Hanwha Systems made an announcement on Dec. 8 that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has finally approved its $25 million (30 billion won) investment in Overair(the existing K4 Aeronautics), an air taxi company.
As a result, Overair will start developing the PAV (Personal Air Vehicle) Butterfly, and Hanwha Systems will participate in the development process in earnest. The top developer of Overair will be Abe Karem, founder of Karem Aircraft and co-founder of Overair.
Air taxis have been seen as a new means of transportation to overcome traffic congestion, infrastructure expansion limits and environmental issues, and commercial operations are expected to begin in 2025, following the 2023 pilot service in the U.S.
Overair is a company that spun off from Karem Aircraft, which specializes in vertical take-off and landing aircraft, and is one of the key partners of Uber Elevate, a project to commercialize air taxi service, which is being pushed by Uber, a global ride-sharing service provider.
Butterfly is an electric and hybrid-electric powered vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) type and has low noise and high efficiency Optimum Speed Tilt Rotor technology.
Hanwha Systems explains that it is optimized for urban mobility services as it enables the implementation of quiet, safe, efficient and environmentally friendly air taxis. A total of five people, including one pilot, can board, and can travel at a speed of 240 km/h with flight distance of over 100 km.
"We are ready to enter the air taxi market in earnest by securing funds through the recent IPO," said Kim Yeon-cheol, CEO of Hanwha Systems. "We will strengthen our competitive edge by utilizing aviation electronics and ICT technology and foster the air taxi business as a future growth engine for the company through active global investment and cooperation."