Military-Inspired eVTOL With Breakthrough Propulsion Tech Could Change Air Mobility

There are quite a few companies out there that are developing eVTOLs (electric vertical takeoff and landing), but not too many that benefit from decades of experience in developing this type of aircraft, especially for military applications. This is what makes Overair stand out, and what helped it develop what promises to be a revolutionary aircraft for urban mobility.
The Butterfly eVTOL is set to be certified in 2025 and begin commercial operations by 2026 7 photos
Photo: Overair
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Don’t let its name fool you – Butterfly is based on military aircraft design and decades of experience. This zero-emissions VTOL features a proprietary propulsion technology, it’s quieter than any other eVTOL and robust enough for safe operation in challenging conditions. As Overair puts it, “Think down-sized military transport, not an up-sized drone.

An eVTOL that can carry five passengers plus cargo, at a 200 mph (322 kph) top speed, with a 100-mile (161 km) range, doesn’t sound like something new. But its breakthrough propulsion system, called Optimum Speed Propulsion (OSP), makes all the difference.

Unlike other VTOLs that distribute smaller propellers on the wings and tails, Butterfly uses four bigger ones that are able to spin very slowly in hover and cruise, with two major benefits. First of all, it means that hover flight requires only a small fraction of the motor power, which gives the aircraft power margins to operate even in challenging conditions, plus extra payload capacity. Secondly, it makes it the quietest eVTOL on the market.

The innovative propulsion system makes it robust enough for all-weather operation, and it’s even able to fly with one or even two propellers inoperative. Its large propellers and advanced blade dynamics are supposed to make Butterfly as efficient as airplanes in forward flight, and, at the same time, safer and quieter than helicopters, in vertical flight.

Butterfly’s developer, Abe Karem, is known as the founding father of the “age of drones”, who started creating innovative aircraft since the ‘80s. His name is associated with several military unmanned aerial vehicles, including the Predator and the A160 Hummingbird, a drone-helicopter that broke endurance and altitude records in its class.

Overair is the fourth company founded by Abe Karem, as a culmination of all his previous achievements in VTOL design. Butterfly is his most advanced aircraft yet, drawing from military expertise, for a highly-advanced civilian mobility solution.

Overair’s eVTOL is set to obtain FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) certification by 2025, and enter commercial service in 2026.
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About the author: Otilia Drăgan
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Otilia believes that if it’s eco, green, or groundbreaking, people should know about it (especially if it's got wheels or wings). Working in online media for over five years, she's gained a deeper perspective on how people everywhere can inspire each other.
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