MARKET UPDATE - 14/06/2022 - ⚡️ ELECTRIC ✈️ AVIATION
EVTOL / ADVANCED / URBAN AIR MOBILITY (UAM / AAM)
EVE URBAN AIR MOBILITY | PORSCHE CONSULTING
Embraer's Eve Urban Air Mobility announced a global partnership with Porsche Consulting "to help define...eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) supply chain, global manufacturing and logistics macro strategy" (via Eve).
EVE URBAN AIR MOBILITY | FALCON AVIATION SERVICES
Falcon Aviation Services ordered 35 x eVTOL aircraft from Eve, with deliveries to start from 2026. The Abu Dhabi based helicopter / biz jet operator and MRO (who predominantly service the region's oil and gas industry) intend to operate the aircraft on tourist sightseeing flights from the Atlantis 5-star hotel on Dubai's iconic 'Palm':
LILIUM | ZENLABS
Lilium have selected "high-silicon anode and high-nickel cathode" lithium ion pouch cells from Zenlabs for use in the Lilium Jet. The company also revealed in a blog post that they are financial investors in the Californian battery cell specialists:
CTO Alastair McIntosh provided an update on aircraft development this month (see below), and investors were warned of a forecast "moderate rise" in expenditure for H2, with predicted total spend of $265m USD for FY 22, as work to agree a certification basis for the Lilium Jet intensifies:
JAUNT AIR MOBILITY | VERTIKO MOBILITY
Canada's Vertiko Mobility signed an LOI for the purchase of 70+ all-electric Jaunt Journey aircraft, and two hybrid-electric variants from Jaunt Air Mobility, with an option on 25 more. It's envisaged firming the LOI into a contract first in Q2 '25. The agreement would also include provision of pilot training and aircraft maintenance by Jaunt:
(Via Jaunt Air Mobility).
Volocopter released footage of their lift-and-cruise four seat VoloConnect aircraft undergoing a first (2m14s) test flight in May 2022. With 60+ miles of range and a cruise speed of "over 155 mph" it is the third operational test aircraft the German company has produced:
China's Autoflight released an 8-minute long video of the latest test flight of the company's Prosperity 1 eVTOL aircraft. Modified since the last flight it now features a single, central pusher prop configuration. Cruise speed is said to be 200 km/h with a 250km range, during this flight the vehicle reached a maximum speed of 172 km/h:
(Via Bloomberg Technology)
JOBY AVIATION | H2FLY
Bevirt mentioned hydrogen in the Bloomberg interview (see above) and the company at the same time confirmed their quiet acquisition of Germany's H2FLY, whose HY4 has set hydrogen-electric altitude world records. The German company are closely affiliated with the German Aerospace Center (DLR) and engaged in a range of projects with partners including (Textron subsidiary) Pipistrel on the EU-backed MAHEPA project (via Flying Mag).
Beta Technologies' ALIA aircraft completed a substantial cross-country flight of over 1,200nm over eight legs from Plattsburgh, NY to the UP.Summit in Arkansas, and back:
(via Beta Technologies).
(via Pantuo Aviation).
MAGNIX | TIER 1 ENGINEERING
Tier 1 Engineering's all-electric 'e-R44' took flight on June 4th with a MagniX Electric Propulsion Unit (EPU) for the first time. The three minute test flight from Los Alamitos Army Airfield in California takes the team a small step closer towards obtaining a Supplementary Type Certificate (STC) for the aircraft:
(via PR Newswire).
Wisk have signed an MoU with the local government in Queensland, Australia that will see the parties work together to roll out of autonomous flights in the region. The company will recruit a local team to support the work (via Wisk).
AIR ASIA | CAPITAL A GROUP
Malaysian tycoon Tony Fernandes is reportedly planning IPOs in New York for both AirAsia and the associated spin-off 'Air Asia Super App' the company has developed. Both currently operate as subsidiaries of his Capital A group holding company:
(via Financial Times).
VERTIPORTS / INFRASTRUCTURE
AVOLON | CORPORACIÓN AMÉRICA AIRPORTS | GOL AIRLINES | GRUPO COMPORTE | VERTICAL AEROSPACE
Aircraft lessors Avolon and Vertical Aerospace (NYSE: EVTL) are teaming up with Brazil's biggest airline (and customer for the VX4) Gol, private airport operator Corporación América Airports (NYSE: CAAP) and transport operator Grupo Comporte (with whom Gol have partnered on the provision of ridesharing services) to "explore and define vertiport design and locations, as well as further infrastructure requirements for eVTOL operations in Brazil."
