LYTE Aviation and the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) Institute have formed a new partnership to launch alternatives to ferry travel in Seattle, US.
UK-based LYTE Aviation will work with the AAM Institute, an American non-profit corporation dedicated to educating and advocating for the broadest public benefit through the AAM ecosystem globally, to launch on the Bainbridge Island, Seattle to Redmond connection.
“Our future SkyBus is an ideal proposition for the ‘Bainbridge Island – Seattle – Redmond’ connection,” said LYTE Aviation founder and CEO Freshta Farzam. “It will provide a safe, convenient, affordable, sustainable, and much faster transportation option.”
LYTE Aviation is pioneering the industry’s first 40-seat An electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL), a heavyweight passenger mass transit vertical take-off and landing aircraft, branded the SkyBus LA-44. It is also designing a cargo variant, SkyTruck LA-44C, offering a payload capacity of 4.5 tons.
The aircraft is being designed to be five times more fuel efficient than a helicopter, 10 times less noise polluting than a helicopter, with considerably fewer maintenance, repair, operations (MRO) costs. With its tandem tilt-wing technology, power will come from hybrid-hydrogen-electric turboprops and electric engines.
“The SkyBus is an ideal solution to extend current ferry transport solutions on waterways in the near future for passenger mass and cargo transit,” Freshta commented.
Owing to the use of proven and existing technologies available, LYTE Aviation is estimating to enter the market within five to six years.
Freshta continued: “Our core values are creating solutions which benefit our overall environment (climate, humanity, and economy) in the most feasible and strategic ways. We aim to connect the dots to collaborate with existing and upcoming technologies, expanding our horizons beyond our imagination. Therefore, we decided to start this (research) project with Dan Sloat and his team. It’s a perfect match. The work Dan does is highly valued. He is also a visionary forward thinker who looks in the same direction as us.”
Dan Sloat, President and Founder of the AAM Institute, commented: “We are honored to engage in a strategic partnership with LYTE Aviation. Its LA-44 SkyBus is a very promising eVTOL design and with a passenger capacity 10 times that of most competitors, we are confident LYTE can bring about meaningful change in transportation in terms of greater equity, inclusion, and accessibility. Freshta Farzam isn’t afraid of asking bold questions, which is precisely why she will be successful. The AAM Institute welcomes collaboration with dreamers and disruptors like Freshta. Together, we can change the world.”
“We chose to design an alternative to the ferry route from Bainbridge Island to Seattle, plus the ground traffic from Seattle to Redmond to support the employees of the corporate headquarters of Microsoft,” Freshta added. “There are almost 53,000 employees travelling each day over waterways and congested roadways. It makes this air transportation alternative a fascinating user case for us. Soon, after a long day of work, the daily commute of around 40km will take only 10 minutes instead of 90 minutes. The SkyBus can take off from a landing pad (aka vertiport) at the Microsoft campus straight and land at a vertiport pad on the island. The future is faster and more feasible than we realize.”