Dayton-area company wins Phase II award in Agility Prime ‘eVTOL’ work

Kitty Hawk demonstrates eVTOL aircraft Heaviside’s automated and remote flight capabilities. (Photo courtesy of Kitty Hawk)

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Kitty Hawk demonstrates eVTOL aircraft Heaviside’s automated and remote flight capabilities. (Photo courtesy of Kitty Hawk)

A Dayton-area company is advancing further into the Air Force’s development of electric vertical takeoff and landing craft, sometimes called “flying cars.”

Jason Molnar confirmed that his company has won one Agility Prime Phase II award.

In November last year, Molnar, Infinity Labs co-founder and chief strategy officer, was celebrating the company’s first win in the effort, an award of three research contracts from the Air Force. A Phase I Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) award was valued at $149,000, meaning Infinity Labs saw nearly $500,000 in that first milestone.

Assuming good progress in Phase I, Phase II awards enable further work. Phase II awards are valued at $750,000.

The latest work connects urban air applications with satellite communications hardware and networks. The award positions Infinity Labs to tackle further research and development in the Air Force’s $35 million exploration of electric vertical takeoff and landing, or “eVTOL,” aircraft.

Progress in Agility Prime, overseen by the Air Force Research Lab based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, is ongoing. In May, AFWERX Agility Prime, the Air Force outfit directing the work, and Palo Alto, Calif. company Kitty Hawk reached a milestone with their first operational exercise, the Air Force said at the time.

In July, AFWERX said Kitty Hawk has been awarded an airworthiness approval by the Air Force. With that award, the company’s aircraft was able to enter its next phase of flight testing under Air Force direction.

Earlier this year, Dayton Development Coalition awarded Infinity its “2020 Entrepreneurial Startup” award.

Besides the Dayton area, the company also has locations in Florida, Huntsville, Ala. and Colorado Springs.

“As of mid-September, we’ll have 31 employees across five operating locations,” Molnar said Thursday. “We continue to rapidly grow in Dayton approaching 25 employees in the Gem City. Additionally, we have six employees across Florida, Colorado, Alabama, and are actively searching for a new software scientist to support work in Boston with a new customer.”

Today, the company has 17 open job requirements across five locations.

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