MARKET UPDATE - 15/11/2022 - ⚡️ ELECTRIC ✈️ AVIATION
EVTOL / ADVANCED / URBAN AIR MOBILITY (UAM / AAM)
GLY CAPITAL MANAGEMENT | NEOM | VOLOCOPTER
Volocopter extended their Series E financing with an additional $182m USD, adding Saudi Arabian 'smart city' NEOM and Hong Kong's GLy Capital Management (venture capital arm of the Geely group) to their cap table. The funding is reportedly enough to "carry the company beyond the certification of its electric passenger aircraft, the VoloCity air taxi".
The German eVTOL manufacturer established a joint venture with NEOM in Dec. '21 and have been "a long-term partner" of Chinese automotive giant Geely for some time - having also established joint venture company with them - 'Volocopter Chengdu' - to exploit UAM opportunities in China. Colocopter also received direect equity investment from Geely Holding back in 2019.
AIR METHODS | DUFOUR AEROSPACE | SPRIGHT
US emergency medical helicopter company Air Methods are to purchase 40 x Aero2 eVTOL aircraft from Switzerland's Dufour Aerospace through their Spright medical drone division. The deal further includes options on the purchase of an additional 100 aircraft for a theoretical order total of 140 units:
(via Dufour Aerospace).
ELECTRIC POWER SYSTEMS | PLANA
"Plana plans to finish the pure battery-based eVTOL subscale test this year and introduce a 700kg weight half-scale model next year. The company plans to launch a branch office in the U.S. for closer communication and starting the certification process with the FAA, and to participate in the Korean Grand Challenge UAM demonstration project organized by the Korea Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (MOLIT)."
(via Business Wire).
FAA | JOBY AVIATION
The FAA published proposed 'Special Class Airworthiness Criteria for the Joby Aero, Inc. Model JAS4-1 Powered-lift' requesting comments within 30 days (via FAA).
Joby Aviation announced Q3 '22 financial results, highlights included:
$79.2m USD loss for Q3 '22 vs $78.9m USD loss for Q3 '21
$1.1 billion USD available cash
Commercial passenger service now expected in 2025, DoD operations in 2024
(via Joby Aviation).
Vertical Aerospace announced Q3 '22 financial results, highlights included:
$22.3m USD loss for Q3 '22 vs $9.4m USD loss for Q3 '21
$170m USD available cash
Expect $23.5 - 29.4m USD cash outflow Q4
(via Vertical Aerospace).
Archer Aviation annoucned Q3 '22 financial results, highlights included:
$91m USD loss for Q3 vs $177m USD loss for Q3 '21
$600.6m USD available cash
Unveiling of Midnight aircraft scheduled for 16-11-2022
(via Archer Aviation)
Initial build-out will be 350,000 sq ft with production capacity of up to 650 aircraft / year, with room for additional 550,000 sq ft expansion to ramp capacity to 2,300 aircraft / year. It constitutes a $118m investment commitment over 10 years - to be financed by Georgia headquartered Synovus Bank.
(via Archer Aviation).
AGRICULTURAL BANK OF CHINA | CHINA CITIC BANK | CHINA CONSTRUCTION BANK | PUDONG DEVELOPMENT BANK | XPENG HUITIAN
China's Xpeng Huitian (also know simply as 'Aero HT') announced "a strategy cooperation partnership agreement with four leading Chinese banks" that gives the company a RMB 6 billion / c. $850m USD line of credit for "facilitating its flying car R&D and future manufacturing". The participating banks (some of China's largest) are:
Agricultural Bank of China (Guangdong branch)
China Construction Bank (Guangdong branch)
China CITIC Bank (Guangzhou branch)
Pudong Development Bank (Guangzhou branch)
(via Xpeng Huitian).
EHANG | HAECO GROUP
eHang signed an MoU with MRO Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company - HEACO Group - that sees the two parties "plan to cooperate in multiple areas such as manufacturing and assembly, continued airworthiness, digital platforms, aircraft maintenance, and talent training.
The focus is to co-develop systems and solutions that cater to the needs of continued airworthiness and after-sales maintenance services in preparation for the commercial operation of EH216-S, EHang’s passenger-grade autonomous aerial vehicle."
AMSL AERO | EMERGING AVIATION TECHNOLOGY PARTNERSHIPS | REVOLUTION AEROSPACE
The Australian Government announced beneficiaries of the first round of their Emerging Aviation Technology Partnership programme, which handed out $18m AUD to a whole host of projects, many of which focused on smaller UAVs, but also included funds for:
AMSL Aero for "eVTOL aircraft manufacturing focusing on regulatory barriers and trials of air ambulance in regional NSW"
Revolution Aerospace for "research to support and conduct trials to deliver cargo in Whitsunday region using a variety of drones, delivery distances and delivery scenarios; trials to simulate air taxi operations in the Whitsunday region, and research to develop enhanced uncrewed traffic management services"
ARCHER AVIATION | UNITED AIRLINES
Archer Aviation and United Airlines announced the first route on which the (soon to be unveiled) Midnight eVTOL aircraft will commercially operate; "Newark Liberty International Airport to Downtown Manhattan Heliport".
The predicted 10-minute flight time route from United's hub at EWR forms the first "part of Archer’s broader plan to launch an Urban Air Mobility (UAM) network across the New York Metropolitan Area."
(via Archer Aviation).
LEO Flight shared footage of a manned, tethered flight test of their "novel clustered electric jet propulsion system" testbed:
(via Transport UP).
Bristow Group's website section on Advanced Air Mobility updated, including the below video providing perspective on where the company see opportuntiies in the sector, including in the offshore wind and search and rescue (SAR) markets:
(vis Bristow Group).
