Less than a month after announcing three separate partnerships to establish electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) operations in South Korea, zero-emission aviation developer Overair is turning its sights back on its native US. Today, Overair has shared news of two separate memorandums to research, develop, and implement eVTOL operations in North Texas.
Overair is an advanced air mobility (AAM) specialist based in Santa Ana, California, that was spun out of Karem Aircraft back in 2020. Since then, its team has combined decades of aerospace experience into the development Overair’s flagship eVTOL, called the Butterfly, which originally debuted in 2021.
The Butterfly’s current design iteration can transport up up five passengers plus one pilot, or 1,100 pounds of cargo. The eVTOL prototype can reach a top speed of 200 mph and travel approximately 100 miles on a single charge.
In June of 2022, Overair announced $145 million in funding to help get its Butterfly eVTOL into the prototyping stage ahead of actual test flights. While we still await those milestones, Overair’s focus has been on expansion to new markets outside the US. In Late October, it inked a letter of intent for the sale of up to 20 Butterfly eVTOLs, as well as two memoranda of understanding (MOU) with key partners in South Korea to accelerate the nation’s AAM goals.
Today, Overair announced two additional memoranda of understanding – this time with organizations in Texas, to help bring commercial EV operations to the northern region of the Lone Star State.
Overair establishes new strategic collaborations in Texas
This morning, Overair shared two separate press releases – both outlining new collaborations to establish eVTOL operations, and both including popular areas in Northern Texas.
The first bit of news pertains to a fresh MOU signed by the Dallas Fort Worth International Airport, who has enlisted Overair’s expertise to jointly explore future vertiport development and eVTOL operations within the DFW Metroplex. To begin, the parties will complete a feasibility assessment for the integration of passenger eVTOL travel across the North Texas region.
That assessment will be supported by a cross-functional research group that will explore the policies and infrastructure necessary to successfully implement an integrated eVTOL program at DFW Airport in the future. Overair CCO Valerie Manning spoke to the company’s latest MOU:
Today’s agreement is a major step toward bringing Advanced Air Mobility to one of the world’s largest and fastest growing metropolitan areas. We look forward to working closely with DFW to ensure the more than 8 million people living throughout this region, along with the millions of visitors per year, will have easy access to safe, fast, affordable, and eco-friendly travel options.
Not to be outdone, Overair simultaneously announced a second memorandum of understanding signed with the City of Arlington – the first-ever direct partnership between a city in Texas and an eVTOL OEM. Similar to the agreement with DFW Airport, Overair and Arlington will research, develop, and launch eVTOL operations in the city, beginning at the Arlington Municipal Airport.
Arlington is currently home to four professional sports franchises, including the Dallas Cowboys and Texas Rangers, in additional to countless restaurants, shopping centers, and a Six Flags amusement park. Through its collaboration with Overair, the City of Arlington hopes to one day use passenger eVTOL travel to connect citizens to these entertainment venues. Manning once again spoke to that prospect:
Today’s announcement is a major step toward positioning Arlington as one of the first cities in the world to integrate fully electric AAM capabilities into its transportation ecosystem. Electric advanced air mobility is an example of transportation evolving with the needs of a growing society. We are incredibly excited to help drive this transportation evolution in North Central Texas and to expand our presence in this region, known for its talent and technology.
As part of its specific agreement with the Arlington municipality, Overair shared it will establish a new base of operations in North Central Texas, in addition to its current headquarters in California. The new footprint is expected to bring new jobs to the region, especially if and when commercial eVTOL operations come to fruition. Per Arlington Mayor Jim Ross:
This partnership with Overair not only advances the City of Arlington as a leader in implementing innovative transportation solutions, it also provides high-tech and engineering jobs to our residents and the community at large; ultimately creating a new mobility ecosystem that will provide socio-economic progress for decades to come. We are excited to work with Overair to shape the future of transportation for our city and the DFW region.
As of late October, Overair was honing in on assembly of its Butterfly eVTOL prototype. The company reports it has already assembled the Butterfly’s fuselage, wings, and other components and plans to begin a flight-testing program in 2024. It aims to launch commercial operations ahead of the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
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