Lift Aircraft, a company founded by Matt Chasen, has developed an electric, vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft with the goal of making personal flights accessible for the public.
The company was started in Austin, Texas, and has created a personal aircraft known as the Hexa. The Hexa is single-seated and uses 18 electric rotors to lift its carbon fiber cabin (432 lbs total), and is capable of landing on water or land with a touch of a button. The control system was designed on a joystick and an iPad pro, however, a flight controller and raft sensors heavily assist flights. The craft also hovers in a GPS-locked position should the pilot release the control stick. Hexa operates on 18 small batteries to navigate at speeds of 63mph, and heights of 700-1200 feet.
Lift Aircraft aims to offer a ten to fifteen-minute ride in the Hexa in 25 cities in the United States starting in 2019. Each flight is estimated to cost $150 to $200, however, customers are not required by law to have a pilot's license. Instead, a safety video and an hour of virtual reality training is required prior to lift-off.Aiding the flight to ensure safety, is the aircraft has flight controller, which protects each Hexa from any collisions with any other Hexa should there be more than one in use at a time. Any issues regarding total failure are handled by a ballistic parachute designed to operate effectively at 40 feet.