MARKET UPDATE - 26/07/2022 - ⚡️ ELECTRIC ✈️ AVIATION
EVTOL / ADVANCED / URBAN AIR MOBILITY (UAM / AAM)
FLYINGGROUP | VERTICAL AEROSPACE
European business jet operator FLYINGGROUP placed a conditional order for up to 50 x VX4 aircraft with Vertical Aerospace. The companies will also work jointly to explore individual ownership, low volume operations and fractional ownership models for the aircraft - as well as exploring possible in-house MRO service of the aircraft by FLYINGGROUP:
(via Vertical Aerospace).
BAE SYSTEMS | EMBRAER | EVE AIR MOBILITY
Embraer and BAE Systems signed a non-binding LOI with Eve Air Mobility:
"...to explore the potential order of up to 150 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles.
In a separate announcement, BAE Systems and Embraer signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MoU”) at Farnborough International Airshow to potentially form a joint venture to collaboratively develop an innovative defence eVTOL variant using Eve’s platform" having previously announced a collaboration to this effect in Dec. 2021 (via Eve Air Mobility)
AMERICAN AIRLINES | VERTICAL AEROSPACE
American Airlines agreed delivery slots for the first 50 Vertical Aerospace VX4 aircraft of their previously announced 250 unit (+100 option) order. Pre-delivery payments were reportedly agreed to be made by the airline as part of the deal (via Vertical Aerospace).
ELECTRIC POWER SYSTEMS | SUPERNAL
HYUNDAI | ROLLS-ROYCE
Hyundai Motor Group and Rolls-Royce announced a partnership to "collaborate on bringing all-electric propulsion and hydrogen fuel cell technology to the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) market"
HYUNDAI | SAFRAN
Hyundai Motor Group signed an MoU with Safran "to explore and identify possible opportunities in Advanced Air Mobility (AAM)." Areas to be explored for mutual benefit will include but not be limited to "electric propulsion systems, avionics and flight control and cabin interiors":
HANWHA AEROSPACE | VERTICAL AEROSPACE
Vertical Aerospace "have agreed to establish a joint development program for the design, testing, manufacture and supply of the electromechanical actuators for Vertical’s VX4 electric aircraft" with South Korea's Hanwha Aerospace:
"The scope includes tilt and pitch control for the four forward propellers, and aerodynamic control surface actuation on the wing and V-tail...The collaboration will cover the actuator systems both for Vertical’s certification programme aircraft and the production aircraft in its pre-orderbook."
(via Vertical Aerospace).
BABCOCK | VERTICAL AEROSPACE
Babcock International and Vertical Aerospace are to explore Emergency Medical Service (EMS), casualty evacuation (CASEVAC), military logistical and other cargo applications for the VX4 eVTOL aircraft alongside collaborative development of a modular programme of Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) services for the aircraft:
(via Vertical Aerospace).
ADVANCED MOBILITY ECOSYSTEM CONSORTIUM
The Advanced Mobility Ecosystem Consortium was announced to accelerate the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) market in the UK through a two year flight and ecosystem demonstration project. Supported by £9.5m of grant funding from the government's Future Flight Challenge initiative, the 11 partners include:
Atkins - consortium lead, technical management, programme integration, delivery of "a digitally enabled passenger journey management tool for infrastructure and flight operators"
Bristol Airport - will host three VX4 demonstration flights - two 'physical' to regional airfields nearby, one virtual to London City Airport
Cranfield University - vertiport capacity modelling, schedule and resource management
Eve Air Mobility - unfunded partner, working with Skyports and NATS to incorporate use of their vertiport and fleet operator software
Heathrow Airport - will "support one of the consortium's key test flights by 2024"
London City Airport - destination for final (virtual) demonstration flight
NATS - airspace management, CONOPS development
Skyports - design, build and electrification of new vertiport at General Aviation (GA) airfield in London - a so-called "Living Lab" - with "operational missions" between this location and Heathrow, creation of demand capacity models
University of Warwick - work with Vertical Aerospace on integration of smart-diagnostic function for battery charger, fast-charging functionality
Vertical Aerospace - deploy a VX4 eVTOL aircraft from flight test campaign for demonstration flight planned for Spring 2024
Virgin Atlantic - flights of VX4 aircraft will be operated by Virgin Atlantic
(via SNC Lavalin).
CAE | VERTICAL AEROSPACE
CAE have been selected by Vertical Aerospace to be the company's global partner for VX4 pilot training and "exclusive training device provider" - with work on training development set to start in earnest three years before projected entry into service of the aircraft:
EVE AIR MOBILITY
Eve Air Mobility unveiled a new aircraft configuration "that uses a conventional wing and tail instead of the previous canard configuration" as well as an updated cabin interior, shown at Farnborough International Airshow:
(via Eve Air Mobility).
Supernal unveiled a fresh five-seat eVTOL cabin concept at the Farnborough International Airshow, developed in collaboration with parent company Hyundai's design studios:
DIEHL GROUP | LILIUM
Lilium selected Diehl Aviation for design and development of the Lilium Jet's cabin interior including side walls, ceiling panels, partitions, the luggage compartment, cabin floor, lining and interior lighting:
ELECTRIC POWER SYSTEMS | SKYDRIVE
HANWHA SYSTEMS | HONEYWELL
Hanwha Systems and Honeywell signed an MoU that will see the companies collaborate on Urban Air Mobility (UAM) technology development in South Korea. The parties to the agreement will also reportedly "investigate various hybrid propulsion solutions for Hanwha Systems’ UAM platform and the application of Honeywell’s broader portfolio of competitive offerings designed to enable the UAS/UAM market" (via Asian Aviation).
