MARKET UPDATE - 22/02/2022 - ⚡️ ELECTRIC ✈️ AVIATION
EVTOL / ADVANCED / URBAN AIR MOBILITY (UAM / AAM)
LEONARDO | VERTICAL AEROSPACE
Leonardo will work with Vertical Aerospace on the fuselage of their VX-4 eVTOL air taxi, an initial deal covers six certification aircraft, with a view to collaborating on "mass production of 2,000 VX4s per year". Work will be focused at the Italian company's aerostructures plant in Grottaglie that supplies central fuselage sections to Boeing for the 787 Dreamliner programme (via Vertical Aerospace).
AIRASIA | AVOLON-E | VERTICAL AEROSPACE
AirAsia signed a deal to lease at least 100 Vertical Aerospace VX-4 aircraft from aircraft leasing company Avalon's Avolon-e subsidiary. The deal will also see the organisations collaborate through the subsidiary to build a South East Asian Urban Air Mobility (UAM) platform - leveraging AirAsia's so-called mobile 'super-app' - as well as forming a working group to identify market opportunities, pursue local aircraft certification and identify infrastructure requirements (via AirAsia, Avolon, Vertical Aerospace):
FARNBOROUGH AIRPORT | VERTICAL AEROSPACE
ANAC | EVE
Eve formally agreed with Brazilian regulator ANAC the certification basis for their eVTOL aircraft; "...the eVTOL certification process will follow the process of obtaining a “normal category” aircraft Type Certificate, considering the requirements established by the Brazilian Civil Aviation Regulation (RBAC) no. 23, among other additional requirements" (via Eve).
EVE | MICROFLITE
Melbourne, Victoria based helicopter operator Microflite ordered up to 40 eVTOL aircraft from Embraer's Eve subsidiary for operations in Australia. The companies will also work in partnership to develop safe, scalable eVTOL operating procedures and work on community and stakeholder engagement (via Eve):
AVIAIR | EVE | HELISPIRIT
Western Australia based affiliates Aviair and HeliSpirit intend to order up to 50 eVTOL aircraft from Eve - the low-noise and carbon footprint making them well suited to sightseeing flights in sensitive and protected areas, as well as for efficient transfer flights (via Eve):
EVE | JAPAN AIRLINES | JAPAN CIVIL AVIATION BUREAU | KANEMATSU CORPORATION | SKYPORTS
Eve and Skyports will work on the development of a Concept of Operations (CONOPS) for Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) in Japan for the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau, in a partnership that also includes Kanematsu Corporation and Japan Airlines (via Eve).
ANA | JOBY AVIATION | TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION
ANA have entered into a partnership with Joby Aviation to launch an aerial ride sharing service in Japan. The wide-ranging partnership will see the companies collaborate on "infrastructure, pilot training, flight operations, public acceptance, and the regulatory requirements to operate." Toyota will support efforts to integrate ground transportation (via ANA, Joby):
One of Joby Aviation's two test aircraft was involved in a crash on February 16th, during a remotely piloted test flight in an uninhabited area, resulting in no injuries - according to this 8K SEC filing made by the company. The NTSB confirmed that they were investigating the incident and the Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) community made a good guess as to where Joby's test field might be located based on the ADS-B track of the flight:
(via New Atlas).
AVIATION CAPITAL GROUP | VOLOCOPTER
Up to $1 billion worth of Volocopter's aircraft will be available for customers to lease, following the signing of a partnership agreement between the German eVTOL developer and Aviation Capital Group (ACG) - a subsidiary of early Volocopter investors Tokyo Century (via ACG, Volocopter).
SINGAPORE | VOLOCOPTER
Volocopter outlined how they envision bringing 4.18 billion SGD ($3.1 billion USD) of value to Singapore. Plans outlined in a roadmap released ahead of the Republic's major international airshow include operating four to six vertiports in the country by 2030, with an initial focus on tourist flights over Marina Bay and Sentosa Island. Cross-border flights into neighbouring Indonesia and Malaysia are expected to follow (via Volocopter).
EDBI | JTC | SKYPORTS | VOLOCOPTER
Skyports and Volocopter signed MOUs with the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDBI) and Seletar Aerospace Park master planner's JTC Corporation. Both parties will help define Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) developments at the cluster, with Skyports focusing on vertiport terminals, hangarage, airside facilities and pilot training whilst Volocopter focus on assessing the feasibility of establishing eVTOL aircraft manufacture and Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) facilities at the park (via Skyports, Volocopter).
