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MARKET UPDATE - 22/03/2022 - ⚡️ ELECTRIC ✈️ AVIATION


EVTOL / ADVANCED / URBAN AIR MOBILITY (UAM / AAM)


- EVE | GLBOAL CROSSING AIRLINES

- AIRBUS | SPIRIT AEROSYSTEMS

- AEROTREE | EHANG

- FAA | VERTIPORTS

- ACCIONA | EVE

- CAE | JOBY AVIATION

- FLIGHTSAFETY INTERNATIONAL | LILIUM

- ARCHER AVIATION

- JOBY | NTSB

- FAA | JOBY AVIATION

- SAKUÚ

- OSAKA

- NASA

- VOLOCOPTER

- GEORGIA TECH | NASA | QARBON AEROSPACE

- SOLVAY | WICHITA STATE UNIVERSITY

- SION POWER


SMALL PROPELLER, COMMUTER (19-SEATS OR LESS)


- AIRBUS | DAHER | SAFRAN

- ELECTRA AERO | MIT | USAF

- ELECTRIC POWER SYSTEMS


REGIONAL AIRCRAFT / MW+


- UNIVERSAL HYDROGEN

- H3 DYNAMICS | UNIVERSAL HYDROGEN

- AEROSPACE TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE



 

EVTOL / ADVANCED / URBAN AIR MOBILITY (UAM / AAM)

 

EVE | GLBOAL CROSSING AIRLINES


Miami-based Global Crossing Airlines signed an LOI with Eve Urban Air Mobility that includes an order for up to 200 of the company's eVTOL aircraft (via Eve):



 

AIRBUS | SPIRIT AEROSYSTEMS


Airbus signed a partnership agreement with Spirit AeroSystems that will see the former Boeing subsidiary produce wings for the CityAirbus NextGen eVTOL aircraft at the former Short Brothers / Bombardier manufacturing facility in Belfast they acquired in 2019 (via Airbus):



 

AEROTREE | EHANG


Kuala Lumpur based AEROTREE entered into a partnership with China's eHang for development of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) services in the Malaysian market. The deal also includes collaboration on Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services, training and the purchase of one EH216-S AAV.


Additionally AEROTREE placed a pre-order for 50 more EH216 family aircraft (including EH216-L 200kg payload heavy lift drone, EH216-S passenger transport and EH216-F firefighting variants) as well as 10 x VT-30 long-range AAVs (via eHang, SKYTREE):



 

FAA | VERTIPORTS


An FAA engineering brief on vertiport design is inviting comments by April 18th, with particular focus on airport owner / operators. An 'Industry Day' will be held on March 29th - register here (via FAA).


 

ACCIONA | EVE


Spanish infrastructure investors Acciona will put $30m USD into Eve Urban Air Mobility subject to the successful completion of the company's business combination with the Zanite Acquisition Corp SPAC (via Eve).


 

CAE | JOBY AVIATION


CAE will provide "flight simulation training devices" to help train pilots of Joby Aviation's eVTOL aircraft. CAE are also working with Beta Technologies and Volocopter (via Joby).


 

FLIGHTSAFETY INTERNATIONAL | LILIUM


Following on from the previously reported deal with NetJets, Lilium confirmed a partnership agreement with FlightSafety International. The Ohio headquartered flight training provider will supply "courseware...immersive and mixed reality training devices and crew training" (via Lilium).


 

ARCHER AVIATION


Archer Aviation released their full year results for 2021 and accompanying shareholder letter. The company spent $358m USD, reported a net loss of $348m with $747m in cash / equivalents on hand (via Archer):



 

JOBY | NTSB


The NTSB's preliminary report on a recent accident involving a Joby Aviation prototype aircraft noted that the aircraft had suffered from "a component failure" (via NTSB).


 

FAA | JOBY AVIATION


Joby Aviation provided two regulatory updates; the company's first 'Systems Review' and 'Compliance Review' were reported to have been granted approval by the FAA. The company also reported having begun "the fourth of five stages" of the Part 135 Air Carrier and Operator Certification process that the company requires in order to meet their ambition of operating their own aircraft commercially (via Joby).


 

SAKUÚ


Californian battery manufacturer Sakuu claimed an energy density of 800Wh/L from their first generation lithium metal battery. Though this is a more conventionally manufactured cell they claim to be on track with their "...roadmap to fully 3D printable solid-state batteries capable of greater than 1200 Wh/L by 2023." Aerospace applications are one target market for the company who have raised $62m in funding and list Honeywell amongst their partners (via BusinessWire):



 

OSAKA


It was reported that eight air taxi routes from the Osaka World Expo site on the artificial island of Yumeshima are under development, with plans for c. 20 flights per hour. Manufacturers and operators are to be selected as soon as this year. Possible destinations were cited as Osaka city, Osaka Bay, Osaka International Airport, Itami Airport, Kansai International Airport, Kobe city, Kobe airport, Awaji Island and the Kyoto and Ise-Shima regions. Both direct and scenic flight routes are said to be "on the table" (via Nikkei Asia).


