Mayman Aerospace unveiled a flight-ready prototype of its Speeder air utility vehicle (AUV) at this year’s annual Draper Venture Network CEO Summit in northern California. The debut appearance of the P2 Speeder, an aviation disrupting aircraft, represents a significant milestone for the compact, multi-use vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) vehicle. Boasting eight jet engines, the aircraft generated significant attention from investor and entrepreneur delegates attending the invitation-only event, many of whom, including Summit host Tim Draper, jumped on the Speeder to experience what the future of flight might feel like.
Comparable to a motorbike in size, the Speeder prototype marks the next steps on the journey toward the final aircraft which is being designed and modeled to lift 1,000 lb and fly 400 miles at over 500mph in unpiloted cargo mode. Speeder P2 is the third full scale prototype developed by Mayman Aerospace and will begin test flights in Q3 2022. The company is currently working closely with the FAA toward flight certification. Initial test flights will be remotely controlled, with piloted tests anticipated toward the end of Q4 2022.
Once certified, Speeder aircraft will enable an operator to jump on, press start, and take off. Everything from the glossy, aerodynamic carbon fiber body to the ergonomic pilot position is developed to provide Speeder operators with maximum flight efficiency and ultra-safe system redundancy. This includes a proprietary onboard computer system developed to immediately rebalance engine thrust in the unlikely event of an engine anomaly. This will form an essential part of the aircraft safety systems.
Faster and more powerful than electric drones and eVTOLs, smaller and dramatically less expensive than a helicopter and powered by regular, Zero Net Carbon or Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF), the Speeder AUV defines a completely new class of aircraft. The technology enables economies of production scale over a very short timeline.
Mayman Aerospace is currently in advanced conversations with potential customers in national defense, critical cargo, wildland firefighting (coordinated swarmed support for air tankers), and disaster relief (delivery of medical supplies, water, generators, and medevac), with letters of intent from qualified non-retail customers being accepted.
Tim Draper, a primary investor in the project said, “The Speeder AUV is a total game changer. It is one of the most exciting, industry disrupting technologies we’ve seen, and we were thrilled to provide this platform for its first public unveiling. We believe Speeder is the future of VTOL flight and I’m personally looking forward to flying one myself.” Company CEO David Mayman added, “Working with Tim Draper is a great honor and pleasure. Tim’s guidance, vision, and wisdom makes him an essential member of the Speeder Team.”
JetPack Aviation Corp., founded by entrepreneur Mayman, has created a new brand group called Mayman Aerospace which will initially focus on developing Speeders for a variety of practical applications. The existing JetPack Aviation brand group will continue to design and market JetPacks, JetPack Flight Experiences, JetPack Racing Series, and JetPack Entertainment Flights.
Mayman said, “We launched JetPack Aviation a decade ago, and the name has served development of our JetPack technology well, but as we look to the future, we needed a brand that clearly defines our professional, as opposed to consumer, Speeder product and market. Mayman Aerospace is pushing the outer limits of VTOL flight and will continue to innovate and incorporate new technologies including hydrogen powered turbine engines, electric fanjets and turbofan propulsion, complex sense and avoid sensors for autonomous swarming, and potentially even supersonic flight.”