EVTOL / ADVANCED / URBAN AIR MOBILITY (UAM / AAM)
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) published the Special Conditions eHang's EH216 Autonomous Aerial Vehicle (AAV) must meet in order to achieve type certification - paving the way for commercial operations in China. The document sets out the "basis for compliance and safety of EH216-S AAVs, including flight performance, structures, design and constructions, propulsion systems, systems and equipment, data link and ground control station" (via Globe Newswire).
In a letter to shareholders on February 28th and in their fiscal year 2021 business update Lilium announced that they would be "pursuing a new supplemental market opportunity to sell our aircraft through private sales and fractional ownership" - at the same time announcing an MoU with NetJets "...for the prospective sale of up to 150 Lilium jets plus related after-market services" - both of which they'll support with a "premium 4-pax club cabin configuration". A new 6 m3 cargo layout "for high-speed logistics" was also revealed.
The company revealed having spent $217m USD in fiscal year 2021, including $72.7m in Q4 - owing to "technology investments...due to battery development, energy and wind tunnel testing". Remaining liquidity (cash, equivalents and other financial assets) at year end were reported as c. $400m.
Volocopter raised $170m USD in Series E funding, bringing on board new investors WP Investment, with whom they will also establish a Joint Venture partnership to launch air taxi operations in their home market - South Korea. Another notable new addition to the cap table are Honeywell (who are also financial backers of Lilium and Vertical Aerospace). Returning investors include Italian infrastructure specialists Atlantia, Swiss VC btov Partners and Milan's Whysol Investments (via Volocopter).
LONG BEACH ECONOMIC PARTNERSHIP | WISK AERO
Wisk Aero have partnered with the Long Beach Economic Parnership. The organisations will work together to create an Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) working group, measure economic benefits of AAM operations in Southern California and implement autonomous operations in Long Beach (via Wisk Aero).
GLOBAL EMERGING MARKETS | MOBIUS ENERGY
Global Emerging Markets (GEM) doubled their investment in battery manufacturer Mobius Energy from $50m to $100m USD (through a "share subscription facility") as the Californian/Korean company continues to pursue a public listing via SPAC merger. Mobius' first commercial offering to the electric aviation market will be their Husky 2P45 battery module. Design is said to be "finalized" with plans to achieve FAA TSO-C179b certification. Production is planned to scale up in 2023. GEM are also investors in Skyworks Aeronautics (via EIN Presswire):
ASCENDANCE FLIGHT TECHNOLOGIES | YUGO
Singaporean charter company / aerial mobility platform Yugo have made a provisional order for 18 of Toulouse-based Ascendance Flight Technologies hybrid-electric ATEA VTOL aircraft, with delivery scheduled for 2025. It follows an order for 12 x eSTOL aircraft from Electra Aero announced by Yugo just last month (via Yugo):
CITY OF MIAMI | SUPERNAL
Hyundai's Urban Air Mobility (UAM) subsidiary Supernal signed an MoU with the City of Miami "to create a comprehensive engagement framework that will enable development of advanced air mobility" (via Supernal).
Local news sources in Vermont are debating whether Beta Technologies will take advantage of a shuttered Energizer plant "where the company once made lithium batteries" for a planned new battery testing facility. Over $500k in government support and a workforce with relevant skills and expertise are hoped to help sway their decision-making away from an alternative location being considered at Plattsburgh International Airport in New York state. The company's existing facilities at Burlington International Airport are rapidly expanding, with a planned 270,000 sq ft manufacturing facility and a "cultural and training center" both in the works (via VPR).
Joby Aviation registered a subsidiary business in the UK on March 1st (JOBY U.K. LIMITED), publicly announcing the move on Twitter just two days later, teasing that they would reveal "more about our ambitions for the UK market in due course" (via Joby Aviation):
CAA | FAA
SMALL PROPELLER, COMMUTER (19-SEATS OR LESS)
Rolls-Royce provided details of their developing offering for electric and hybrid-electric commuter aircraft (up to 19 seats). Latest lab prototype units include a high torque-to-weight ratio 500kW electric motor (with low cross-section to aid aerodynamic integration) and a 500 kW generator (with claimed 98% efficiency and 5kW / kg power output) that's compatible with most turboshaft engines in the power class (via Rolls-Royce):
AECOM | HYBRID AIR VEHICLES
Hybrid Air Vehicles are partnering with infrastructure consultants AECOM on planning and delivery of infrastructure, hydrogen supply and transit interchange design to support the company’s hydrogen fuel-cell powered Airlander 10 hybrid airships (via HAV):
BAE SYSTEMS | PIPISTREL
REGIONAL AIRCRAFT / MW+
ELIX AVIATION | UNIVERSAL HYDROGEN
Dublin-based aircraft lessor Elix Aviation have delivered a Dash 8-300 aircraft to Universal Hydrogen for conversion to the company's hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrain. Additionally Elix signed an LOI to acquire ten conversion kits (any combination of Dash 8-300 or ATR 72-500/600) and to collaborate on "marketing of Universal Hydrogen’s fuel service and logistics solution to Elix’s customers" (via Businesswire).