Overair Raises $145M To Fly Its Electric Aircraft Prototype

Samson Amore

Samson Amore is a reporter for dot.LA. He previously covered technology and entertainment for TheWrap and reported on the SoCal startup scene for the Los Angeles Business Journal. Send tips or pitches to samsonamore@dot.la and find him on Twitter at @Samsonamore. Pronouns: he/him

Overair
Image courtesy of Overair

Santa Ana-based aircraft startup Overair has raised $145 million to develop and fly its flagship vehicle, a prototype electric airplane called Butterfly, by the second half of next year.

The investment was led by South Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group, which holds a 30% stake in Overair and has now poured a total of $170 million into the startup, according to TechCrunch. The funds specifically came from two of the conglomerate’s divisions, Hanwha Aerospace and Hanwha Systems, Overair said in a press release Tuesday.


Butterfly is part of a class of electric aircraft, known as eVTOL, that are capable of vertically taking off and landing and do not require a runway. Such aircraft require less space to operate and produce fewer or no carbon emissions, and have increasingly been floated for potential use as air taxis and for regional flights.

With the help of electric motors and battery packs provided by Hanwha, Overair said the six-seater Butterfly prototype should be ready to take flight by the second half of 2023. The startup was spun off in 2020 from Lake Forest-based, military-focused aerospace manufacturer Karem Aircraft.

“Our technology was meant to drop Navy SEALs into hot zones, and we’re going to use it for urban air mobility (UAM) so that you and I can go to a Rams game from Orange County,” Overair head of business development Josh Aronoff told TechCrunch.

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