Introducing Alaka'i Technologies' Revolutionary Air Mobility Solution - SKAI
Powered by hydrogen fuel cells, the Skai eVTOL aircraft will be mobile. According to Alaka'i Technologies, the key flight control systems (including fly-by-light technology) have been approved by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) since May 29, 2019. According to FutureFlight board member Dr Bruce Holmes, the FAA supports an "accelerated" certification program, leading the company to claim it will be ready for series production and first deliveries in 2021.
A minimalist design philosophy is used in the program. Alaka'i Technology believes that this will result in a type certification process under FAR 21.17 for very light aircraft under the FAA's FAR 21.17 rules. Skai's simplicity should also improve reliability, according to the compan and reduce the aircraft's maintenance requirements. A hydrogen fuel cell is expected to last around 20,000 flight hours between overhauls, which is significantly longer than a piston or turbine engine.
It has not yet published a detailed timeline for the program, but Alaka'i Technologies expects to begin production in 2021. According to Skai, its early customers will likely be operators serving regional and rural markets as opposed to urban environments targeted by most eVTOL aircraft companies. The company believes it will be able to support some trial operations with public service applications, such as the Coast Guard and National Guard, prior to full type certification.
It was added to NASA's Advanced Air Mobility National Campaign on November 16, 2020. As part of NASA's "Grand Challenge" trials in 2022, Alaka'i and 18 other UAM companies will prepare to assess operational safety scenarios (primarily collision avoidance and flight path management) for future air mobility services. The company has been silent for several months, despite its announcement on December 9, 2020 that it had been testing its vehicle and would provide more updates in the near future.
It was announced by Alaka'i in the latter part of September 2021 that it was looking for new investment partners and production partners.