said Aeroauto CEO Sean Borman. “We feel that Air’s advanced technology will be a great asset to the industry of personal transportation as a whole. The Air One is an exciting addition to the U.S.’s personal transportation market and for all the people that have been dreaming of these incredible machines for decades.”