Transcend Air Awarded Key Air Force Project to Develop Simplified Vehicle Operation and High Speed Nap of the Earth VTOL Flight

Flight simulation of a Vy 400AF in helicopter mode prior to takeoff for a high-speed casualty evacuation (CASEVAC) mission. (Photo: Business Wire)

BOSTON--()--Transcend Air today announces it has been awarded an AFWERX Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) research and development contract, in partnership with Auburn University, to develop Simplified Vehicle Operation and flight control laws for high speed VTOL “nap of the Earth” flight with the Vy 400 Vertical Takeoff and Landing aircraft.

“Nap of the Earth” is the term for a demanding flight regime where an aircraft stays low and follows the contours of terrain to remain undetected. Transcend Air is working with Professor Imon Chakraborty and his Vehicle Systems, Dynamics, and Design Laboratory ( to implement control software to enable the Vy 400 aircraft to automatically fly nap of the Earth while being safely operated by a non-pilot crew member.

Through this joint R&D contract, Transcend Air’s Vy 400 VTOL aircraft is being customized to provide military support for small unit resupply and casualty evacuation missions. The 405 mph speed of the Vy 400 is two and one half times faster than the helicopters currently used for these missions, which would allow it to conduct rescues over areas more than six times as large.

AFWERX is an arm of the United States Air Force that supports aircraft technology development for commercial and military purposes. VSDDL is part of the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama.


Transcend Air was founded to unlock the heart of the city with a regional VTOL air service that will free business travelers from congestion on the ground and in the air. Transcend has developed the Vy 400 as the best solution for city-center to city-center mobility, with door-to-door prices lower than current air travel options, and door-to-door times that are 65% to 80% less. With the Vy 400, and the award-winning Vy 400R, Transcend Air is finally realizing the VTOL promise.


Peter Schmidt, +1 781 883 4818

Release Summary

Transcend Air awarded USAF R&D project to develop simplified vehicle operation and high speed low-level VTOL flight to make rescues 2.5 times faster.


Peter Schmidt, +1 781 883 4818