LUXAVIATION | ROLLS-ROYCE
Luxaviation and Rolls-Royce will collaborate on the development and deployment of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM). The global Fixed Base Operator's (FBO) planned vertiport network will be supported by Rolls-Royce's aircraft electrification solutions, maintenance support services, digital solutions as well as climate-friendly microgrid solutions for fast-charging through their Rolls-Royce Power Systems subsidiary (via Luxaviation, Rolls-Royce):
US battery manufacturer Amprius Technologies claim to have shipped the first commercially available cells rated at 450 Wh/kg to "...to an industry leader of a new generation of High-Altitude Pseudo Satellites (HAPS)." The batteries make use of the company's "proprietary Si-Nanowire platform" and they claim that they're the "highest energy density cells available" (via Amprius).
SMALL PROPELLER, COMMUTER (19-SEATS OR LESS)
ROLLS-ROYCE | ROTAX | TECNAM
Tecnam released footage of their P2010 H3PS parallel hybrid aircraft, from a flight that took place back in December. The four-seat general aviation aircraft features a 30kW Rolls-Royce electric motor and 104kW Rotax engine (via Cision):
DESAER | MAGNIX
Aspiring Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Desaer announced a partnership with MagniX that will see a version of the company's proposed ATL-100 twin-turboprop utility aircraft incorporate a pair of Magni350 Electric Propulsion uUits (EPUs), alongside two conventional turboprops. The aircraft will be designated the ATL-100H, is expected to offer 25-40% fuel savings and is said to be "a stepping stone towards an all-electric aircraft from DESAER" (via PR Newswire):
AGILITY PRIME | ELECTRA AERO
The US Air Force, through their Agility Prime programme, are further supporting Electra Aero with a Phase III Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract, that should help the company have a full-scale prototype of their hybrid eSTOL aircraft ready for flight testing later this year (via PR Newswire):
ELECTRA AERO | YUGO
Electra Aero also announced signing an MOU with Singaporean private aviation platform Yugo, which will see the company expand their business jet and helicopter service offerings in the Asia-Pacific region with up to 12 of the Virginian aircraft manufacturer's under-development hybrid eSTOL aircraft (via PR Newswire):
JETCRUZER INTERNATIONAL | MAGNIX
Having acquired the pusher prop Jetcruzer aircraft 'new' owner Victor Tao now seeks to commercialise two variants of the unusual aircraft - the Jetcruzer 450 with a fuel cell, and the Jetcruzer 500 with a yet to be selected hybrid powertrain (via AIN):
Eviation's co-founder and CEO Omer Bar-Yohay departed abruptly on February 14th, saying on Twitter; "Today, I'm stepping down from my position as CEO after a long-standing disagreement with the company's main shareholder." A company statement called the move "part of a planned succession process" and named company President Gregory Davis as interim-CEO. The news comes just weeks ahead of the expected first flight of the company's 'Alice' battery-electric aircraft (via Eviation).
CRAFT AEROSPACE | ODYS AVIATION
Hybrid-electric VTOL aircraft developer Craft Aerospace raised $12m USD in funding and changed their name to Odys Aviation. Investors include Giant Ventures, Soma Capital (investors in Regent), 11.2 Capital, Countdown Capital and Uber Elevate alumnus Nikhil Goel (via PR Newswire).
BAIKAL ENGINEERING | URAL WORKS OF CIVIL AVIATION
Baikal Engineering (a subsidiary of Russia's Ural Works of Civil Aviation) are reported to be working on an electric version of the LMS-901 'Baikal' single-engine, 9-passenger monoplane utility aircraft. Whilst an electric variant is slated for 2025 the conventionally powered AN-2 replacement first flew last month and a hybridised variant is also reported to be under development (via CAPA).
REGIONAL AIRCRAFT / MW+
H3 Dynamics claim to have "successfully completed the world’s first fully integrated hydrogen-electric propulsion aircraft nacelle" set to begin flight testing in France in weeks. The company claim the distributed approach "opens potential for medium to long-haul routes of 2500 km for 19 to 100 passenger aircraft" (via Business Wire):
EMBRAER | ROLLS-ROYCE | WIDERØE
A year-long partnership between Embraer, Rolls-Royce and Widerøe Zero will seek to accelerate zero-emissions airframe and propulsion technologies. The project will take into consideration electric, hybrid, fuel cell and liquid hydrogen powered aircraft (via Aviation Week).
AFWERX | VERDEGO AERO
VerdeGo Aero were selected by the US Air Force's Afwerx unit to progress in the agency's High-Speed VTOL (HSVTOL) Concept Challenge with their turbine hybrid-electric powertrain. David Eichstedt, the company's Director of Advanced Concepts, noted that:
“VerdeGo has already proven our capability in sub 1 MW hybrid powerplants, and this award publicly confirms we are developing larger-scale fully integrated turbine-hybrid solutions as well”.
(via VerdeGo Aero).