Tell us about your experience in the field of UAVs and what were your fields of expertise before venturing into UAVs?
I am a mechanical engineer with focus on mobility and have been working in the aerospace as well as the automotive industry all my professional life. Since my childhood I have been building and flying model airplanes and helicopters and with 19 I started to fly hang gliders. Some years later I made my PPL & CPL with instrument and multiengine ratings and finally my CHPL. During all these years I observed the growing possibilities of UAV applications and started to see the commercial advantages. The founding of FlyNow Aviation and developing a modular eVTOL family for cargo and passenger transport was a logical next step and closes a cycle in my aviation career.
Speaking of your product Flynow PAV, could you elaborate its specifications, capabilities and the possible modifications?
Our eVTOL family consists of a cargo, and a single & twin seater passenger version. The range for all these variants is 50km, maximum cruising speed is 130km/h and the maximum payload is 200kg.
Is the single-occupancy version the only aircraft you are planning now?
For being commercially successful it is key to meet different customer requirements with the same technical solutions. So we are developing a modular eVTOL family for cargo as well as passenger transportation. First applications will be cargo end of 2024.
What according to you are some necessary reforms to be introduced in our Global Drone space?
I believe that for a successful and timely application of unmanned aerial vehicles, integration into the existing aviation structures is inevitable. However, in order to be able to handle the volume of new traffic efficiently and safely, a higher degree of automation of air traffic control is required than currently existing. In addition, special air routes for UAVS should be created in the lower airspace in order to equalize the traffic density and spatially separate the traffic flows.
What are the biggest challenges you have faced & how do you overcame?
Implementing a new means of transport which is safe, comfortable, efficient and cost effective in production and operation is a big challenge in itself and can only be achieved when there is a benefit for all stakeholders involved. If the broad public realizes the potentials these eVTOL offer them in form of availability and affordability in comparison to existing mobility solutions than 3D mobility can acquire the same impact as the car did in the 20th century without the negative side effects associated with it.
How long do you consider to get final certification & to start production? Any Orders or LOI’s?
Concerning certification we are following a three step approach consolidated with AustroControl following EASA regulations. We are currently close to the first step to acquire a specific category certification with a SAIL 2 for our 1:1 scale proof of concept. In the second step we stay in the specific category and increase the SAIL for first commercial applications of our Cargo Variant transporting goods over non populated areas starting end of 2024. In the third step we aim for a certified category certification to transport passengers over populated areas. FlyNow Aviation has LOI`s and MoU`s with a large importer from south-east Asia, with a German logistic company and hotel operator and is in negotiation with potential customers in Austria, India and Africa.
Where do you see Flynow in the next five or ten years in the Global market? Do you have specific markets in target?
Due to our unique concept approach FlyNow Aviation´s eVTOL family differentiates itself from its competitors mainly through its affordability and availability for everyone. We want to help ease existing traffic problems, reduce resource and energy requirements per tonne- and passenger kilometers and contribute to economic growth. For many reasons we therefore consider besides specific European countries many Asian, Arabic and African countries as interesting markets since they proofed to be leapfrogging also in other areas of technology.
Can you give us some valuable suggestions for the Drone-prenuers and the Drone pilots?
Thorough education and training is key to understand and tackle the challenges and problems associated with in all areas of aviation. Done right, 3D-mobilty can help to reduce the negative side effects of transporting goods and people in comparison to all existing means of transport and therefore will contribute to a better world with many opportunities to all kinds of jobs in this emerging industry.