LEO Co-Founders Carlos Salaff and Pete Bitar

Transcript

Carlos Salaff and Pete Bitar are on a mission to make a reality out of what once thought to be an impossible dream—the flying car. This mission is taking off with the help of LEO Flight, a venture-backed startup at the forefront of such technology.

Salaff, with a background in automotive design, developed an interest in aircraft at a young age, thanks to his musician father. He has always been captivated by "the feeling of flight" and playing around with cars, interests that have since widened his passion for the art of design. But little did he know his childhood passion would include the development of a machine that could take flight.

Meanwhile, Bitar was in the defense industry, creating solutions to roadside bombs and weapon systems that saved lives. He had always been passionate about aviation, starting a small advertising company in the 90s. By 2018, he had sold his defense company and the assets that came with it. Bitar founded a company called Electric Jet Aircraft and started focusing on the concept of an electric jetpack. A patent for it was awarded last year.

It was around this time that Salaff found a connection. He reached out to Bitar, bringing together their compatible skills (Salaff focusing on the design, Bitar on the engineering) to create a joint venture, namely LEO Flight. LEO Flight aims to bring to life what Salaff and Bitar call the "crossover vehicle."

It flies like a small aircraft with vertical takeoff and the agility of a quadcopter. It is roadable, meaning it can be driven on all types of terrain and can even take off from the top of a car. Salaff and Bitar have created a much safer and more practical machine than traditional helicopters, with the certification process being more straightforward, as it's deemed safe enough to be operated around people and property.

LEO Flight's primary goal is to provide door-to-door travel and open up access to places that otherwise would be hard to get to. The idea is a cheaper and more accessible form of travel and transportation—one much safer and higher performing than current aircraft. In their pitch to investors, Salaff and Bitar emphasize that the crossover vehicle is much closer to mass adoption than people might think. Furthermore, the company envisions being able to manufacture thousands of these vehicles a year, which would heavily broaden its reach.

LEO Flight currently has a team of 19 members, which consists of experts in multiple disciplines of aviation, software engineering, design, production, and related areas. To push the vision forward, LEO Flight is raising finances to build a prototype, hire permanent staff, and establish the facilities necessary for manufacturing.

Salaff and Bitar have been striving to bring this idea of a new "crossover vehicle" to life and put it to the market to make air transportation accessible and affordable comfort for the average person. Their ambition has been backed up by a team of talented professionals and several investors, showing a solid outlook for the successful trajectory of the venture shortly.

Weekly Newsletter

For Leaders

Subscribe to the weekly newsletter read by the world's most influential CEOs.