A recent survey (1) amongst private equity and venture capital professionals reveals that over the next two years, 88% expect improvements in the regulatory framework for the eVTOL market and 15% anticipate there will be a dramatic improvement. 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 which eVTOL’s private equity and venture capital professionals believe offer the most attractive opportunities for investors, 89% cited those that fly most of their time as normal aircraft because they are deemed to be safer, making it easier for them to be certified by the relevant aviation authorities.
In terms of what the main hurdles are to achieving regulatory approval for eVTOL aircraft, safety measures are seen as the biggest by professional investors. This is followed by meeting certain standards regarding operations and maintenance, pilot training requirements, and the quality of software used by operators.
When it comes to which countries professional investors believe are currently the most advanced in their regulatory plans for the eVTOL market, private equity and venture capital professionals cited the USA, Canada, the UK, Germany, and China as the top five. The European Union also scored highly.
Brandon Robinson, CEO of Horizon Aircraft said, “The eVTOL market is making huge advances in terms of its overall development and technology, and this is spurring on regulators to develop an appropriate certification and operating framework for the sector. All of this will lead to further investment into the industry and more growth and technological advancements.”
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.