Magpie Aerotowing for eVTOLs

Magpie can significantly boost the performance and utilization of electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOLs)

New capabilities

With Magpie, an eVTOL takes off vertically – e.g. at an air-taxi landing pad, or a remote base – and then connects autonomously with a tow aircraft in the sky. This unlocks several practical new use cases.

Long-range flights

Magpie aerotowing can enable eVTOLs to fly high payloads over long distances, e.g. for remote logistics and military operations. The additional range also unlocks key commercial routes like San Francisco-Los Angeles, London-Amsterdam and Sydney-Melbourne.

Continuous operations

Magpie can enable an eVTOL to fly a continuous sequence of flights without the need for long charging breaks at expensive landing pads. In this example, the tow aircraft holds in the air as the eVTOL quickly loads/unloads. It then re-connects to bring the eVTOL to its next destination. This significantly increases the utilisation and operating economics of the eVTOL.

eVTOL Ferrying

Similar to the long-range case, Magpie can help to ferry eVTOLs over significant distances. This allows eVTOLs operators to more flexibly deploy their fleets – e.g. during times of high demand in another city or region.

Why tow an eVTOL?

Vertical lift requires an incredible amount of power. It requires even more when you are lifting enough batteries to cover a long cruise range. With Magpie, the vertical and horizontal portions of a flight can be separated. This reduces the battery mass required in the eVTOL, thereby increasing the available empty weight.

For a typical eVTOL, Magpie aerotowing can almost double the  payload available for valuable passengers and cargo.

Awesome economics

Despite the additional tow aircraft, Magpie delivers highly competitive unit economics through increased range, payload, speed and utilization of the eVTOL.

Values below are compared to typical 4-passenger eVTOLs in development.

1.5x payload

6 seats / 195 lbs / 90 kg
Generate more revenue per trip with additional passengers and cargo

2x range

300 mi / 480 km all-electric
Unlock key commercial markets and new routes with extended range aerotowing

1.5x speed

175 mph / 150 kts
Enable faster economical cruise with the additional power from the tow aircraft

2x utilisation

19x 120-mi flights per day
Less time spent charging at expensive landing pads = more time flying

60% lower operating cost

Compared to a modern helicopter

Equivalent operating cost of a single-stage eVTOL; the higher utilization balances out the additional cost of towing.