Jaunt Air Mobility is the platform provider for three teams that have been awarded research contracts from the U.S. Air Force to study technology related to the design, manufacturing and performance of eVTOL aircraft.
Working with the Georgia Institute of Technology and Triumph Aerostructures — Jaunt’s engineering services partner since 2019 — one award will fund the study of novel thermoplastic technologies, using Jaunt’s five-seat all-electric Journey gyrodyne as an exemplar aircraft as the company intends to use thermoplastic composites for its primary structure. In collaboration with Triumph, Georgia Tech will establish an internal structural layout for a thermoplastic composite wing and design allowables for the material system.
“We plan to produce 2,500 vehicles per year at each of our manufacturing centers,” said Martin Peryea, CEO of Jaunt. “High-rate production solutions are needed to meet this unprecedented aircraft market demand. Future eVTOL aircraft will require low-cost thermoplastics as traditional thermoset composites cannot meet production rates and cost targets.”
Another award focuses on the development of Extreme Fast Charging (XFC) solutions for electric aircraft, integrating power electronics, battery cooling and the communication necessary between the vehicle and the battery system to support both on-vehicle and depot charging needs. In collaboration with BAE Systems and Binghamton University, Jaunt’s platform will be used to research high-voltage, high-power charging solutions with an eye toward commercial use.
Finally, in collaboration with Penn State University and Continuum Dynamics, advanced acoustical analysis techniques will be applied to characterize noise from Jaunt’s Journey aircraft concept.
“The purpose is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the noise sources in our aircraft configurations and the unique noise reduction opportunities,” said Peryea. “We will apply the knowledge to the design of the Jaunt Journey all-electric (eVTOL) aircraft, allowing us to develop the most efficient, ultra-low noise aircraft for our customers in the urban air mobility market as well as cargo, medevac, and close air support military aircraft.”
Each Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) contract is awarded through the U.S. Air Force’s innovation incubator, AFWERX, as part of the service’s effort to support the technology development and commercialization of eVTOL aircraft. In October, the service recommended funding for more than 250 STTR proposals, totaling more than $38 million in funding — the largest single cohort in the program’s history, according to U.S. Air Force officials.