A new survey (1) amongst private equity and venture capital professionals reveals 41% believe the first urban air mobility passenger routes will be operational within the next two years. The study was commissioned by Horizon Aircraft, an innovative leader in hybrid electric Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) aerial vehicles, with private equity and venture capital professionals.

When it comes to what the professional investors believe the first practical use of piloted eVTOL aircraft will be, 27% said search and rescue, followed by 20% who said remote supply, and 15% who said organ transport.

Overall, 93% of private equity and venture capital professionals questioned believe that the growing global demand for better and more efficient transportation systems, the increasing number of vehicles operating on the roads causing serious environmental impact, and advances in technology improving the safety and viability of eVTOLs, will result in a rapidly improving regulatory environment for the eVTOL market over the next five years, and fuel substantial investment in the sector.

When asked to select which five countries that will have the biggest and most advanced eVTOL markets in 2030, 59% cited the USA, 52% said Canada, 41% said the UK, 37% France and 35% highlighted China.

Brandon Robinson, CEO of Horizon Aircraft said, “Our research highlights the huge variety of ways in which eVTOLs can be used – from search and rescue to remote supply, passenger transportation, and military missions. This is one of the key reasons why the sector is attracting so much investment, and it will be those aircraft that can be used for multiple purposes that will attract much of this financing.”

Horizon Aircraft, and its flagship Cavorite X5 design, has been attracting significant interest from within the industry having won several grants, a US Department of Defence advanced research and development contract award, and being ahead of its competitors with its large-scale prototype already flying.

Horizon Aircraft is currently running rigorous flight testing of its 50%-scale prototype while continuing to develop a detailed design of a full-scale aircraft.

Horizon’s innovative approach and technology allows its Cavorite X5 to fly 98% of its mission in a very low-drag configuration like a traditional aircraft. Flying most of the time as a normal aircraft is safer and will make the aircraft easier to certify than radical new eVTOL designs. The full-scale aircraft will also be powered by a hybrid electric system that can recharge the battery array in-flight while providing additional system redundancy. Comprehensive testing of this 50%-scale aircraft will reduce technical risk moving forward as Horizon continues development of its full-scale aircraft.

(1) Horizon Aircraft commissioned the market research company PureProfile to survey 100 senior private equity and venture capital professionals to capture their views on their eVTOL market. Respondents were based in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, China, Hong Kong, Germany, and the UAE. The survey was conducted online in November 2022.