MARKET UPDATE - 09/08/2022 - ⚡️ ELECTRIC ✈️ AVIATION
EVTOL / ADVANCED / URBAN AIR MOBILITY (UAM / AAM)
SUNWARD AIRCRAFT | VOLKSWAGEN GROUP CHINA
Volkswagen Group China unveiled the company's first eVTOL passenger aircraft. Dubbed V.MO the 11.2m x 10.6m prototype aircraft forms part of "the Group’s Vertical Mobility project in China ...a new premium mobility concept aimed initially at high-net worth tech-savvy Chinese customers."
The company are targeting four passenger capacity (plus luggage) and 200km range for the final version of the vehicle. Current configuration includes eight vertical lift rotors and two cruise propellers. Test flights are scheduled for "late summer 2023".
Chinese social media posts of the release also included details of local supplier / partner on the project - general aviation manufacturer Sunward Aircraft, based in Hunan Province:
ARCHER | HONEYWELL
PRATT & WHITNEY | RAYTHEON | RTX VENTURES | VERDEGO AERO
Raytheon's corporate venturing division RTX Ventures led a $12m Series A investment in hybrid-electric propulsion specialists VerdeGo Aero that "will also provide opportunities for VerdeGo Aero to collaborate with Pratt & Whitney on future product development." Other investors included Avfuel, DiamondStream Partners, Seyer Industries, and Standish Spring Investments:
Airbus Helicopters have broken ground on a new test facility for CityAirbus NextGen in Donauwörth, Germany. The 1,000 m2 structure will be dedicated to eVTOL systems testing, able to cater for all testing necessary to bring the aircraft to the point of a maiden flight. The building is set to complete in Q1 '23:
Horizon Aircraft - back in private ownership after Astro Aerospace sold the equity they acquired just last year - unveiled a 50% scale prototype of their Cavorite X5 hybrid-electric, fan-in-wing VTOL aircraft. Untethered hover flight testing is anticipated to take place by "the end of August":
Hybrid-electric eSTOL aircraft developer Electra Aero opened a new R&D facility in an 18,000 sq ft hangar at Manassas Regional Airport, Virginia "which will serve as the company’s assembly and testing facility":
(via Bristow Beat).
EVE AIR MOBILITY
Eve reported Q2 results, highlights included:
An $11.8m net loss in Q2 '22 vs a $2.4m loss in Q2 '21
Total liquidity of $330.8m vs $14.4m at beginning of quarter (thanks to NYSE listing)
No debt on balance sheet
Joby Aviation CEO JoeBen Bevirt bought an additional 35,000 shares in the company on July 21st at an average price of $5.53, a few days after the company announced that they'd "formally applied to certify [their] eVTOL aircraft for use in the United Kingdom" (via Investor Place, Joby).
"A dedicated team within the new eAviation business unit based in Wichita is now leading the program, with support from colleagues from other Textron divisions, including Bell, Textron Aviation, automotive supplier Kautex, and newly acquired Slovenia-based light aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel."
VERTIPORTS / INFRASTRUCTURE
AIR ASIA | SKYPORTS
Air Asia and Skyports Infrastructure division signed an LOI to "to explore the development of air taxi infrastructure in Malaysia." Kuala Lumpur will be the initial focus of the one-year partnership which will work on feasibility studies, vertiport site identification and operational requirements (via Skyports).
Skyports closed their Series B funding round with a $3.13m USD / £2.56m GBP investment from ST Engineering Ventures, bringing the total raised in the round to $26.12m USD / £21.4m GBP. The corporate VC's parent company - Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd - are one of the largest listed companies on the Singapore stock exchange and reported revenue of more than $5.5 billion USD in 2021 (via Skyports).
Canada's Vports signed a deal with GRU São Paulo Airport to build a new private terminal that will include a vertiport hub. The 5,100 sq m building will open "at the end of 2023" with eVTOL operations expected by 2026:
South Korea's SK Telecom announced that first pilot tests related to a 5G connectivity network to support test flights under the country's 'K-UAM Grand Challenge' programme had taken place. The flights at the National Comprehensive Flight Test Center in Goheung involved measuring the stability of 5G signal connection to a drone at altitudes of 300-600m:
"SKT plans to develop cell design technology, interference avoidance technology, beamforming technology, and cell cooperation technology to stably provide a high-quality commercial communication network for UAM services based on its infrastructure operation capability that leads the global communication market."
Hyundai unveiled their "smart city vision" at the World Cities Summit in Singapore, that included subterranean roads for transport of goods and services:
"Citizens will travel between cities by the advanced air mobility (AAM). The AAM vehicles will land and take off from a series of the Hub 2.0 towers, which combine residential and office areas with AAM ports at the top of the building."
SMALL PROPELLER, COMMUTER (19-SEATS OR LESS)
BLUE SPIRIT AERO
France's Blue Spirit Aero unveiled their clean-sheet design, four-seat, fixed wing aircraft at Oshkosh - the eSTOL Dragonfly - with 12 distributed electric propulsors powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The 150kW output from the motors should be sufficient for 250 kph / 135kts cruise and 700km / 378nm range with a 350kg / 700lb max. payload:
REGENT CRAFT | SIEMENS
REGIONAL AIRCRAFT / MW+
AMERICAN AIRLINES | ZEROAVIA
American Airlines invested an undisclosed amount in ZeroAvia, at the same time signing an MoU with the company that gives the world's largest airline the option to order up to 100 of the company's hydrogen-electric 'engines'. The investment closed out ZeroAvia's Series B which raised a total of $150m for the company (via American Airlines, ZeroAvia).
A planned new Boeing R&D facility in Japan will develop not only SAF but seek "to advance electric and hydrogen aircraft technology. The facility will also focus on robotics, digitalisation, automation and carbon fibre composite materials for the aviation industry" (via Reuters).