CAAP bring a dedicated Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) team, AAM traffic analysis "two-decade long expertise in airports design, construction and operation, as well as passenger traffic management" as well as a conceptual vertiport design of their own:
(via Vertical Aerospace).
CORPORACTIÓN AMÉRICA AIRPORTS | EVE URBAN AIR MOBILITY
"...to design and integrate a service and support ecosystem for Urban Air Mobility (“UAM”) operations in Europe and Latin America. Eve and Corporación América Airports will combine their expertise and efforts to assess the market readiness of the ground infrastructure for electric vertical take-off and landing (“eVTOL”) operations at airports, including studies of the regulatory environment."
DYMOND GROUP | URBAN-AIR PORT
Following their investment in the UK's Urban-Air Port, Canada's Dymond Group suggested the first location likely to see an Air-One vertiport in the country will be ex USAF base Stephenville International Airport on the West coast of Newfoundland - subject to the successful completion of their in-progress purchase of the airport (via eVTOL.com).
SMALL PROPELLER, COMMUTER (19-SEATS OR LESS)
MONTE | ZEROAVIA
UK lessor MONTE signed a deal with ZeroAvia for the purchase of up to 100 x ZA600 hydrogen fuel cell conversion kits. The 600kW units will be used on Cessna Caravan, DHC-6 Twin Otter, Dornier 228 and HAL-228 aircraft:
AIRFLOW AERO | ELECTRA AERO
eSTOL specialists Electra Aero acquired eSTOL specialists Airflow Aero - in a deal that closed on June 2nd (terms were not made public). Airflow's veterans of Airbus' Vahana programme had developed an all-electric aircraft in partnership with hydrogen fuel cell specialists Plug Power. It will now sit alongside the new parent company's hybrid-electric eSTOL aircraft which boasts 500 miles of range and up to an 1,800 lbs payload capacity.
Consolidated under Electra Aero's brand the new organisation has something of a monopoly on the blown wing concept, and importantly an order book of nearly 800 units; "beyond break-even for commercial development" (via PR Newswire).
UK battery specialists Electroflight launched a Scalable, Expandable, Energy Device (SEED) aimed at pre-certification stage product development projects. Applicable to fully electric, hybrid and eVTOL projects the 4.3kWh units offer 196 Wh/kg, are fast chargeable and feature a self contained battery management system:
Regent Craft look set to move from Massachusetts to Rhode Island following the approval of $13m worth of tax credit incentives. The 10-year deal anticipates the creation of 300 jobs and touts $367m of investment by the company to establish a manufacturing facility for their wing-in-ground-effect 'sea gliders', including a hangar in Quonset (via Boston Globe, Providence Journal).
Eviation have moved their prototype Alice aircraft 200 miles by road from Arlington Municipal Airport to Grant County International Airport near Moses Lake, WA. Alice now looks set to make her maiden flight from the new location which benefits from a 13,000ft runway (vs 5,400ft at the company's manufacturing base near Seattle):
(via The Air Current).
REGIONAL AIRCRAFT / MW+
Honeywell announced that their 1-megawatt generator system for hybrid-electric aircraft applications had completed a "first round of testing", claiming it to be "the industry’s first aerospace-grade electric machine that can also be used as a 1-megawatt motor without modifications."
The unit ran at a continuous 900 KW and c. 97% efficiency. Weighing in at 280 lbs the unit has a reported power density of c. 8 KW/kg:
CONNECT AIRLINES | UNIVERSAL HYDROGEN
Connect Airlines placed a firm order for 75 x ATR 72-600 hydrogen conversion kits from Universal Hydrogen, with an option on 25 more. Deliveries to start from 2025. It wasn't immediately clear if these were in place of or in addition to another 'firm order' announced by the companies in Dec 2021 for 12 x Dash 8-300 conversion kits:
(via Business Wire).
Wright Electric are establishing a physical HQ at Saratoga Technology + Energy Park (STEP) in Malta, NY. The 6,000 sq ft facility has been "designed to accommodate high power and high voltage for testing motors and motor controllers" (via TBJ).