Pioneering Launch of U.S. Distribution for Helix Electric Personal Aircraft by Pivotal Aviation

Pivotal, the Palo Alto, California-based company backed by Larry Page, kicked off online sales Monday night at CES 2024 for Helix, a lightweight electric personal aircraft that doesn’t require a pilot’s license to fly. Helix marks an evolution for Pivotal, a company previously known as Opener that has been working on lightweight electric vertical and takeoff aircraft for more than a decade. The Helix, due to its lightweight status weighing about 348 pounds, complies with FAA Part 103 (Ultralight) category in the United States. The base $190,000 package includes the Helix aircraft with a white-and-carbon fiber exterior finish and a digital flight panel, canopy, HD landing camera, charger, vehicle cart, custom marking and warranty. The Helix aircraft will be manufactured in Palo Alto.

Pivotal, the innovative California-based company supported by Larry Page, launched online sales for their latest product, the Helix, at CES 2024. Unlike previous personal aircrafts, the Helix is a lightweight electric vehicle that allows individuals to fly without a pilot’s license.

The Helix represents a significant advancement for Pivotal, formerly known as Opener, who has been developing electric vertical and takeoff aircraft for over 10 years. In October, the company unveiled the Helix, a promising indication of their technological growth, and the first model intended for mass production.

Deliveries for the Helix, only available in the United States, are set to begin on June 10, 2024. Prospective buyers must undergo training and be prepared to spend at least $190,000 (pre-tax). According to Pivotal CEO Ken Karklin, the market is ready for the excitement and convenience of recreational airborne travel with the Helix.

What sets the Helix apart is its ease of use – no pilot certification from the Federal Aviation Administration is required. Weighing just 348 pounds, the Helix meets the FAA’s Part 103 (Ultralight) category in the United States. However, there are still some regulations in place. For example, the FAA requires Ultralight aircraft to fly over uncongested areas and away from airports. Additionally, all buyers must complete training and meet a few criteria, such as being at least 18 years old, weighing less than 220 pounds, and standing no taller than 6 feet 5 inches.

Despite its freedom, the Helix does come with some limitations. Owners will not be able to travel long distances, as the aircraft only has a range of 20 miles and takes approximately 75 minutes to charge from 20% to 100% battery using a 240V charger.

The Helix is available in three different configurations, all of which include mandatory training. The base package, starting at $190,000, features a sleek white-and-carbon fiber exterior finish, a digital flight panel, canopy, HD landing camera, charger, vehicle cart, custom marking, and warranty.

The second option, priced at $240,000, offers a stunning gloss white-and-striped carbon fiber exterior finish and includes all of the features in the base package, as well as a trailer with dual wing cart, 4k camera with landing assist, recording and sharing capabilities, an ADS-B air traffic system, two chargers, and an enhanced warranty. Owners can use the trailer to transport their Helix, as it can be assembled in just 30 minutes and placed into a 16-foot trailer when disassembled.

The third package, costing $260,000, boasts a custom exterior in glossy white carbon fiber with a personalized accent color. In addition to the features of the previous packages, the third option also includes a premium flight deck, three chargers, beacon aircraft lighting, integrated emergency locator transmitter, an extra training slot for a friend or family member, and the possibility to fully customize the exterior for an additional fee, depending on the design.

The Helix will be manufactured in Palo Alto, and interested customers can place an order online by paying a $250 non-refundable application fee. To secure a production slot and the projected shipping date, a $50,000 deposit must be made within five business days of placing an initial order, according to the company.

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Zara Khan

Zara Khan is a seasoned investigative journalist with a focus on social justice issues. She has won numerous awards for her groundbreaking reporting and has a reputation for fearlessly exposing wrongdoing.

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