VERTIPORTS / INFRASTRUCTURE
ADP | SKYPORTS | PONTOISE AERODROME | RATP GROUP | RE.INVENT AIR MOBILITY | SKYPORTS | VOLOCOPTER
ADP, Skyports and Volocopter's shared vertiport testing terminal was commissioned in France at the Re.Invent Air Mobility test site at Pontoise Aerodrome near Paris. The site now supports testing of:
Vehicle integration, ground movement procedures, and charging procedures
Flight scheduling, situational awareness, and information exchange
Passenger journey through the terminal, including security and check-in processes, biometric technologies (provided by SITA), passenger dwell time, and aircraft boarding
GENSLER | HYUNDAI ENGINEERING & CONSTRUCTION | INCHEON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Hyundai Engineering & Construction reportedly unveiled their first vertiport concept designs at the 2022 K-UAM Confex, developed with Californian airport designers Gensler and Incheon International Airport. The four types considered are "airport linked, building top, complex transfer center and open land modular":
(via The Korea Economic Daily).
ADP | ABU DHABI AIRPORTS
Aeroports de Paris (ADP) signed an MoU with Abu Dhabi Airports that will see the two airport operating groups collaborate on exploring the potential of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) in Abu Dhabi. Specifically the two organisations will:
"...engage in the joint planning, design, development, and operation of ground infrastructure for AAM in Abu Dhabi, following engagement with stakeholders, a feasibility study and market assessment to develop the industry roadmap."
(via Abu Dhabi Airports).
AGS AIRPORTS | ZEROAVIA
ZeroAvia signed an agreement with the UK's second largest airport group - AGS Airports (owners of Aberdeen, Glasgow and Southampton airports, themselves co-owned by Ferrovial and Macquarie) - to explore the establishment of zero-emission flights in Scotland:
The team at AGS...will work closely with ZeroAvia’s specialist airport infrastructure team to assess the opportunities for hydrogen production onsite, as well as exploring potential commercial routes...
...ZeroAvia will share its experience in developing and operating its Hydrogen Airport Refuelling Ecosystem (HARE) at Cotswold Airport in Gloucestershire. The partners will work towards a flight demonstration powered by ZeroAvia’s ZA600 600kW hydrogen-electric engine, which is on a path towards certification by 2025. Commercial routes from Scotland’s biggest city, Glasgow, could follow soon after.
SMALL PROPELLER, COMMUTER (19-SEATS OR LESS)
EVIATION | NORTHERN TERRITORY AIR SERVICES
"NTAS is based in Alice Springs, the gateway to the Northern Territory of Australia's outback, providing a link to major airlines for passengers arriving and departing from Alice Springs, Uluru and Mt. Isa Airports. It specializes in scheduled and charter air services for business groups, private and tourist travel, and cargo transport."
Eviation announced a few days earlier that their order book value for Alice had surpassed $2 billion USD with "almost 300 aircraft now on order".
TESI | VOLTAERO
France's VoltAero announced that Italian aerospace component supplier TESI were the first investor in the company's Series B funding round. In addition TESI - who have an EASA Design Organisation Approval (DOA) - will produce the first certification airframe of VoltAero's 330kW, five-seat Cassio 330 prototype, with a maiden flight targeted for 2023 (via VoltAero).
CAAC | LIAONING GENERAL AVIATION RESEARCH INSTITUTE
The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) proposed a draft Special Condition (link opens CAAC page in Chinese) for the four-seat RX4E electric aircraft from Liaoning General Aviation Academy, a laboratory of the Shenyang Aerospace University:
CRANFIELD AEROSPACE SOLUTIONS | DRONAMICS
Dronamics announced they were to partner with Cranfield Aerospace Solutions to integrate hydrogen fuel cell technology into the former's Black Swan fixed wing, long-range cargo drone The aircraft is reportedly "capable of carrying up to 350 kg at a range of up to 2,500 km":
"The Canadian customer, the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Aeronautics (WISA) at the University of Waterloo and its partner Waterloo Wellington Flight Centre (WWFC), will use the Velis Electro to increase their research and collaborative capacity to evaluate battery powered electric flight in Canada.
Pipistrel continues its work with Transport Canada towards certification of the Velis Electro."
JEKTA | MBVISION | SWISS AEROPOLE
Swiss startup Jekta unveiled their PHA-ZE 100 all-electric amphibious aircraft - with claimed 150km range the aircraft is planned to be available in a range of configurations with a maximum capacity of 19 passengers and a composite airframe. Italy's MBVision are exterior and interior design partners, and the company are in dialogue with Swiss Aeropole for manufacturing and testing at Payerne Airport:
HIGHLANDS AND ISLANDS ENTERPRISE | HYBRID AIR VEHICLES | LOGANAIR
A consortium of Scottish partners, including regional airline Loganair and local development body Highlands and Islands Enterprise, will undertake a three-month feasibility study to assess the suitability of Airlander 10 hybrid air vehicles for operations in Scotland:
(via Hybrid Air Vehicles).
BLUE SPIRIT AERO | DASSAULT SYSTÈMES
(via Dassault Systèmes).
Regent Craft announced a defence advisory board made up of ex US Marine Corps and US Coast Guard "military leaders" who are tasked with refining "various defense applications and use cases for seagliders" (via Cision).
REGIONAL AIRCRAFT / MW+
AIR NEW ZEALAND
Air New Zealand announced 'Mission Next Generation Aircraft' - "an accelerator programme to progress two ambitious goals:
Fly its first commercial demonstrator flight from 2026
Begin replacing its Q300 domestic fleet with a more sustainable aircraft – likely green hydrogen or battery hybrid systems – from 2030"
It follows the airline's publication of a Product Requirements Document in December 2021 "which saw more than 30 aircraft developers respond with ideas and insights to guide the technology development":
(via Air New Zealand).