Mayman Aerospace has revealed a flight-ready prototype of its Speeder Air Utility Vehicle at the Draper Venture Network CEO Summit.
The VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft has eight jet engines, with a carbon fiber body designed and modeled to lift 1000 lbs (450kg) and fly 400 miles (640km) at over 500mph (800km/h) in an unpiloted cargo mode.
Venture capitalist Tim Draper, a primary investor in the project said, “We believe the Speeder is the future of VTOL flight and I’m personally looking forward to flying one myself.”
The multi-use VTOL air vehicle can operate using regular, zero net carbon or sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The P2 Speeder will use Mayman’s proprietary-developed onboard computer system to rebalance thrust In case of engine anomaly.
Mayman has been working alongside the US military for a number of years, initially winning a collaboration contract with the Navy Seals in 2016. The design of the Speeder quickly developed from there, with shifting demands placed on payload, range and training.
With a successful test run of their P1 Prototype last year, remote control test flights for the P2 are scheduled to begin in late 2022. Piloted tests are planned to follow shortly thereafter before the end of the year.
David Mayman, founder of Jetpack Aviation and Mayman Aerospace said, “Mayman Aerospace is pushing the outer limits of VTOL flight and will continue to innovate and incorporate new technologies, including hydrogen powered turbine engines, electric fanjets and turbofan propulsion, complex ‘sense and avoid’ sensors for autonomous swarming, and potentially even supersonic flight.”
Mayman believes the Speeder will have several advantages over helicopters, drones and eVTOL aircraft and that the updated P2 design will offer maximum flight efficiency and safety via system redundancy.
Rapidly deployable, cheaper and simpler to maintain, the company is aiming the Speeder at potential customers in defense, critical cargo, wildland firefighting and disaster relief applications.