MARKET UPDATE - 12/07/2022 - ⚡️ ELECTRIC ✈️ AVIATION
EVTOL / ADVANCED / URBAN AIR MOBILITY (UAM / AAM)
ASTRONICS | LILIUM
Lilium selected US aerospace electronics company Astronics to provide the electrical power distribution system for the Lilium Jet. The company will supply both secondary power distribution units (SPDUs) - two per aircraft - and charging power distribution units (CPDUs) - one per aircraft (via Astronics, Lilium).
TORAY ADVANCED COMPOSITES
Toray Advanced Composites have developed "an ion-conductive polymer membrane for air batteries" which should "help improve the safety and longevity of lithium-air batteries and extend the cruising ranges of electric vehicles, industrial drones, and urban air mobility systems" (via Acrofan).
OVERAIR | TORAY ADVANCED COMPOSITES
Toray Advanced Composites are reported to be supplying epoxy resin composite materials to Overair for use in the airframe structure and propulsion units of their prototype Butterfly eVTOL aircraft (via CW).
E-ONE MOLI ENERGY CORP | VERTICAL AEROSPACE
(via Vertical Aerospace).
L3HARRIS | LILIUM
UK startup Skyfly unveiled their dual occupant eVTOL aircraft 'Axe'. With 100mph cruise speed and 100-200 miles of range, the aircraft has a 600kg MTOW, features 4 x 70kw motors and a 48kwh battery pack:
AGRICULTURAL BANK OF CHINA | EHANG
eHang announced that they'd entered into "a strategic partnership" with Agricultural Bank of China's Guangzhou branch. The deal includes a 1 billion RMB / $150m USD line of credit to support R&D, manufacturing sales and operational growth within the Chinese market (via eHang).
EHANG | ENAIRE
eHang announced a partnership with Spanish air navigation service provider ENAIRE. The organisations will: "...collaborate in national and international innovation initiatives on U-Space and the development of AAV operations for the execution of activities of common interest in U-Space and Urban Air Mobility in Spain and Europe. The collaboration will, among others, focus on the research of solutions and development of potential procedures, use cases, digital tools, and prototypes."
Chinese eVTOL startup Volant Aerotech, founded in June 2021, announced the completion of a ¥100m / c. $15m USD funding round led by Future Capital. Funds will be used for R&D, manufacturing and flight test as the company moves from a 1:3 to full-scale flight demonstrator (via Pandaily).
CIVIL AVIATION SAFETY AUTHORITY (AUSTRALIA)
The Australian Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) published "The RPAS and AAM Strategic Regulatory Roadmap" outlining the regulator's plan and long-term vision for Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) in Australia:
KOREA AEROSPACE INDUSTRIES
Hyundai are in the process of setting up a new investment arm in the US and at the same time announced "an additional investment of US$5 billion in robotics, urban air mobility (UAM), autonomous driving software and artificial intelligence (AI)" (via Business Korea).
VERTIPORTS / INFRASTRUCTURE
AEROPORTI DI ROMA | LEONARDO
Leonardo and Aeroporti di Roma signed an agreement to further collaborate on aerial mobility, further to an announcement made earlier in the year. The partnership mobility will have particular focus on "the development of ground infrastructure and air traffic control" for new vertiports. First experimental services between Rome and Fiumicino are planned for 2024 (via ADR).
SMALL PROPELLER, COMMUTER (19-SEATS OR LESS)
ELECTROFLIGHT | EVOLITO
British aerospace battery company Electroflight have been acquired by Evolito (spun out of YASA in 2021). The two companies worked closely together on the world record breaking Rolls-Royce Spirit of Innovation electric flight demonstrator aircraft:
DOVETAIL ELECTRIC AVIATION | MONTE
Australian zero-emission aircraft lessor Monte have signed a deal with Dovetail Electric Aviation (a venture of Sydney Seaplanes owner Sydney Aviation Holdings and Dante Aeronautical). Monte become Dovetail's preferred financing provider and get exclusivity on provision of powertrains for battery-electric Cessna Caravan and hydrogen-electric King Air conversions (via Monte).
SKYTRANS | STRALIS
Australian regional airline Skytrans have entered into an agreement to purchase and operate up to five hydrogen-electric fuel cell powered aircraft from startup Stralis. Initial aircraft are likely to be retrofitted Beechcraft 1900Ds with 15-passenger capacity (via Transport UP).
Bye Aerospace revealed that they had completed 15 out of 16 "FAA-approved Means of Compliance and Certification Plans...that will form its basis for building a conforming prototype eFlyer 2." The last remaining hurdle is expected to be cleared by the end of the month, at which point the company expect to be "first in the world to certify under [FAA Part 23] Amendment 64":
(via Flying Mag).
E-FLIGHT ACADEMY | KLM
KLM are extending a deal with Dutch electric flying school E-Flight Academy that's seen KLM Flight Academy pilots replace two hours of flying training on conventionally powered aircraft with 2 x 45-minute sessions on Pipistrel Velis Electro aircraft. The academy have recently taken delivery of two more of the Pipistrel aircraft to keep up with demand:
(via Pilot en Vliegtuig).
Germany's Elektra Solar flew their two-seat ultralight Elektra Trainer aircraft for the first time. Certification flight tests will now begin. The aircraft has 2.5 hours of endurance, 300km range and a portable 12kW charging station:
(via Elektra Solar).
"The electrically powered aircraft was undertaking experimental flight tests...A forced landing was carried out close to Cranfield airfield during which the aircraft was severely damaged.
The loss of power occurred during an interruption of the power supply when, as part of the test procedure, the battery was selected off with the intention of leaving the electrical motors solely powered by the hydrogen fuel cell. During this interruption the windmilling propeller generated a voltage high enough to operate the inverter protection system, which locked out the power to the motors. The pilot and observer were unable to reset the system and restore electrical power."
REGIONAL AIRCRAFT / MW+
H3X in the US unveiled their 2.8 MW HPDM-3000 Integrated Modular Motor Drive (IMMD), stackable up to 17MW "for large commercial electric aircraft...Based on the same core technology as the H3X HPDM-250, this EPU has a continuous specific power of >12 kW/kg and features the highest level of fault tolerance and reliability with its 12 independent drive sectors":
"...the Board and I decided it is the right time for me to take on this expanded role and work even more closely with the team to support our customers, meet the unprecedented demand ramp, and prepare for GE Aviation’s future as an independent public company.”
UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM
A £40m testing facility officially opened at the UK's University of Nottingham this week. The Power Electronics and Machine Centre (PEMC) houses the 20MW UK Electrification of Aerospace Propulsion Facility (UKEAPF):
(via University of Nottingham).