 

NASA


NASA have provided $175k of funding to explore the viability of using "electroaerodynamic (EAD)...solid-state propulsion" in VTOL aircraft applications. The multi-stage ducted (MSD) thrusters produce thrust "through collisional ion acceleration without any moving surfaces" and will initially be looking at package delivery missions where their promised "near silent" operation could be advantageous (via NASA, Parabolic Arc):



 

VOLOCOPTER


Volocopter announced that Dirk Hoke (former head of Airbus Defence & Space) will replace Florian Reuter as CEO in September 2022 (via Volocopter).


 

GEORGIA TECH | NASA | QARBON AEROSPACE


Texas-based composites company Qarbon Aerospace will work with Georgia Tech to develop "the manufacturing aspects of eVTOL structures using thermoplastic components" as part of NASA's 'Innovative Manufacturing, Operation, and Certification of Advanced Structures for Civil Vertical Lift Vehicles' (IMOCAS) project.


Georgia Tech have been awarded a $5.37m USD grant by NASA "to address the technical barriers associated with developing vertical lift vehicles for civilian use" (via BusinessWire, Qarbon Aerospace).


 

SOLVAY | WICHITA STATE UNIVERSITY


Solvay will partner with Wichita State University's National Institute for Aviation Research on "research and materials development" including within urban air mobility (UAM) applications (via Solvay).


 

SION POWER


Arizona based Sion Power claim to have reached a 2,500 cycle milestone with their lithium metal 'Licerion' pouch cell batteries, retaining 70% of initial capacity. Principally aimed at the automotive market the company claim an energy density of up to 500Wh/kg and foresee potential aerospace applications (via Sion Power):


 

SMALL PROPELLER, COMMUTER (19-SEATS OR LESS)

 

AIRBUS | DAHER | SAFRAN


Airbus released some details of the high voltage battery at the heart of their EcoPulse flight demonstrator. The 350kg, 2.3m x 75cm x 20cm lithium-ion unit can achieve 800V DC, up to 350kW of power and is mounted under the fuselage of a Daher supplied TBM airframe. The secondary power source on the hybrid aircraft - an "e-Auxiliary Power Unit (e-APU)" - is provided by Safran.


The power output is said to be similar to that "needed for an airliner’s non-propulsive secondary systems" which Airbus are also exploring with the battery, as part of separate "micro-hybridisation" research (via Airbus):




 

ELECTRA AERO | MIT | USAF


Electra Aero and MIT have won USAF funding for work on enhanced precision flight controls enabling safely repeatable "ultra-STOL" landings "in spaces no larger than a soccer field." The money comes through a second phase Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) contract (via Electra Aero).


 

ELECTRIC POWER SYSTEMS


Electric Power Systems now expect FAA certification of their EPiC battery system c. 2023, having previously expected to get a Technical Standard Order (TSO) from the US regulator by Q2 of this year. Supply chain constraints as well as stringent safety requirements were cited as factors by Marketing Communications Manager Abbie Bean (via eVTOL.com).


 

REGIONAL AIRCRAFT / MW+

 

UNIVERSAL HYDROGEN


Universal Hydrogen will establish a manufacturing and distribution facility for hydrogen storage modules, retrofit kits and aftermarket maintenance at Albuquerque International Sunport, New Mexico. The facility is expected to be in operation by 2024 with a total investment of $254m expected in the state and the creation of 500 jobs "over the next seven years" (via New Mexico Economic Development Department).


 

H3 DYNAMICS | UNIVERSAL HYDROGEN


H3 Dynamics and Universal Hydrogen announced a wide-ranging partnership: "The collaboration will initially focus on the full range of unmanned aircraft, from small drones to large unmanned cargo delivery, with H3 Dynamics developing and supplying fuel cell powertrain solutions and Universal Hydrogen providing green hydrogen fuel logistics using its modular capsule technology.


The partnership extends to manned aircraft, including eVTOL and other light aircraft segments. The two companies also agreed to collaborate in the regional aircraft market, focusing on new-build regional airliners with a distributed propulsion architecture."


(Via BusinessWire).


 

AEROSPACE TECHNOLOGY INSTITUTE


The UK's Aerospace Technology Institute published a research paper featuring zero-carbon aircraft concepts, including a hydrogen fuel cell powered regional airliner (via ATI):