Israeli “Flying Sportscar” Is Getting a Customized Japanese Motor

The Air One will be equipped with custom Nidec motors 9 photos
Photo: AIR
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AIR and Nidec Motor Corporation have officially joined forces to develop a customized motor for the Air One eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing), partly supported by the US.
All electric air taxi makers are fighting to secure the best suppliers in the industry for their flagship aircraft. The Israel-based AIR added an important name to its list. Nidec Motor Corporation is not only an established motor expert but also one of the biggest electric motor manufacturers in the world. Together, the two plan to develop a customized version for the Air One two-seat aircraft.

It's not the Japanese giant's first encounter with the world of eVTOLs. Last summer, it officially announced the birth of a joint venture named Nidec Aerospace, the result of a collaboration with aviation giant Embraer. This new manufacturer is set to focus exclusively on electric propulsion systems for the aerospace sector. Also, it was confirmed that its launch customer would be Eve Air Mobility, which is the AAM (Advance Air Mobility) subsidiary of Embraer.

Nidec Aerospace will be headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, but will also benefit from Embraer and Nidec's additional infrastructure in Brazil and Mexico.

For now, AIR hasn't revealed more details about the future motor and its estimated performance. Often described as a "flying sportscar," the Air One eVTOL was initially designed as a private electric aircraft. Performance-wise, it promises a 100-mile (160 km) range on a single charge, coupled with a top speed of 155 mph (250 kph).

In terms of design, the Air One stands out due to its compact structure with a patented folding mechanism, allowing the wings to be folded in under five minutes. Plus, it takes just 30 minutes to recharge the aircraft from 20% to 80%. This private air taxi will be fitted with eight motors but will be able to function with only four of them running in case of emergency (what is known as double propulsion redundancy).

When it comes to money, the Israeli startup and the Japanese motor giant aren't in this alone. The project is funded by the BIRD Foundation (Israel-US Binational Industrial R&D Foundation) through the BIRD Energy Program. This program is meant to support joint initiatives related to clean energy.

On the other hand, Air One also caught the attention of the US military. AIR's participation in the well-known AFWERX Agility Prime program reached the flight testing phase earlier this year, confirming that this speedy and compact eVTOL can be more than a leisure aircraft for personal use.

And it doesn't stop here. The Israeli eVTOL maker also kicked off a pioneering collaboration with the International SeaKeepers Society (an educational entity for all yachting lovers) with the goal of exploring potential eVTOL uses as part of the auxiliary equipment for superyachts.
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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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