Jaunt Air Mobility is looking to Canada to open a new engineering and research and development center to support its Jaunt Journey eVTOL air taxi.
The company struck a deal with L&T Technology Services Limited (LTTS) that would see Jaunt contribute more than $100 million over multiple years to allow the engineering company to open the center in Montreal, Quebec, and provide Jaunt with end-to-end engineering support in structural design analysis and certification.
Separate from this deal, Jaunt is also working with Crane Aerospace & Electronics to develop its power distribution for the Jaunt Journey, as well as BAE Systems for its battery management, flight controls and electrification.
Eric Côté, president of Jaunt Air Mobility Canada, recognized the Canadian federal and provincial governments’ green aerospace strategy for creating a “favorable environment” for LTTS to open a facility in the region.
Headquartered in Dallas, Texas, Jaunt also turned to Montreal for its design and manufacturing facility, with Côté previously stating that Jaunt has “always had good relations with Transport Canada in the past. Bell Textron has certified many helicopters [in Canada] in the last few decades, and it has always been a very collaborative approach.”
As for Jaunt’s new R&D facility, Côté told eVTOL.com that the company is working closely with the federal and provincial governments to look at potential grant opportunities, but refrained from elaborating on those discussions.
“What we can say is that Jaunt and the governments are eager to contribute to the goal of advancing electric transportation, creating a greener environment, and growing Canada’s aerospace sector,” he said.
Jaunt has confirmed with eVTOL.com that the company will be working with Transport Canada to certify its Jaunt Journey eVTOL, and anticipates having a pre-production aircraft by the end of 2023, with certification by the end of 2026.
“This deal is a milestone for team LTTS in view of the tremendous opportunities opening up in UAM [urban air mobility] and drone services which are emerging as alternatives to the increasingly congested on-ground mobility in cities,” said Amit Chadha, CEO and managing director of LTTS, in a press release.
With experience developing engineering solutions for the aerospace and defense industries for more than a decade, Chadha said he believes this center “will set the benchmark for future UAM projects, and our team is excited to build on this important engagement with Jaunt.”
Last month, Jaunt became a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRO Group Holdings, where the eVTOL company joined the other businesses in AIRO’s portfolio, including drone companies AIRO Drone and Sky-Watch, aviation and special missions training providers Agile Defense and Coastal Defense, avionics manufacturer Aspen Avionics, and fellow eVTOL developer VRCO.
The acquisition allowed the eVTOL developer to tap into the resources to support such a venture with LTTS.
“Working with Tier 1 suppliers with decades of experience allows us to maximize investments, advance our timeline, and ensure greater certification success,” said Martin Peryea, CEO and chief technology officer at Jaunt. “As a wholly owned subsidiary of AIRO, Jaunt’s capital requirements to design and commercialize the Jaunt Journey are part of AIRO’s goal to be a leader in a $364-billion aerospace and defense growth sector.”
Earlier this month, Jaunt announced two new investors and advisors for the company, including Calin Rovinescu, Air Canada’s recently retired president and CEO, and Mitch Garber, a global technology and growth capital investor.
According to its website, the Jaunt Journey is targeting a range of around 100 miles (160 kilometers) and a speed of 175 mph (280 km/h), while carrying a pilot and four passengers. The company said the vehicle can be used for passenger services, cargo delivery, military missions, or medical transport.