Overair has completed the assembly of its first full-scale Butterfly electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) prototype.

This achievement paves the way for the aircraft to begin flight testing in early 2024. The first testing phase will take place at the manufacturer’s headquarters in Santa Ana, California, before progressing to its expansive flight test facility in Victorville, California.

Overair's Butterfly eVTOL aircraft
Overair’s Butterfly eVTOL aircraft

The initial tests of the eVTOL aircraft will focus on validating Butterfly’s propulsion systems, flight control mechanics, safety features and operational efficiency.

In addition, the testing will assess the aircraft’s 55-decibel noise target and its performance across diverse flight and weather conditions.

Valerie Manning, Chief Commercial Officer at Overair said:

Since day one, Overair has been committed to developing an aircraft that extends efficient air transportation to a broader audience; an aircraft that will be welcomed by local communities, passengers, and operators alike. Our prototype is where we begin real-world, full-scale validation of these fundamental design principles.

This milestone marks the build and assembly of the first eVTOL aircraft to utilise Optimum Speed Tilt Rotor (OSTR) and Individual Blade Control (IBC) technologies. This approach aims to provide a new standard in quietness, performance and reliability.

OSTR technology adjusts the propeller speed to improve efficiency during takeoff, transition and forward flight. This reduces the amount of power required by 60 percent during hover.

Meanwhile, IBC minimises vibration, lowers maintenance costs and enhances safety while delivering a smoother and quieter ride.

Prior to the assembly of the prototype aircraft, the manufacturer validated the full-scale propulsion technology via a 2022 truck-based test.

Ben Tigner, CEO of Overair said:

Assembling our first full-scale prototype vehicle marks the culmination of years of industry expertise, meticulous development planning, innovative engineering, and the hard work of the entire Overair team. This seamless transition from propulsion testing to a full-scale prototype underscores our dedication to redefining the eVTOL landscape with safer, quieter, and more reliable aircraft.


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