The U.S.-based eVTOL developer Jaunt Air Mobility has announced plans to open design and manufacturing operations in Canada, and has appointed Eric Côté as president of Jaunt Air Mobility Canada.
According to Jaunt CEO Martin Peryea, Canada and its province of Quebec “offer a wide range of opportunities stemming from a long history in the aerospace industry, including an experienced workforce and global suppliers. Canada’s aerospace industry is known for export, and we intend to capitalize on that reach.”
Jaunt told eVTOL.com it is exploring options for specific locations for its Canadian operations with a focus on strategic investment partners. Dallas, Texas, will remain the company’s headquarters — much as the helicopter manufacturer Bell maintains its headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas, and commercial assembly lines in Mirabel, Quebec.
Peryea said that the decision to open design and manufacturing centers in Canada “aligns with our certification path and commercialization strategy,” but did not indicate whether Jaunt plans to pursue initial type certification of its Jaunt Journey eVTOL with Transport Canada or the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Bell, for example, has certified recent helicopter models including the Bell 505 first with Transport Canada, then with the FAA through a validation process. Jaunt’s website indicates that it intends to ultimately achieve transport category certification with Transport Canada, the FAA, and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Côté recently served as president and chief operating officer of the Soucy Group, a worldwide engineering and manufacturing organization in the defense, power sports, industrial, and agriculture sectors. Prior to his 15-year tenure at Soucy, he spent 15 years with Bombardier Aerospace in senior-level positions, and was involved in setting up new manufacturing and assembly organizations in different countries.
According to a press release, Côté’s first mandate will be to assist with engaging strategic investment partners and planning Jaunt’s Canadian operations.
“We are pleased to have Eric join our senior leadership,” Peryea stated. “Eric brings significant experience in managing organizations and growing organizations to meet customer needs worldwide and Jaunt’s Canadian operations will create many new jobs in manufacturing and engineering and will introduce a new, sustainable aviation ecosystem.”
Jaunt describes its all-electric Jaunt Journey as a “Reduced rotor Operating Speed Aircraft,” capable of autorotating to the ground like a helicopter in the event of a total power loss. The aircraft is targeting a range of 80 miles (130 kilometers), cruise speed of 175 mph (280 km/h) and payload of 980 pounds (445 kilograms).