⚡️ ELECTRIC ✈️ AVIATION - MARKET UPDATE - 24/11/2021
eVTOL / ADVANCED / URBAN AIR MOBILITY (UAM / AAM)
AIRBUS | DIEHL AEROSPACE | THALES
Thales and Diehl Aerospace have both been selected by Airbus to develop dissimilar flight control system architectures to be used in the company's CityAirbus NextGen eVTOL aircraft (via Airbus, Diehl):
Thomas Senkel of e-Volo / Volocopter fame (he left the company in 2016) unveiled the tandem wing lift-and-cruise eMagicOne single-seat eVTOL concept he has developed together with Michael Kügelgen through their newly unveiled eMagic Aircraft venture. The prototype has an MTOW of 420kg, cruises at 78 knots and boasts up to 60-minutes endurance. It reportedly makes use of Halbach array motors designed in-house, that form part of propulsors each said to weigh just 5kg (incl. motor, controller and propeller) and produce 13kW of power / 100kg of thrust (via eMagic, New Atlas, TransportUp):
EVE URBAN AIR MOBILITY | JETEX
Dubai-headquartered FBO Jetex - who focus on the business aviation market - announced a partnership with Embraer's Eve Urban Air Mobility subsidiary. Signing an MoU the companies agreed to explore UAM infrastructure and map potential operations and service integrations (via Business Airport International).
AVIONYX | JOBY AVIATION
Costa Rican software company Avionyx were awarded a contract by Joby Aviation for software testing and verification in support of the company's FAA certification programme. The company expect to hire at least 40 extra engineers in San Jose to support the project (via BusinessWire).
Joby also revealed their intention to establish an in-house flight academy for pilot training (via Flying).
AEROSUD AVIATION | SAMAD AEROSPACE
Samad Aerospace announced the signing of an MoU with South African aerostructures supplier Aerosud Aviation for development and manufacturing of their eVTOL Starling Cargo aircraft. The fully electric version of the aircraft will be remotely piloted, have a 10,000ft ceiling, 117nm range, cruise at 83 knots and be capable of lifting up to 60kg of cargo (via Aviation Pros, Samad Aerospace):
LOTTE CORPORATION | MINT AIR | MOBIUS.ENERGY | SKYWORKS AERONAUTICS
Skyworks Aeronautics' eGyro looks set to undergo testing in Incheon South Korea in 2022-23 together with a newly announced consortium of partners, including South Korea's fifth-largest chaebol - Lotte Corporation, their Lotte Rental (rent-a-car) subsidiary, US battery specialists Mobius.Energy and Korean UAM startup MintAir (via EIN Presswire).
HYUNDAI | KOREAN AIR | KT CORP
Korean Air have joined the UAM Team Korea consortium alongside Hyundai Motor Group, Incheon International Airport Corporation, Hyundai Engineering and Construction and KT Corp (formerly Korea Telecom) to collaborate on domestic projects:
Korean Air's role will be to develop "a suitable business model while actively establishing UAM operations, control and traffic management systems, and providing integrated operation services to open up the city skyways."
Hyundai will "support UAM aircraft development...commercialization and test flights"
Hyundai Engineering & Construction "will design and construct vertiports and mobility hubs that will connect ground transportation to the skyway"
Incheon International Airport "...will build UAM infrastructure, test vertiport operations and research traffic management."
KT Corp "...will develop communication infrastructure and business models for air-to-ground connectivity"
AUTOFLIGHT | LUKASZ GADOWSKI | TEAM GLOBAL
China's AutoFlight received $100m USD of investment from Lukasz Gadowski and his Team Global fund (also known as Team Europe Management) for development of a passenger-carrying eVTOL aircraft for EASA certification. The investors also have "...stakes in around a dozen startups in the aviation sector worldwide - including drones and flight control in addition to air taxis" - including in Archer Aviation and Volocopter. Autoflight's V1500M proof-of-concept aircraft flew for the first time "in the past month". The company have some excellent pedigree having produced highly capable UAVs such as the V400 Albatross with 1,000km range and 100kg cargo capacity, which we first covered in 09/2020 - that aircraft notably having capabilities that closely aligned with strategic priorities of Beijing, such as remote island autonomous resupply in the South China Sea and high-altitude plateau surveillance in Tibet (via Asia One, Autoflight):
SMALL PROPELLER, COMMUTER (19-SEAT OR LESS)
Rolls-Royce's 'Spirit of Innovation' staked its claim to the electric air speed record - the 555.9 km/h (345.4 mph) speed over a 3km run on November 16th smashing the existing record by over 100mph - in a story that was widely covered around the world. Certification of this and other records - including the fastest climb to 3,000m - now await FAI approval (via Rolls-Royce):
Otto Aviation announced the completion of Phase One flight testing of their Celera 500L prototype (of which hybrid and electric variants are planned). The 'laminar flow optimised' aircraft has now flown for c. 51 hours over 55 flights (via The Drive, Otto Aviation):
MERCEDES-BENZ | YASA MOTORS
Following Mercedes-Benz's acquisition of UK-based YASA Motors (whose motors are in Rolls-Royce's record-setting aircraft) in July of this year, their German parent are reportedly planning to start production of the company's axial-flux electric motors in Berlin from 2022. Design and innovation work will continue from YASA's UK base, as will production for other OEM customers, including eg. Ferrari (via Green Car Congress).
REGIONAL AIRCRAFT / MW+
AIRBUS | BAUHAUS LUFTFAHRT | DLR | ROLLS-ROYCE
DLR published findings from the SynergIE research project (concluded 07/21) which focused on investigating distributed, hybrid-electric propulsion system architectures for short-haul aircraft with up to 100 passengers. The final design chosen by researchers was the 10 motor concept shown below, which was virtually flight tested in the DLR Air Vehicle Simulator 'AVES'. Project partners included Airbus, Bauhaus Luftfahrt and Rolls-Royce Germany (via DLR):