The eVTOL startup Jump Aero has announced the appointment of an expert advisory board to help guide its mission of developing an aircraft to deliver first responders to the scenes of emergencies.
The eight advisory board members named last week include some familiar names in the eVTOL world, such as Zachary Lovering, the CEO and founder of Aera Aircraft who previously served as vice president for Urban Mobility Systems at Airbus; and Rex Alexander of Five-Alpha, a former helicopter air ambulance pilot who has been active in defining infrastructure requirements for eVTOL aircraft.
Other board members have extensive experience in emergency medicine and public safety, including TJ Kennedy, co-founder and principal of the Public Safety Network and former president of the International Association of Flight and Critical Care Paramedics; Dr. Swathi Nadindla, a practicing emergency physician in the San Francisco Bay Area; and John Everlove, a nationally licensed paramedic who has been actively serving in emergency medical services for 30 years.
Rounding out the board are Steve Tucker, founder of Swimmetric and an expert in embedded systems; Kirsten Bartok Touw, an entrepreneur, investor at AF Capital Partners, and managing director at AirFinance and AirFinance Ventures; and Peter Shannon, an entrepreneur and venture capitalist at Radius Capital.
According to Jump Aero co-founder and president Carl Dietrich — who previously led the flying car company Terrafugia from its founding in 2006 through its acquisition by China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group — the advisory board will help Jump Aero become a “go-to leader” in its chosen sector.
“Our mission is to help a first responder get to the scene of an emergency first, which is not a mission that is done anywhere with an aircraft right now,” Dietrich said. “In order to help us really understand the practical challenges of that mission, we knew that we needed to get an expert panel of advisors that have a whole lot more background in as many relevant areas as possible to inform our business plan and really help us understand our customer and what their needs are.”
The board will complement the aviation, manufacturing, and finance expertise of Jump Aero’s founding team, which also includes Jeff Myjak, president of Still Water Design; Katerina Barilov, previously with Shearwater Aero Capital; and Anna Dietrich, an urban air mobility expert and co-founder of the Community Air Mobility Initiative.
“There are few people who understand the new eVTOL certification process in greater depth than the Jump Aero team,” Touw stated in a press release. “The approach is both technically and strategically advanced, a rare combination. Jump Aero’s value proposition around emergency medical response is compelling from a life-saving perspective, but also with regards to long term medical care cost reductions.”
Carl Dietrich told eVTOL.com that the company has been moving forward behind the scenes with conceptual development of its aircraft and business plan, and expects to reveal more details in coming months.
“One of the reasons that we’ve been under the radar is not only because we see this as a very valuable industry and one where we’re seeking to get as much competitive advantage as possible . . . but also because, frankly, at this stage things change. And we’re starting to get to the stage now where things are starting to settle out naturally,” he said.
“Things are coming along, [and] it’s fun and inspiring for me to be working on something that I hope will actually help our customers go out there and save some lives.”
Jump Aero is not the only company exploring the use of eVTOL aircraft as vehicles for first responders. Volocopter and ADAC Luftrettung recently collaborated on an 18-month study of how eVTOL multicopters might be used to transport doctors to the scenes of medical emergencies. They found potential for improving resource management and response times, but also concluded that fully realizing these benefits would require aircraft with greater range, speed and payload than Volocopter’s VoloCity, the air taxi prototype used for the conceptual study.