SPRINGFIELD, Ohio (WDTN) — State officials are celebrating a milestone in aviation. On Friday, Lift Aircraft unveiled Ohio’s first “flying car” at the Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport.
The Hexa all-electric aircraft, which is essentially a large multirotor drone can fly up to 1,200 feet and carry a single passenger. Bringing the flying car to Ohio for research and testing was made possible through public and private partnerships, including the U.S. Air Force’s AFWERX program.
Governor Mike DeWine said, “the lift aircraft we see today represents the emergence of incredible technology that has the potential to transform our lives just as the Wright Brothers did more than 117 years ago.”
“We’re really excited. All of the resources Ohio brings are really going to help us in our development,” said Matthew Chasen, the CEO of Lift Aircraft. The Hexa will be used for recreation and entertainment, public use, and military use. And while it’s still in its testing phase, a pilot’s license isn’t required. Anyone with an hour worth of training in a simulator can fly the aircraft.
“It’s designed completely for safety. It has 18 individual motors, propellers, and batteries so multiple can fail and you can still fly safely,” Chasen said.
Officials said it’s also an exciting time for jobs in Ohio.
“Ohio has been working for decades on smart mobility and advanced air mobility and this is just another step in that journey,” said Elaine Bryant, the managing director JobsOhio military and federal sector. “As we look to the future and these EVTOLS, or flying cars as they’re affectionately called, become mainstay we’ll need not only to research and test them as we’re doing now but we’ll need to manufacture them and deploy them out to our folks,” she said.
Over 15,000 people are on the waitlist to fly. Officials expect the aircraft to be available for the public by the end of 2021.