New South Wales-based AMSL Aero has announced it has successfully completed the maiden test flight of its Australian designed and manufactured electric aircraft called the Vertiia.
The Vertiia completed its tethered hover by remote control near Wellington in the Central West of the state in accordance with Civil Aviation Safety Authority regulations.
The maiden test flight is a monster milestone for the AMSL Aero, which expects its electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) to ultimately be competitive with a helicopter of equivalent performance and payload.
The company says the zero emissions Vertiia can carry four passengers and a pilot, with a cruising speed of 300kmph and a range of 1,000 kilometres, three times the range of any eVTOL craft anywhere in the world.
AMSL Aero has a contract with a key customer and says it is working hard to build a backlog of orders. The company says it will commence deliveries of the Vertiia in 2026 to customers in the aeromedical, cargo, emergency, and regional air mobility sectors.
The company is headquartered at Bankstown in Sydney, where assembly of the Vertiia has taken place, with manufacturing conducted across both regional NSW and greater Sydney, and with key suppliers in Victoria and South Australia.
AMSL Aero founders Andrew Moore and Siobhan Lindon told InnovationAus.com that they intend to build manufacturing capability for the aircraft in Australia, but are still working on the longer term design, test and assembly strategy for the program.
The Vertiia could be classified as a classic dual-use disruptive breakthrough platform, with applications in the defence and commercial worlds. A good proxy for use cases are helicopters which serve everything emergency services to defence to search and rescue, the company told InnovationAus.com.
Vertiia inventor and AMSL Aero chief executive Mr Moore said that it was nearly 130 years since Australian flight pioneer Lawrence Hargrave invented the box kite, on which the Vertiia’s “box wing” design is based.
“As Vertiia lifted off [on its test flight], we felt the same rush of adrenaline that Lawrence Hargrave must have felt nearly 130 years ago. The Vertiia prototype flew better than we expected. It was remarkably smooth and a delight to fly,” Mr Moore said.
AMSL Aero will now conduct more test flights and begin CASA certification for Vertiia, which is on display at the Avalon International Airshow in Victoria in the coming weeks, as it continues to build sovereign aviation capability for Australia.
Co-founder Siobhan Lyndon, a tech industry veteran who spent more than a decade at Google at various operations around the world, said Vertiia would enable greater access to medical services for vulnerable remote, rural and regional communities, offering new models of care through rapid and low-cost connectivity.
“Vertiia is not only safe and quiet, but it was also developed for the harsh long-distance conditions in Australia. If it can work in Australia, it can work anywhere,” she said.
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