Transcend Air Receives Market Research Investment to Advance U.S. DoD High-Speed VTOL Capabilities


Boston, MA (January, 28, 2022) – Transcend Air Corporation today announced advancing to the next phase of the AFWERX High-Speed Vertical Take-Off and Landing (HSVTOL) Concept Challenge, a crowdsourcing effort for the United States Air Force (USAF) and United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM). The company is one of 11 companies from more than 200 challenge entrants selected to receive market research investments aimed at advancing solutions that enable optimal agility in austere environments.

“High speed, VTOL, long range, and low operating costs are the four key drivers for our civil business model,” noted Transcend COO Peter Schmidt. “Those are the exact attributes USAF and USSOCOM need to rapidly field new runway-independent capabilities to meet evolving threats.”

Transcend has proposed a militarized derivative of its $3.5 million Vy 400 civil aircraft. The V-500 Catamount will be a Vy 400 upgraded with the GE T901 turboshaft engine and higher-speed props, resulting in a 500 mph / 435 kt / 805 kph cruise speed and a 720 mile / 625 nm / 1,157 km combat radius. The Catamount will take just 15 minutes to dash from a tanker to a personnel recovery point 100 nm away, which could increase aircrew recovery rates by up to 70%.

Transcend’s solution is envisioned as part of a broader HSVTOL conceptual framework that increases the trade space of speed, range, survivability, payload, size, and flexibility to carry out USAF and USSOCOM missions across the full spectrum of conflict and political scenarios. It emerged as a top-tier entrant in the HSVTOL Concept Challenge by meeting or exceeding rigorous evaluation criteria focused on technical merit, reliability, scalability, and other factors.

“The HSVTOL Concept Challenge has surfaced an impressive range and caliber of solutions to help us understand how to build a new class of air vehicles,” said Dr. Reid Melville, Chief Innovation Officer, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) Transformational Capabilities Office. “We believe the organizations selected to receive market research investments at this stage have the potential to deliver truly groundbreaking innovation.”

Over the next six months, Transcend Air will further develop its V-500 Catamount solution, working closely with the USAF, USSOCOM, and Collaboration.Ai, the prime contractor facilitating the HSVTOL Concept Challenge.

About Transcend Air Corporation

Transcend Air was founded to unlock the heart of the city with its Vy ART regional VTOL air service that will free business travelers from congestion on the ground and in the air. Transcend has designed 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 travel times that are 67% to 80% less. With the award-winning Vy 400 and Reserved Edition Vy 400R – and the newly proposed V-500 Catamount military version – Transcend Air is finally realizing the VTOL promise.


Established in 2017, AFWERX is a product of the U.S. Air Force. It was envisioned by former Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson, who aimed to solve some of the toughest challenges the Air Force faces through innovation and collaboration among the nation’s top subject matter experts. AFWERX and the U.S. Air Force are committed to exploring viable solutions and partnerships to further strengthen the Air Force, which could lead to additional prototyping, R&D, and follow-on production contracts. For more information, visit

About Collaboration.Ai

Collaboration.Ai is a software and services provider based in Minneapolis, MN. The company believes new ideas, stronger human connections, and intelligent networks can lift up individuals, organizations, and communities. Using design thinking and artificial intelligence, Collaboration.Ai helps organizations drive innovation, engineer more impactful teams, augment the human networking experience, and connect the right people, at the right time, around the right ideas. For more information, visit