High-speed Jaunt VTOL aircraft confirmed for US Air Force competition


The Afwerx High Speed Vertical Takeoff and Land (HSVTOL) Concept Challenge, which aims to encourage the development of VTOL technologies, has shortlisted 218 entries to 35.

The Challenge which is being run by the US Air Force (USAF) and US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) is expected to announce the full roster of selected entries soon, but it has been revealed that Jaunt’s MAV55 Multi-Mission Air Vehicle will be one of the Challengers.

The MAV55 uses the same slowed rotor compound (SRC) technology as Jaunt’s Journey eVTOL for the civilian market. Jaunt are partnering with VerdeGo Aero on the challenge to use the company’s hybrid-electric drive system.

VerdeGo is also one of the companies selected by the US Air Force to the round of 35. The company completed the first validation tests of its hybrid-electric propulsion system last year.

Jesse Crispino, chief operations officer for Jaunt Air Mobility said, “Having worked within USSOCOM in Rotary Wing Special Operation Forces during my military service, our team fully understands the mission requirements of infiltration and exfiltration, personnel recovery, aeromedical evacuation, and tactical mobility, at jet-like speeds.

“These are the core fundamentals we applied in designing the MAV55. Still, we’ve also added the elements of lower acoustic signatures and minimal downwash in hover operations,”

SRC is a suite of technologies that slows the rotor as the forward airspeed of a rotorcraft increases and the wings take on the lift reducing drag, noise, and associated vibration. The configuration produces a lift to drag ratio five better than a helicopter, as demonstrated during over 300 flight test hours by Jaunt.

SRC isn’t a new concept, but the design complexities were cost and weight-prohibitive when integrated into a hovering solution until electrification and hybridization.

“The High Speed AFWERX Concept Challenge and STTRs allow companies like Jaunt to work in partnership with the military to develop the next generation of aviation technology,” said Martin Peryea, CEO of Jaunt Air Mobility.

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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