Though still young, 2022 is shaping up to be monumental for Swedish flying car developer Jetson, which plans to deliver the first series of its one-passenger personal electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle later this year, then turn to outside investors to help scale activity.
The company says all the nearly 100 of its initial Jetson ONE personal eVTOL aircraft were sold out after being made available for order last year. Those first-generation flying cars are slated for delivery later in 2022, with a second run of 100 vehicles expected to reach buyers in 2023. Jetson says it received over 3,000 pre-orders in the month after it put next year’s vintage up for grabs.
Interest in the craft has been even wider than sales figures indicate. The video introducing the Jetson ONE personal eVTOL vehicle has been viewed over 14 million times since going online in October.
The single person craft flies using eight electric motors, with a top speed of 63 miles per hour and maximum flight time of 20 minutes. Pilots weighing over 210 lbs. will surpass the personal eVTOL’s payload capacity, however, but prospective buyers will need weighty wallets to finance the $92,000 cost ($22,000 upon order).
That formidable price tag notwithstanding, Jetson has focused on producing the Jetson ONE to fulfill the company aim to “make everyone a pilot.”
It is being classified as an ultralight vehicle that won’t require operational certification, and from the proof-of-concept stage in 2017 through to manufacturing has been designed for simplicity of use. Onboard LiDAR sensors assure obstacle avoidance, and a triple redundant flight computer and the craft’s ability to continue flying with the loss of a motor further enhance the ease and safety of operation.
Given the demand its personal eVTOL has generated, it isn’t surprising the company now plans to seek outside funding to finance scaling production of Jetson ONE aircraft. Though it has not given details on the amounts or types of investors it will seek to welcome aboard later this year, Jetson cofounder and CTO Tomasz Patan says the right fit will trump pure financial capacities.
“It is important for us to find the right investors now as we expand and grow our company,” he said. “Jetson is looking globally for a company that shares our vision. We are at the forefront of a new industry. The skillset needed to lead in this industry is incredibly niche. As is the mindset and energy to be in a company that wants to shape the future.”
To assist with that search, Jetson has recruited Swedish Silicon Valley veteran and investor Richard Steiber to join the company as a senior adviser. That management-level hire is only the beginning of what Jetson says will be considerable staff enlargement as it scales production.
“We are incredibly happy to have Swedish tech icon Rikard Steiber onboard our project,” said Jetson cofounder and president Peter Ternstrom. “We have a big challenge ahead of us, to finalize a production-ready Jetson ONE, and to prepare it for mass production in 2023. This is an incredibly exciting time for us but also for the eVTOL industry.”
Though potential rivals like Japan’s two-person Air One are charging hard through testing, certification, and production processes, Jetson says its personal eVTOL craft is the only commercially available flying car in the market so far.
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