Key Points:

  • Vman Aero Services has pre-ordered 10 of Lyte Aviation's 40-seater eVTOL vehicles, named Skybus, for use in India, in a deal worth up to $420 million.

  • Archer Aviation has signed agreements for its EAVs with Air Chateau International for UAE operations and InterGlobe Enterprises for services across India.

  • Archer Aviation's plans include starting air taxi operations in Abu Dhabi and Dubai by 2026, with a focus on replacing car trips with electric air taxi flights.

Vman Aero Services and Lyte Aviation's Ambitious eVTOL Project

MUMBAI — Vman Aero Services has taken a significant step in the eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) sector by signing a pre-order with Lyte Aviation for its 40-seater Skybus. This agreement involves the procurement of 10 Skybuses for operations in India, valuing up to $420 million. Vishok Mansingh, CEO of Vman, expressed enthusiasm for the Skybus's potential to address the region's transportation challenges, emphasizing the need for larger eVTOLs to meet market demand.

The Skybus boasts a range of 620 miles and a top speed of 190 mph, featuring a tandem tilt-wing design. Lyte Aviation plans to develop a full-scale prototype within the next 24 months and commence serial production in five to six years. The Skybus will incorporate dual propulsion systems—one electric, powered by hydrogen fuel cells, and the other turbine-driven by jet fuel. Freshta Farzam, founder and CEO of Lyte Aviation, identified India as a key market due to its congested roads and high demand for passenger mobility.

Archer Aviation's Global Expansion and New Partnerships

In related developments, Archer Aviation has made strides in the eVTOL market with key agreements for its operations. A memorandum of understanding was signed with Air Chateau International for the private aviation operator to purchase 100 Archer Midnight crafts, valued at $500 million, for operations in the United Arab Emirates. Air Chateau focuses on providing last-mile services for high-net-worth individuals between airports and cities.

Furthermore, Archer has partnered with InterGlobe Enterprises to launch air taxi services across India by 2026. This partnership involves the purchase of up to 200 Archer Midnight aircraft, with additional exploration into use cases like cargo, logistics, and medical services. The Archer Midnight is designed to accommodate a pilot and four passengers, ideal for rapid, short-distance flights with brief battery charging intervals. Archer's goal is to transform car trips into efficient electric air taxi flights, significantly reducing travel time.

In the U.S., Archer is progressing towards FAA testing for Midnight and has recently established a high-volume manufacturing facility for its EAVs. The company also received initial funding from a $142 million deal with the U.S. Air Force, aimed at evaluating eVTOL vehicles and technologies for defense purposes. These developments highlight the growing interest and investment in eVTOL technology globally, marking a new era in urban and regional transportation.