Jaunt Air Mobility, an air taxi developer within the AIRO Group Holdings aerospace and defense company, formed a new strategic partnership this week. Jaunt is partnering with MintAir, a South Korean startup developing an advanced air mobility service. MintAir signed a Letter of Intent to purchase up to 40 of Jaunt’s electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, and the startup will also serve as the exclusive partner of Jaunt for the Korean market.
Jaunt’s eVTOL aircraft, the Journey, uses Slowed Rotor Compound (SRC) technologies. Jaunt CEO Martin Peryea remarked on the new partnership with MintAir in the company’s announcement: “The Jaunt Journey’s aircraft design offers the safest air taxi configuration that is operationally efficient, quiet, and sustainable.”
As part of the strategic partnership, MintAir and Jaunt will collaborate to launch commercial AAM operations for passenger transportation in multiple Korean markets. MintAir’s plans include beginning AAM services with a specific eVTOL vehicle design: electric rotorcraft that have a single main rotor.
Some advantages of electric rotorcraft, according to the announcement, include “lower energy consumption, lower operating costs, and a direct, less complicated path towards certification.”
The CEO of MintAir, Eugene Choi, also provided a comment on the strategic partnership with Jaunt. “Our mission is to develop the safest Advanced Air Mobility service in both urban and rural environments based on sound ESG management,” he remarked. “Jaunt Air Mobility is committed to those same principles throughout the aircraft’s lifecycle. And we are confident the Jaunt Journey will transport the public with the highest level of safety.”
Jaunt is headquartered in Dallas, Texas, and its design and manufacturing efforts take place in Montreal, Canada. Jaunt’s team is working in coordination with Transport Canada to achieve certification under Chapter 529: Transport Category Rotorcraft.
Jaunt expects to launch its aircraft by 2026. The company is also one of 11 companies chosen by the U.S. Air Force’s AFWERX program for a Phase I contract award. The program challenged recipients to design concepts for high-speed VTOL aircraft from January to June of this year.
Jaunt merged with the AIRO Group company as a wholly-owned subsidiary last October, joining its six other businesses, AIRO Drone, Agile Defense, Aspen Avionics, Coastal Defense, Sky-Watch, and VRCO.
In late July of this year, the AIRO Group announced that it had completed its mergers with global aerospace firms and had reorganized its business into four divisions: Advanced Avionics, Electric Air Mobility, Commercial Drones, and Training. The Jaunt Journey aircraft falls within AIRO’s Electric Air Mobility division.
Joe Burns, CEO of the AIRO Group, believes that eVTOL operators “are looking for a pedigree of certification and safety as well as robust, dynamic capabilities, efficiencies, and quiet operations,” he remarked in the announcement about AIRO’s successful mergers and business realignment. “AIRO is proud to have received numerous pre-orders as well as multiple US DoD contracts aimed at optimizing eVTOL speed and minimizing acoustic signatures for quiet operations,” he added.
Burns is also confident that aircraft certification of Jaunt’s eVTOL will be validated through the Federal Aviation Administration and the EU Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) soon after Transport Canada awards certification.
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