MARKET UPDATE - 01/12/2021 - ⚡️ ELECTRIC ✈️ AVIATION
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EVTOL / ADVANCED / URBAN AIR MOBILITY (UAM / AAM)
GROUPE ADP | RATP GROUP | LILIUM | JOBY AVIATION | THALES | PIPISTREL
The Urban Air Mobility test site at Pontoise near Paris, France was inaugurated, and further details released of two pre-commercial routes that project participants aim to have in service for the 2024 Paris Olympics "...the first between the Paris-Issy-les-Moulineaux heliport and the Saint-Cyr airfield; the second between Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Le Bourget airports and Paris city, on a site to be determined."
The Paris Region / Group ADP / RATP Group supported project now counts Airbus, Ascendance, Joby Aviation, Lilium, Vertical Aerospace and Volocopter as partners. In addition Pipistrel, Skyports and Thales are involved, having carried out trial flights to mark the inauguration - demonstrating electric charing, drone logistics and anti-collision tech respectively (via Bloomberg Quint, Groupe ADP).
SKYPORTS | RE.INVENT AIR MOBILITY
It was also announced that Skyports had won the contract from the Re.Invent Air Mobility consortium to design , build and operate a vertiport at Pontoise. Incorporating "...biometric identity management, re-charging equipment, situational awareness capabilities and weather stations."
The vertiport's modular construction will enable it to support test operations in the run up to the 2024 Paris Olympics, and then be relocated "...at the end of the programme, serving as the first commercial vertiport in France."
In an interview Rob Scholl - Senior Vice President of eViation at Textron - suggested that the Bell Nexus eVTOL programme was awaiting "further development of the battery technology and the economic case" before moving forward (via AIN).
EMBRAER | NLR
Volocopter may have cancelled their plans to go public via a SPAC merger, with management reportedly considering "the current time...very unfavourable for a successful SPAC transaction"
VOLOCOPTER | KAKAO MOBILITY
Volocopter signed an MoU with the $46B USD market cap Kakao Corporation's Kakao Mobility subsidiary that will see the partners jointly conduct a feasibility study on "a feasibility study on introducing UAM in South Korea." The mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) business is South Korea's largest with 28 million registered users, and itself raised $200m USD from The Carlyle Group in February to support growth of its ride hailing, electric bike sharing, parking, navigation and autonomous vehicle services (via Volocopter).
NEXA CAPITAL PARTNERS | ELEMENT 1
Nexa Capital Partners signed a global agreement with Element 1 Corporation which will see the partners seek to accelerate adoption of the latter's methanol-to-hydrogen generators in aerospace applications, with an emphasis on electrical vertical aircraft (EVAs). Element 1 President and CEO Dave Edlund commented:
“Our hydrogen generators, when paired with fuel cells, will improve the performance of EVAs by generating onboard power for propulsion as well as by recharging onboard batteries. Element 1’s solutions, using a hydrogen dense mixture of methanol and water, will significantly extend the range of EVAs beyond what may be typically achieved using onboard compressed hydrogen.”
eHang conducted an aerial sightseeing test flight in Bali, Indonesia together with local partner Prestige Aviation (a subsidiary of Indonesian entrepreneur Rudy Salim's Prestige Corp) - reported to be the first of its kind in the popular tourist destination. A Special Certificate of Airworthiness for the eHang 216 AAV was issued by Indonesia's civil aviation authority to enable the flight (via eHang):
Czech company Zuri released footage showing their 11m wide, 500kg 'large scale' demonstrator eVTOL undergoing a low altitude, tethered hover flight test on September 15th. The 90% scale test vehicle features 8 lift propellers, whilst the production vehicle will add a pusher prop for cruise flight and a hybrid-electric powertrain providing a claimed 720km / 388nm range at a cruise speed of up to 320 kph / 200 mph with 2,000kg MTOW. The company (via ATI, Zuri):
Renault unveiled the AIR4 eVTOL multicopter concept, inspired by the Renault 4, that they've produced in partnership with Hong Kongheadquartered "motion design hub" TheArsenale. Featuring lithium polymer batteries, sporting 380kg of thrust and a top speed of c. 90 kph / 55mph the project is said to have gone from idea to reality in just six months (via TheArsenale):
SMALL PROPELLER, COMMUTER (19-SEATS OR LESS)
In an interview Rob Scholl - Senior Vice President of eViation at Textron - suggested that the company's forthcoming Cessna 408 SkyCourier aircraft (FedEx have ordered 50, with options on 50 more) "could benefit from electrification." (via AIN).
DLR | MTU AERO ENGINES
The German Aerospace Center / DLR took delivery of Dornier 228 aircraft D-CEFD that is to become the research institution's their flying electric testbed. Having been overhauled by General Atomics AeroTec Systems GmbH (formerly RUAG Aerospace Services) at Oberpfaffenhofen (also home of Lilium) one of the engines will now be replaced with a 600-kilowatt electric propulsion system, powered by a liquid hydrogen fuel cell, in partnership with MTU Aero Engines. First flight is planned for "the middle of the decade"(via EVWind, DLR):
Sweden's Heart Aerospace have selected Spain's Aernnova to co-design and develop the structure of their ESA-19 electric regional airliner, alongside in-house engineers. Specifically they will assist with work on the wing, fuselage and empennage of the 19-seat aluminium aircraft (via Heart Aerospace):
MAGNIX | EXPLORER AIRCRAFT
In a story we missed back in September MagniX signed a supply agreement with Explorer Aircraft of Texas – the electric propulsion units will feature in hybrid-electric versions of their in-development 500T and 750T composite, single-engine light utility aircraft (via AM&D, Explorer Aircraft):
Toulouse-based Aura Aero received their EASA PART 21 Subpart G design organisation approval from the French civil aviation safety authority following an 18-month audit process of their facilities, production processes and those of their subcontractors. In the first instance it will allow production of parts for the company's two-seat piston-engined Integral R aerobatic taildragger to commence, followed by its electrified Integral E electric offshoot (for which it's reported to have 50 pre-orders) and then the company's planned 19-seat ERA regional airliner (via Aura Aero, FutureFlight):
REGIONAL AIRCRAFT / MW+
No stories this week.