French company ZAPATA, renowned for its vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft, has taken a bold leap forward in its expansion by introducing its latest creation, an advanced flying machine, the AirScooter, at the esteemed VivaTech exhibition. After years of dedicated work, ZAPATA proudly presents the AirScooter, showcasing the company’s visionary aspirations for the future of transportation.
The AirScooter stands out as a remarkable hybrid aircraft, leveraging both electric and thermal propulsion systems. Its lightweight design, combined with an impressive two-hour flight endurance and a top speed of 100km/h, promises unmatched freedom in the skies. Built with the general public in mind, this remarkable vehicle features intuitive electric flight controls that ensure ease of use for individuals after only a brief training period. Moreover, its state-of-the-art safety systems ensure a secure flying experience, even in challenging conditions.
Categorized as a PART 103 or “Ultralight” aircraft, the AirScooter offers the advantage of not requiring a flight certificate or pilot’s license for operation. Countries such as the United States and China permit its recreational use, subject to specific criteria. These include a maximum empty weight of 254 pounds, a fuel capacity of less than 5 gallons, and a top speed limited to 63 mph.
ZAPATA’s unveiling of the AirScooter signifies a major milestone in their international expansion strategy. In May 2023, the French Directorate of Civil Aviation granted ZAPATA an operating permit, paving the way for a series of flight tests near Marseille and laying the foundation for global deployment.
Commencing next year, ZAPATA plans to establish multiple flight centers across the United States, offering recreational flights to enthusiastic clients. The inaugural flight center will be launched in Lake Havasu City, Arizona. Demonstrating their unwavering commitment to pushing boundaries, ZAPATA will embark on an epic journey along the iconic Route 66 in late September 2023, showcasing the AirScooter’s impressive long-distance flying capabilities. The charismatic Franky ZAPATA, along with his team, will pilot the AirScooter on this extraordinary adventure.
Franky ZAPATA, Founder and CEO of ZAPATA, exclaims, “This vehicle represents the initial step toward a new era of mobility. The AirScooter perfectly embodies the zeitgeist and offers unparalleled freedom in the sky. It serves as a significant advancement toward passenger air transportation, a market we aim to explore in the coming years. Our first objective is to provide recreational flights, and once regulations permit, we will venture into the broader mobility market.”
Jules BIRCHLER, Head of Business Development at ZAPATA, adds, “The AirScooter is a pivotal milestone in ZAPATA’s industrial and commercial growth. As we gear up our production line and establish strategic partnerships, we will be able to open numerous flight centers in the near future, delivering an unrivaled recreational aviation experience.”
With the AirScooter, ZAPATA is spearheading a revolutionary approach to mobility, propelling society into an exciting new era of aerial transportation.