Overair, an eVTOL aircraft developer based in Santa Ana, California, unveiled on December 19, 2023, a full-scale prototype of its “Butterfly” eVTOL aircraft.
The next step for Overair will be testing the aircraft’s propulsion system from early 2024. The startup had previously performed several full-scale tests in 2022, where the propulsion system was mounted on a truck. Overair also aims to achieve a 55-decibel noise target with its four-rotor system.
In order to differentiate itself in the increasingly crowded advanced air mobility (AAM) marketplace, Overair is counting on the Butterfly being the first eVTOL to be fitted with Optimum Speed Tilt Rotor (OSTR) and Individual Blade Control (IBC) technologies.
The first of these adjusts the speed at which propeller blades turn to reduce the system energy demands at different stages of the flight, particularly during hovering when it can lower energy consumption by 60%, and the transition from vertical to horizontal flight.
The second of these technologies, Individual Blade Control, reduces vibration and propeller loads, ensuring safer and smoother rides while lowering maintenance requirements.
On December 14, 2023, the United States Navy awarded Overair a contract to further develop its IBS technology.