Ventura, Calif.-based Mayman Aerospace has earned the first letter of intent (LOI) for its Speeder air utility vehicle, signing an agreement for twenty-five units with Sweden-based aircraft distributor Savback Helicopters.
The LOI is worth around $40 million and will ensure that the first production units of the Speeder are allocated to Savback, Mayman told Cargo Facts, adding that Savback is confident about securing firm orders from its clients.
The first deliveries are expected in 2023.
Mayman Aerospace, previously known as JetPack Aviation, is currently carrying out flight tests with its third Speeder prototype. The company said it is working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and estimates certification in the fourth quarter of 2024.
When first delivered, Mayman expects its Speeder to operate for a limited, special military use case.
The drone developer also said that it is in talks with other potential customers including those in the energy, mining and telecom sectors for cargo operations, adding that customers are interested in using the vehicle for flights that reduce human input and those that are difficult for fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters.
The cargo variant of the Speeder air utility vehicle is a modified version of the Speeder flying motorcycle. The unmanned cargo aircraft comes in long-range and heavy-lift variants, capable of delivering payloads of 362 kg at speeds of 400 kts over a range of 500 nautical miles.
Mayman also told Cargo Facts that the Speeder operates with eight turbine engines that power the modular design and can be run with either conventional Jet-A fuel or sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
With its speed and performance, the Speeder platform is most comparable to the Brazilian Tupan-3000, which also hopes to come to market in 2024.
Mayman Aerospace says its Speeder is faster and more efficient than a helicopter and targets replacing helicopter operations. Helicopter operator giant Bristow Group ordered both the Alia-250c cargo eVTOL and placed an LOI for 100 of the Elroy Chaparral drone to supplement its traditional helicopter fleet.
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