The flying car, a new strategic direction for BLR Aviation

From the drone to the flying car was just one step (and a few million euros) that Damien Blairon, CEO of BLR Aviation, had dreamed of taking for a long time.

Passionate about airplanes since childhood, he founded his first company in the late 2000s in an ever-dynamic drone market on a national level. So faced with Asian competition, it adapts. Quantity within reach. To transform existing equipment by making it more resistant to the wind, able to go further, especially thanks to the use of composite materials.

It develops twelve models that are used, among other things, in the nuclear and petrochemical industries.

But after a few years of activity, it becomes more and more difficult to buy the spare parts that allow artisanal production of drones. ” Kit making has evaporated. So I chose to take the tangent and started thinking seriously about the electric car “.

An almost mature market

Especially since the market has matured. ” Air mobility is being watched with increasing attention by public authorities who see it as a way to relieve cities of their road traffic “. In large European capitals, more and more vertiports – runways for flying cars – are being built on the roof of buildings. Because the solution, in addition to generating less greenhouse gas than thermal cars, has the advantage that it does not require infrastructure, the construction of which is very expensive.

It remains to overcome certain obstacles to the acceptance of such a form of travel: noise and visual pollution, which the rules should regulate. As well as the feeling of insecurity in this type of vehicle, which should facilitate the creation of an approval system at national level and not just European. ” Some countries have already passed this milestone, especially in Asia. And when people see that the flying car reduces their travel time by 75%, they will be more likely to accept it. “.

Convinced of the relevance of Damien Blairon’s project, Benoît Fahy, from the banking world, decided to invest in the project and became the administrative and financial manager of the company BLR Aviation, created in 2021.

A top model for shop windows

The company aims to produce several products, including flying cargo vehicles, equipped to transport a stretcher, fire-fighting products or ensure the spread of plant health substances over agricultural crops.

But it is above all its flying car model dedicated to individuals that the company wants to highlight. A full-carbon monocoque chassis, chosen for its qualities of lightness and resistance. The machine is self-extinguishing, unsinkable and capable of transporting 250 kg of cargo.

Top-of-the-range, the flying car – which will be offered in small series – will be aimed at a wealthy audience, as it will ultimately cost around 100,000 euros to get it. “ There are currently 180 flying car projects in the world. It’s a huge race “. Because the market has something to make you drool; strategy consultancy Olivier Wyman estimates it will be worth $320 billion by 2030.

Take advantage of its technological advances

BLR Aviation hopes to start this race in a good place thanks to the technological know-how acquired through the development of drones. Drones, the technology of which she eventually transferred to the flying car. ” With few funds, we can go fast » projects Damien Blairon. “We can rely on our composite materials and their properties. And the operation of the cars is the same as the drones we have developed before, with larger motors and batteries “.

Especially since” in the beginning there will be room for everyone. It is the supply that will create the demand “, say the entrepreneurs. “ Then will follow a phenomenon of concentration “. To counter this, BLR Aviation then intends to play the niche market card and adhere to the image of French luxury.

However, to achieve this dream, it is still necessary to raise the funds that will allow the homologation of the car. Six million euros that entrepreneurs hope “ get up as soon as possible to maintain [leur] move “. The first contacts are established. If successful, they plan to recruit to reach a workforce of fifty people within three years. Ready to go. To eventually become a beautiful ETI from Vaucluse “.