Maryland Startups / Aerospace and Defense
The future of flight is in Maryland
By Julie Miller /
January 19, 2021
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Whether conceptualizing new ways to use aviation for personal transportation, or mobilizing unmanned aircraft in emergency situations, Maryland’s aerospace innovators are pioneering the future of aviation. Today we get to know two aerospace companies, HopFlyt and Airgility, both recently recognized among Maryland’s Future 20

HopFlyt envisions a new way to commute 
Does commuting to work in a battery-powered aircraft seem impossible? It shouldn’t once you get to know HopFlyt, the company designing a faster, cleaner, quieter way to commute with its Venturi aircraft. Venturi is an all-electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, which has been in the works from the company’s Southern Maryland headquarters (also the CEO’s personal hangar) for a few years now.

How will it work? Think vertical liftoff that feels like an elevator ride, and a short, smooth commute that skips over traffic congestion and vertically lands at the traveler’s destination. The Venturi design leverages a nearly century-old wing concept from an aviation pioneer and factors in NASA research. Its prototypes quickly come to life thanks to a large 3D printer, and a well rounded team that includes former military pilots and a former NASA test engineer. A 2020 article by Electric VTOL News further details the innovation happening within HopFlyt.  

Airgility’s drones go where no human can 
Drones can do a lot. From making essential deliveries, to providing military surveillance, or simply capturing breathtaking aerial footage. As the world finds more ways to use drones, one Maryland company is putting drones to work in the most complex environments.

Airgility, a spinout of the University of Maryland’s UM Ventures, has developed a more sophisticated drone to go further and faster and operate independently in complex environments, such as earthquakes and fires. Powered by Artificial Intelligence, Airgility’s drones are capable of autonomous, self-directed flight and navigation to complete tasks, which may include search and rescue, disaster recovery or security missions. 

“Right now, a human has to go in there,” said Evandro Valente, CTO & Co-Founder. “They’re out of sight, out of communication. We want that to be the machine. If it doesn’t come back, it wasn’t someone who didn’t come back. It was something completely replaceable that didn’t come back.”  

Watch the video below to get to know Airgility.

Home to 15 of the top 20 aerospace and defense companies, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, and many other assets, Maryland is a hotbed for aerospace innovation. Learn more about it here

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