Pivotal Delivers Four BlackFly light eVTOLs for U.S. Air Force evaluation; Contracted for Eight Aircraft

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AFWERX’s Agility Prime Partnership Includes Pivotal Flight Simulators, Training, and Support

PALO ALTO, Calif., Feb. 21, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Pivotal, a market leader in light electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, today announced it has delivered four of eight BlackFlys and two flight simulators for lease to MTSI for evaluation by AFWERX and the United States Air Force. The Air Force is evaluating Pivotal aircraft performance by assessing a host of benefits across diverse applications for the company’s proven tilt-eVTOL architecture, and testing a range of remotely piloted missions. Selected by AFWERX and Modern Technology Solutions, Inc. (MTSI) to participate in the Agility Prime initiative, Pivotal is providing the Air Force with pilot training and support services in addition to the aircraft and flight simulators. The program will operate out of New Braunfels National Airport, Texas, and from the National Advanced Air Mobility Center of Excellence at Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport, Ohio.

“AFWERX’s and MTSI’s decision to partner with Pivotal is a strong endorsement of our platform’s maturity and a milestone on our journey to mission relevance,” said Ken Karklin, CEO, Pivotal. “With over 12 years at the forefront of light eVTOL aircraft development, it is an honor to join forces with AFWERX and MTSI to demonstrate the utility and versatility of Pivotal’s patented eVTOL architecture.”

“Over the next eight months, we will fly eight BlackFly eVTOL aircraft in different environments to test their mission effectiveness and suitability in military uses,” said Vance Drenkhahn, Executive Vice President, DSD, MTSI. “Pivotal’s amazing light eVTOL platform offers an opportunity to support AFWERX and solve real-world challenges.”

“AFWERX continues to look for ways to accelerate our understanding of eVTOL operations, maintenance, logistics and potential use cases,” said Lt Col John Tekell, AFWERX Agility Prime branch chief. “1-2 person eVTOLs have potential for several missions including special operations, surveillance, and disaster and emergency response with local command and control at a much lower price point than traditional helicopters.”

About Pivotal’s BlackFly eVTOL
The BlackFly is a fixed-wing aircraft built on Pivotal’s third-generation eVTOL platform. The entire aircraft tilts for vertical takeoff and landing, rather than wing assemblies or rotors rotating to reorient thrust, reducing weight, complexity, and eliminating multiple points of failure. At the heart of this vehicle lies a robust fault-tolerant design, bolstered by triple modular systems for safety and reliability. Capable of manned, unmanned, and optionally manned missions, the light eVTOL aircraft can take off and land on pavement, dirt, or grass –– there’s no landing gear, simply a fuselage wear strip. The BlackFly complies with FAA Part 103 (Ultralight) category in the United States for flight in Class G airspace.

About Pivotal
Pivotal (FKA Opener.Aero) designs, develops, and manufactures light eVTOL aircraft. As an industry pioneer, Pivotal is renowned for the BlackFly, the first light eVTOL to be commercially available and delivered to a buyer in the United States. The company’s distinctive tilt-aircraft architecture and scalable platform have been under continuous improvement for well over a decade, and today, Pivotal has the most mature technology in the light eVTOL category. Efficient, compact, and simple, Pivotal vehicles are designed for a wide range of consumer, public service, and defense applications. The company is headquartered in Palo Alto, CA. For videos and more information, visit https://pivotal.aero.

About Agility Prime
Agility Prime is the Air Force’s transformative vertical lift program that is partnering with the electric vertical takeoff and land (eVTOL) commercial industry to propel the third revolution in aerospace and start to field a new class of air mobility systems.

About AFRL
The Air Force Research Laboratory is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace force. With a workforce of more than 12,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from fundamental to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit www.afresearchlab.com.

As the innovation arm of the DAF and a directorate within the Air Force Research Laboratory, AFWERX brings cutting-edge American ingenuity from small businesses and start-ups to address the most pressing challenges of the DAF. AFWERX employs approximately 370 military, civilian and contractor personnel at five hubs and sites executing an annual $1.4 billion budget. Since 2019, AFWERX has executed 6,028 new contracts worth more than $4 billion to strengthen the U.S. defense industrial base and drive faster technology transition to operational capability. For more information, visit: www.afwerx.com.   

Company Press Contact:
Heidi Groshelle

(Mandatory disclaimer) “The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Air Force, the Department of Defense, or the U.S. government.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/799f4cfc-9bb7-4ff8-a0ae-3fa6ff05c86f


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