Agility Prime Funds Mayman’s Speeder
The U.S. Air Force AFWerX Agility Prime initiative has added Mayman Aerospace to the list of companies receiving support to develop new-generation vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.
The $1.25 million award will be used to continue development of Mayman’s Speeder Air Utility Vehicle.
Founder and CEO David Mayman and his team worked closely with Matter Labs to win the direct to Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant.
“Speeder is a disruptive technology that is changing the way we think about small VTOL aircraft. It is perfectly suited to complex, demanding and often dangerous DOD contested logistics missions,” Mayman says. “We are honored that a U.S. Air Force agency recognizes our technology and understands the inherent value an AUV [autonomous utility vehicle] can bring to military forces. With the AFWERX funding we are even better positioned to deliver and certify Speeder for military requirements within the next 18 months,” Mayman says.
Based in Southern California, Mayman is developing a high-speed utility vehicle with a payload of 600 lb. that can fly at speeds up to 500 mph and with a range of 500 mi. The company is currently flight testing its third full-scale Speeder prototype, which can be operated in autonomous, remote or piloted modes.
The company completed initial tethered flight trials with two Speeder prototypes. Trials with a third full-scale prototype, the P2, are underway. P2 can be configured with four or eight engines and is anticipated to fly off-tether under FAA experimental certification by the end of 2022, as it works to expand the performance envelope.
The modular design includes a standard chassis with interchangeable modules for varied cargo configurations as well as a module that provides a motorcycle-like configuration for a piloted version of the vehicle. Transportable in a pickup truck, the Speeder requires minimal field support due to its design, which has minimized mechanical parts.
Speeder may be flown under full control using vectored-engine thrust, or with quick-fit aerodynamic surfaces for extended range missions.
Company presentations show the turbine-powered Speeder will use net zero e-fuel—synthetic fuel produced from renewable electricity and carbon captured from the air.
In military applications, the Speeder could be used for autonomous swarming operations, logistics, and rapid response. Civilian operations include logistics, medical and firefighting use cases.
Mayman Aerospace, a venture-backed company, designed the Speeder to fill the gap between traditional helicopter, drone and eVTOL operations by offering both speed and heavier lift capabilities.