Los Angeles-area developer of hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft Odys Aviation has launched a $12.4 million seed funding round to accelerate work on its innovative longer-haul advanced air mobility (AAM) aircraft and its anticipated type certification in 2026.
A Y Combinator S21 company with $13.7M in total funding, Odys Aviation is looking to nearly double the finances it’s been using to bring the plane to prototype demonstration stage – a goal it expects to achieve later this year. In contrast to firms seeking to launch services in the increasingly crowded air taxi sector, Odys Aviation is looking to produce VTOL craft that fly longer AAM hauls between cities – permitting operators to cover well over half of all US domestic routes.
The nine-passenger vehicle is intended to make regional travel simpler, faster, cheaper, and far less polluting than current aerial or ground options.
“Traveling shouldn’t be a painful experience, and it certainly shouldn’t be taking a toll on our environment and communities,” said CEO James Dorris. “Odys Aviation is building an aircraft that reduces CO2 by up to 80 percent while eliminating travel pain. Beyond and distinct from air taxis, our range covers 65% of domestic flights, and we’re proud to be getting so much traction with airlines so soon after inception.”
Remedying the often rushed and tense routine of today’s air transportation is one of the company’s major goals. Odys Aviation has designed the VTOL plane for AAM service to and from existing city helipads and airports, as well as future vertiports. Use of those in-town facilities are intended to be it easier and quicker for passengers to reach, and allow them arrive in similarly central locations in touching down.
Once in flight, the craft will have a maximum speed of 345 mph, range of 1,000 miles, and cruise altitude of 30,000 ft. That velocity and the relatively large passenger load are tailored to the needs of high-volume air transport operators aiming to fly clients on some of the world’s busiest travel corridors in nearly half the time – and at competitive prices – compared to existing options.
By way of example, Odys Aviation says its VTOL and stable of inner-city facilities will enable AAM service between Santa Monica and Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco in an hour and 55 minutes, and Santa Cruz and Lake Tahoe in an hour and 15 minutes. When it factors in driving time to major airports, check-in, security, and boarding routine on both sides of commercial flights, Odys Aviation says its services will cut three hours off total door-to-door travel on both routes.
The VTOL under development relies on Odys Aviation’s patented architecture and a flap-based lifting technology, which permits simple transition to lofted flight, more efficient cruising, and improved AAM service. The looped wing structure with a hollow space between allows eight propellers to operate on either side, providing the extra speed for faster travel.
“Airlines flying Odys Aviation will unlock new market opportunities and a superior travel experience via new point-to-point routes,” said Axel Radermacher, company cofounder and head of product. “Additionally, they will strengthen their existing networks by broadening the catch basin of existing hubs and airports. We are designing the aircraft with input from major airlines to make sure we are a good fit for their operations. Our customers expressed the need for a high productivity, low CO2 aircraft, and we listened.”