Astro Aerospace Selected for AFWERX HSVTOL Challenge
Astro Aerospace has announced that its revolutionary Cavorite X5 eVTOL platform has been selected for the highly competitive AFWERX High Speed VTOL (HSVTOL) Concept Challenge– an initiative launched in partnership with the United States Air Force (USAF) and US Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) to explore innovative HSVTOL concepts that can support a wide range of military applications.
From a roster of 218 applicants, Astro is one of only a few OEMs in a small group of 35 successful challengers that are now in consideration to be granted funding associated with research, development, testing, and subsequently exclusive contract opportunities to produce and field aircraft to the USAF and USSOCOM.
Reid Melville, Chief Innovation Officer, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Transformational Capabilities Office stated at the Challenge’s May 5th launch, “The USAF and USSOCOM are seeking ground-breaking ideas that will further strengthen operational effectiveness and efficiency in contested, resource-constrained, and runway-independent settings.”
Astro’s Cavorite X5 is designed for speed, stealth, and operational versatility to support military missions such as Special Operations Forces (SOF) infiltration and exfiltration, personnel recovery, aeromedical evacuation, and tactical mobility. The High Speed eVTOL is also purposely designed for disaster relief, rescue missions and cargo transport. Traveling up to 275 mph over 340 miles, the Cavorite X5 offers exceptional payload, speed and range ideally suited for many high-risk environments.
Leading the development of the game-changing eVTOL is Astro President Brandon Robinson, a CF-18 Fighter Pilot, Top Gun graduate, and Mechanical Engineer from the Royal Military College of Canada. “We are very proud that the Cavorite X5 was chosen for the extremely competitive AFWERX Challenge,” remarked Mr. Robinson. “The patented technology that underpins our advanced design represents a versatile, scalable platform that can easily be adapted to help our servicepeople around the world.”
The Cavorite X5 pushes the boundaries of eVTOL performance. Its unique wings allow for flight in a configuration much like a normal aircraft for 98 percent of its mission, reducing drag for increased speed and operational range. Using a hybrid electric power system, the aircraft may also act as a mobile power generation station and potentially a remote command and control node on a military network.
Horizon Aircraft, a wholly owned subsidiary of Astro, has completed over 250 test flights of a 1/6th scale prototype of the Cavorite X5 and will have a 50 percent scale aircraft begin testing in Q1 of 2022. This prototype will have a wingspan of over 20 feet, weigh almost 500 pounds, and will have identical control surfaces and moving wing sections as the full-scale aircraft.
Patricia Trompeter, CEO of Astro stated, “The incredible potential the Cavorite X5 has to revolutionize how military, disaster relief and rescue operations are approached is something the Astro team has believed in for a long time. Being chosen as a finalist for the AFWERX Challenge is an unbelievable opportunity not only for our Company, but for the USA to prevail as a leader of innovation on the global stage.”
About Astro Aerospace
Astro Aerospace is the developer of an advanced, autonomous, short haul, eVTOL (Electric Vertical Take-off and Landing) aerial vehicles. Our mission is to make self-flying unmanned and manned vehicles available to anyone, at any time, from anywhere, bringing a new and exciting aircraft into a mainstream mode of transportation.
About Horizon Aircraft Inc.
Horizon Aircraft is an advanced aerospace engineering company that has developed the world’s first high speed eVTOL that can fly most of its mission exactly like a normal aircraft while offering industry-leading speed, range, and operational versatility. Our unique designs place the mission first and prioritize safety, performance, and utility. Our X5 Cavorite eVTOL is designed to enter the market quickly and service a broad spectrum of early use-cases.