Horizon Aircraft has embarked on a new bid to raise further funding for eVTOL vehicle development through a business combination with special purpose acquisition company Pono Capital Three. Announcing the move, the Canadian company confirmed it is now working on a Cavorite X7 technology demonstrator that is larger than the earlier X5 design, with the capacity to carry a pilot and six passengers and with a useful load of around 1,500 pounds.
Pono Capital Three is currently incorporated in the Cayman Islands. On completion of the business merger, the combined Horizon Aircraft entity would be established as a Canadian company based in British Columbia and with shares traded on New York’s Nasdaq stock exchange.
Details of the proposed deal were laid out in a recent 8K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Pono was incorporated in March 2022 and according to its original 10K filing has capital of just under $118 million from its initial public offering.
Horizon Aircraft co-founder and CEO Brandon Robinson told AIN he expects the deal to generate sufficient funds to complete construction of a full-scale X7 demonstrator. He indicated that the companies intend to raise additional capital from a PIPE investment.
Second Attempt at IPO Through Business Combination
In 2022, Horizon broke away from Astro Aerospace, the U.S. company that had acquired it in June 2021 with a view to pursuing a Nasdaq listing. This was achieved through a stock buy-back and Horizon then launched a Series A funding round to step up the development of the Cavorite aircraft.
“I think it is important that the current Horizon Aircraft leadership will have full control of the [new combined] entity and there are no other companies with which we will have to share resources,” Robinson commented. “The company will be 100 percent focused on completing a full-scale Cavorite X7 technology demonstrator.”
The hybrid-electric X7 features a patented fan-in-wing design and is expected to have a range of 500 miles at speeds of 240 knots. “Our testing [of the original X5 demonstrator] is going better than expected and we feel we have sufficient data to conservatively increase the size of the aircraft a bit, improving the unit economics across most of its anticipated missions,” Robinson explained.
Horizon has been flight testing a half-scale demonstrator vehicle. The company says this has now completed hover testing and tuning, as well as being evaluated in a wind tunnel to explore transition speeds of around 50 mph. It has received approval from Transport Canada to start untethered flight tests in the fall.