The Pivotal Helix eVTOL, image courtesy of Pivotal

Got $200K & Want To Fly Electric? This Ultralight eVTOL Ships In July & Doesn’t Require A Pilot License

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For about $200,000, you might be able to attain the ultimate in e-mobility early adopter status, because the Pivotal Helix eVTOL is now available for order in the US, with deliveries starting in July, and you don’t even need a pilot license to fly one.

The Pivotal Helix light eVTOL
The Pivotal Helix light eVTOL, image courtesy of Pivotal

While we patiently await the production of flying cars that were promised to us decades ago, the next best thing will have to do, and although the Helix is not a car by any means, it is a flying machine that can take off or land just about anywhere. It weighs just 254 pounds and can be disassembled to fit into a 16-foot trailer, but it can then go from “storage to sky in 30 minutes,” with no lengthy prep necessary for a quick flight around the neighborhood.

The Pivotal Helix light eVTOL
The Pivotal Helix light eVTOL goes from storage to flight in 30 minutes.

Now, before you go throwing your cash at Pivotal for an eVTOL of your own in the expectation of being able to fly across the country on a whim, the Helix is a short-hop aircraft, as its 8 kWh of batteries gives it a range of about 20 miles (with a 20% reserve) per charge. However, if the idea of just flying around for “aerial recreation” is appealing, and you want to make your friends, family, and neighbors green with envy, yet getting a full-on pilot license isn’t in the cards for you, then the Helix might be just the ticket.

The Pivotal Helix light eVTOL
The Pivotal Helix light eVTOL

“Over twelve years in the making, the Helix is Pivotal’s first aircraft to be produced at scale, created to bring the wonder of flight to anyone with a spirit of adventure.

“Advancing the design of the Pivotal BlackFly currently flown by our early access pilots, the Helix offers higher performance, greater ease of flight, and enhanced dependability. In addition, rigorous simulator and flight training sessions are required for pilot qualification from Pivotal.

“A wide-angle view and quiet operation allow pilots to better appreciate their natural surroundings and also foster a deep connection to the flying experience.”

The Helix, which is a single-seater ultralight with a 55 knot (63 mph) cruising speed and can fly in wind speeds up to 17 knots (20 mph), measures 14′ 11″ wide by 14′ 8″ long by 5′ 4″ high and has a pilot weight limit of 220 pounds. Charging from 20% – 100% with a Level 2 charger (240V / 50A) takes about 75 minutes, or about 4.5 hours with a Level 1 charger (120V / 15A), according to Pivotal.

“Created for the awe of exploring the world from new heights, the Helix removes the barriers that prevent everyday adventurers from experiencing the joys of aviation. The Helix’s powerful capabilities are navigated with intuitive joystick controls, guided by a simple user interface. At the heart of this single-seat vehicle lies a robust fault-tolerant design, bolstered by triple modular flight control systems for safety and reliability.”

Of course, even though a pilot license isn’t required, Pivotal isn’t going to just sell you one with no training whatsoever, as the company requires all buyers to “successfully complete comprehensive initial and periodic recurrent flight training to support safe operations in all situations” before the Helix is shipped to the buyer. The two-week training is provided by Pivotal at its Palo Alto headquarters.

Still interested? A $250 non-refundable application fee is required, and then once approved, a refundable $9,000 initial deposit is required when the order is placed, followed by another refundable deposit of $50,000 which then secures a shipping date and flight training schedule, and then the final installment will be due 5 days before the Helix is shipped. Easy-peasy, as long as you’ve got a couple hundred grand in your bank account and a couple of free weeks for flight training… Get the details here.

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Derek Markham

Derek lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, fungi, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves fresh roasted chiles, peanut butter on everything, and buckets of coffee.

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