Electrical vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) start-up, Autonomous Flight, has raised £5 million as part of a £25 million Series A round of funding.
Founded by serial tech entrepreneur Martin Warner, Autonomous Flight is building the Y6S Plus– a battery-powered flying aircraft to facilitate short-range transportation in urban areas.
The luxury six-seater boasts a unique category defining flight system, operating a three-propeller design, the company said.
The Y6S Plus is being designed to reach cruise speeds of 200km/h (125 mph) and will have a range of 130km (100 mi) on a single charge. A concept prototype has been designed (Y6S) and Autonomous Flight is planning to launch the Y6S Plus in 2023.
“We are developing an almost noiseless, clean technology that will help solve the problem of urban congestion, exploiting virgin airspace between 300ft and 2,000ft above sea-level and revolutionising travel in the world’s busiest cities,” said Warner.
“The electronic and autonomous VTOL market will be worth $1.5 trillion by 2040, according to Morgan Stanley, and we are one of only a handful of companies in the world to have developed a full size viable prototype that has led to category-defining innovation for the Y6S Plus.”
The funding comes at an important stage in the development and testing of the Y6S Plus. The flying vehicle has just completed its full simulation test and provides the first views of how the Y6S Plus will fly.
Autonomous Flight was established in Kent (just outside London, UK) in 2017. The Y6S Plus is one of the world’s only full size prototypes and is part of Autonomous Flight’s drive to become a global leader in the rising Urban Air Mobility (UAM) movement. The Y6S Plus will be initially launched in the UK and US, with plans for a global rollout in the coming decade.
Autonomous Flight is one of several innovative ventures headed by Martin Warner to help future-proof industries. He co-founded botObjects, a revolutionary 3D printing software and hardware manufacturer, which was acquired for $50 million by 3D Systems Inc just 17 months after its launch. He has published over 120 patents, built a dozen innovative products, and has helped more than 250,000 entrepreneurs through his Entrepreneur Seminar program.
Warner is also the founder of Parcel Fly – an air logistics software company that enables retailers, logistics companies, governments, and aid organisations to manage the point-to-point delivery of parcels by air. Parcel Fly’s mission is to revolutionise the logistics industry through a readily accessible technological system that takes advantage of air travel. Parcel Fly has the potential to manage air traffic control for over 1.4 million drones in 720 cities, Warner says.