Sydney startup AMSL Aero, which has designed and built a Vertical Take Off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft powered by hydrogen, has sold its first 10 aircraft to a commercial client.
Aviation Logistics, which operates spanning regional passenger services, charter, freight and aeromedical flights, paid deposits on 10 aircraft, with the option to buy 10 more, amid hopes the aircraft will take to the skies in 2027.
In the last few years of building prototypes of the Vertiia, with a 2023 launch intially flagged for the “electric flying car”, inventor Andrew Moore, the startup’s chief engineering officer, cut plans to include batteries to go all-out with a hydrogen fuel cell. The craft takes off like a helicopter, then flies like a plane, and can carry a 500kg payload. It has up to a 1,000km range, and 300kmh cruising speed, with the operating costs predicted to be 70% lower than a helicopter.
AMSL Aero is based at Sydney’s Bankstown Airport and has banked more than $50 million from investors and government,
In 2022, the St Baker Energy Innovation Fund led a $23 million Series B supported by IP Group Australia, TelstraSuper and Hostplus. Most recently, the federal government handed over $5.43 million in funding late last year via the Australian Renewable Energy Agency – 50% of the $10.86 million in development costs.
Aviation Logistics directors Matthew Kline and Mark Wardrop said the deal with AMSL Aero is a significant milestone in the group’s fleet replacement and growth strategy.
“We are extremely excited by the opportunities that Vertiia will offer. We believe this aircraft is set to revolutionise the movement of people and freight across the country by providing greater access to air transport whilst opening up new market opportunities that currently do not exist,” Kline said.
Wardrop said: “We believe it is only a matter of time before electric and hydrogen powered aircraft are transporting people across Australia and Vertiia has the potential to change the way people living in rural and regional communities access services such as education and healthcare located in major centres.”
Max York they’ll continue to test-fly the aircraft, with the Aviation Logistics sale bringing Vertiia to commercial reality. The aircraft remains subject to approval by the aviation regulator, CASA, for commercial flights.