Pivotal Unveils Helix A Game Changer In Electric Personal Aircraft

In an exciting development for personal aviation, Pivotal, a Palo Alto-based company, has recently launched the Helix – a groundbreaking lightweight electric personal aircraft. This launch, which took place at CES 2024, marks a significant leap in the field of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles.

The Helix is the latest offering from Pivotal, a venture that’s been making waves in the electric aircraft industry for over a decade. Founded with support from Larry Page, Pivotal first grabbed headlines with BlackFly, a single-seat personal aircraft. The Helix, revealed in October, represents the evolution of their technology and their first model geared towards larger-scale production.

What sets the Helix apart is its accessibility. Starting June 10, 2024, it will be available for purchase in the U.S., with a starting price of $190,000 before taxes. This aircraft does not require a pilot’s license, lowering the barrier to entry for aerial enthusiasts. Pivotal’s CEO, Ken Karklin, expressed confidence in the market’s readiness for this new form of aerial recreation and eVTOL travel.

The initial response to the Helix has been enthusiastic, with prospective buyers quickly placing reservations. The Helix’s appeal lies in its compliance with the FAA Part 103 (Ultralight) category, meaning it’s light enough (weighing about 348 pounds) to be flown without a Federal Aviation Administration pilot certification. However, it’s not without regulations – the FAA restricts its use to non-congested areas and away from airports, and Pivotal mandates training for all buyers.

There are a few prerequisites for potential Helix owners: they must be at least 18, weigh under 220 pounds, and be no taller than 6 feet 5 inches. The Helix’s operational range is over 20 miles, with a battery recharge time of about 75 minutes from 20% to 100% using a 240V charger.

Pivotal offers the Helix in three packages. The base package, priced at $190,000, includes the aircraft with a white-and-carbon fiber exterior, digital flight panel, canopy, HD landing camera, charger, vehicle cart, custom marking, and warranty. The second package, starting at $240,000, adds extras like a 4k camera with landing assist, an ADS-B air traffic system, two chargers, and an enhanced warranty. The top-tier package at $260,000 includes all these features plus a premium flight deck, beacon aircraft lighting, and additional training slot, with the option for full exterior customization.

Each package comes with required training, ensuring that owners are well-prepared to operate their Helix. As for transportation, the Helix can be disassembled and transported in a 16-foot trailer, making it convenient for owners to take their aircraft on the road.

The Helix represents a significant step forward in the world of personal aviation, offering an accessible, eco-friendly, and exciting way to experience flight. Manufactured in Palo Alto, the Helix can be ordered online with a $250 nonrefundable application fee, followed by a $50,000 deposit to secure a production slot.

Pivotal’s Helix is more than just an aircraft; it’s a statement about the future of personal travel. As we look to the skies for new ways to explore and connect, the Helix stands out as a beacon of innovation and accessibility in the exciting world of eVTOL. With its launch, Pivotal is not just selling an aircraft; they are offering a glimpse into a future where the sky is no longer the limit.