Skip to main content

United States Navy Awards Overair SBIR Contract to Advance Unique Individual Blade Control (IBC)Technology

Contract to focus on safety-critical architecture for potential military applications

SANTA ANA, Calif., Dec. 14, 2023 — Overair, an emerging global leader in advanced air mobility (AAM) and developer of all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, today announced the United States Navy has awarded Overair a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract to further develop the high-integrity individual blade control (IBC) technology integrated into its Butterfly eVTOL aircraft. Under the agreement, Overair will advance the IBC system for potential Navy use with a specific focus on safety-critical architecture.

The innovative IBC system will enable segment-leading performance for Overair’s Butterfly and, in the future, may also provide new frontiers for the U.S. Navy, which is focusing its support on Overair’s unique trajectory-based control scheme in conjunction with a fault tolerant, multi-channel digital communications network. The research and technology is expected to help future military rotorcraft become more damage-resistant and reliable in combat.

“This SBIR award is important validation that our IBC technology is truly groundbreaking and will be a key contributor to Butterfly’s exceptional, market-leading performance and capabilities,” said Overair CEO, Ben Tigner. “We look forward to working with the Navy to advance this technology in relation to military applications as safety and reliability are of utmost importance for critical missions.”

Overair’s IBC technology significantly reduces vibration, extends component life, and improves safety and ride quality. Overair’s Butterfly eVTOL uniquely enables full-authority IBC, a feature absent in current certified commercial and military rotorcraft. Paired with its advanced Optimum Speed Tiltrotor (OSTR) propulsion system-rotors, Butterfly also delivers unparalleled noise reduction.

“The list of potential benefits derived from IBC technology is long, but the challenges of practical implementation have, to date, prevented its adoption into production rotorcraft. This SBIR is intended to help move the needle towards the realization of IBC in the next generation of rotorcraft,” noted NAVAIR Aeromechanics Senior Engineer, Matt Rhinehart.

SBIR programs, established in 1982, are highly competitive and cover all industries. Awards are available to for-profit companies headquartered in the U.S. that have no more than 500 employees. The program stimulates technological innovation, research, and development in areas critical to American priorities and advancement.

About Overair

Overair is positioned to be a global leader in advanced air mobility. Spun out of Karem Aircraft in 2020, the Santa Ana, California-based company announced the design of its vehicle, Butterfly, in 2021. Butterfly is a breakthrough electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Butterfly’s proprietary technologies, derived from the Overair team’s decades of aerospace experience, create critical power reserves using today’s commercially available battery cells, which translate into advances in safety and a superior experience for riders and communities. With eVTOL adoption set to revolutionize urban mobility, Butterfly is positioned to set the bar on real-world dependability, with best-in-class payload, sound emissions, and weather capability. Overair has operating partnerships with companies such as Hanwha Systems and Bristow Group, and the team completed its full-scale propulsion testing in the second quarter of 2022.

For more information, please visit Overair’s website at

Media inquiries:
Kim Jennett
Head of Marketing and Communications