ABOVE: ARC Aero Systems intends to bring its aircraft to market in 2026

UK advanced air mobility company ARC Aero Systems has received CAA accreditation for its modified Avian Pegasus, enabling the company to commence its flight test campaign, as it launches a £1.5 million investment round to ‘support further commercialisation of its adapted model of Pegasus’.

Originally developed in Canada in the 1960s, the vertical take off and landing (VTOL)-capable Avian Pegasus remains the only FAA Part 27-certified gyroplane in the world: ‘commissioned as a less fuel-hungry, quieter and safer reconnaissance aircraft by the US and Canadian governments’ but ultimately shelved ‘due to a change in strategy by the US government to focus on the development of more conventional helicopters,’ notes its manufacturer.

However, with Arc Aero Systems continuing to develop the design – ‘the result of the equivalent of $50m investment and over 2,500 hours of flight tests’ – its latest iteration is now cleared to begin flight tests following CAA E certification. ‘While other electric vertical take off and landing (eVTOL) providers are reliant on significant infrastructure investment to operate, Pegasus’ self-charging hybrid-electric engine requires no e-charging facilities and can run on a range of available fuels, including hydrogen,’ explains ARC Aero Systems.

“There is a huge and increasing demand, reflected in market growth forecasts, for an affordable, sustainable, runway-independent aircraft connecting remote rural areas for passengers and cargo,” explained ARC’s founder and CEO Dr Seyed Mosheni. Unlike other eVTOL developers, “our aircraft require virtually no infrastructure,” he confirmed.

Following receipt of CAA E conditions, allowing ARC Aero Systems to fly its experimental prototype, the company looks to bring its ‘innovate air transport solution’ to market in 2026. However, Mosheni added: “We are at an exciting stage in our development and already securing advance orders for Pegasus, demonstrating the wider market confidence in our innovative proposition”. These include the sale of ten units to Norwich-based charity SkyAngels Air Ambulance. He concluded that a £1.5 million investment round “offers investors an opportunity to join our journey and help drive the business forward as we prepare to enter a market that is set to increase five-fold by the end of the decade”.

IMAGE: ARC Aero Systems