HELITY | LILIUM
ASL GROUP | LILIUM
Belgium's ASL Group announced their intention to purchase six Lilium Jets for operations in the Benelux region:
AAP AVIATION GROUP
AAP Aviation Group signed an agreement to work with Lilium on development of an eVTOL network in Scandinavia, which included the intention to purchase 40 Lilium Jet aircraft, and to collaborate on landing site identification and development, initially in Norway:
BRISTOW | LILIUM
Bristow Group signed a partnership agreement with Lilium that will see the vertical flight specialists provide maintenance services for Lilium's launch network in Florida, as well as in other US and European locations in future.
The non-binding MoU provides the option to purchase 50 Lilium Jet aircraft as well as a commitment to co-develop a maintenance programme for the aircraft:
BRISTOW | ELROY AIR
Bristow Group signed a Letter of Intent with Elroy Air to pre-order 100 of the company's hybrid-electric Chaparral unmanned VTOL cargo aircraft. Intended uses include "logistics, healthcare and energy applications":
COLLINS AEROSPACE | PRATT & WHITNEY
Raytheon subsidiaries Collins Aerospace and Pratt & Whitney announced their new hybrid-electric Scalable Turboelectric Powertrain Technology or STEP-Tech demonstrator. With initial concepts in the 100-500kW class there's said to be "potential to scale to 1MW and beyond." Ground testing is targeted for later this year:
"The STEP-Tech demonstrator platform will include full end-to-end system capabilities, including a high-efficiency turbogenerator, energy storage, power electronics and modular electrically driven propulsors."
(via Collins Aerospace).
ARCHER AVIATION | FACC
SKYDRIVE | TORAY CARBON MAGIC
DUFOUR AEROSPACE | V STAR POWERED LIFT AVIATION
Dufour Aerospace signed a partnership agreement with Australian startup V Star Powered Lift Aviation that will see the company gain early access to Dufour's manned and unmanned tilt-wing aircraft for use in the Australian market:
(via Dufour Aerospace).
Joby Aviation confirmed that the company had formally applied for certification of their eVTOL aircraft in the UK, aiming to certify concurrently with the country's Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) alongside the FAA in their home market (via Joby Aviation).
Chinese electric car maker Xpeng's aerospace subsidiary Xpeng Huitian / HT Aero shared footage on social media of a testbed being controlled with a hybrid aircraft / car control interface. Popular Chinese aviation commentator on Twitter - Xin Gou - reported that company Founder & CEO is intends for a "flying car" vehicle to go into serial production in 2024, asserting that "this is not a concept":
(via HT Aero).
Wisk signed an MoU with Australia's Queensland government that could see the company operate flights at the 2032 Brisbane Olympic Games:
(via Sky News AU).
EVE AIR MOBILITY | HALO AVIATION
Eve Air Mobility announced UK helicopter / urban air mobility Halo Aviation as launch customer for the company's Urban Air Traffic Management (UATM) software solution with the intention to deploy it for operations in both the US and UK (via Eve).
ASCENDANCE FLIGHT TECHNOLOGIES | HELIFIRST | JET SYSTEMES HELICOPTERES SERVICES
France's Ascendance Flight Technologies announced that six organisations have signed Letters of Intent for the company's hybrid-electric Atea VTOL aircraft, totalling 245 units. Not all of the organisations listed were immediately verifiable as legitimate, those that were included French helicopter operatosr HeliFirst and Jet Systems Helicopteres Services (via Simple Flying).
VERTIPORTS / INFRASTRUCTURE
NASA Aeronautics provided an update on vertiport research taking place at NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia and Ames Research Center in Silicon Valley, including from their High Density Vertiplex (HDV) subproject:
(via NASA Aeronautics).
NASA | NERL
Power requirements for Regional Air Mobility are being modelled in a currently active project underway in the US by NASA and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NERL) - read the projects initial scoping / vision report on the topic (published earlier this year) in full here:
GKN | URBAN-AIR PORT
GKN and Urban-Air Port are collaborating "to explore infrastructure for large, high capacity eVTOL passenger shuttle operations" as part of the Skybus research project:
(via Urban-Air Port).
SMALL PROPELLER, COMMUTER (19-SEATS OR LESS)
SAFRAN ELECTRICAL & POWER | VOLTAERO
"The ENGINeUS 100 will have a maximum rating of well above 150 kW at takeoff and is to be integrated along with a 150-kW thermal engine in VoltAero’s proprietary hybrid propulsion unit on the Cassio 330. Features of the ENGINeUS 100 include an integrated motor controller and an optimized air-cooling system for thermal management.
Under terms of the agreement, Safran Electrical & Power will deliver an ENGINeUS 100 motor before year-end for ground-based endurance testing of the electric-hybrid propulsion system. The supply of a flight qualified ENGINeUS 100 will follow in 2023, enabling the startup of flight testing with the Cassio 330 prototype. Certification of the electric motor is scheduled for mid-2023."
AMPAIRE | WINGTIPS
Air mobility platform WingTips placed firm, deposit-backed orders for five of Ampaire's hybrid-electric Eco Caravan aircraft, with an option on up to 20 more units. There's an ambition for a further 175 x Eco Caravan orders and 50 x 19-seat Eco Otter aircraft:
EVIATION | PARKER HANNIFIN
Cockpit controls - human interface with flight control system (side stick, throttle, rudder, switching devices)
Electromechanical flap system - actuators, electronic control units, position sensors
Thermal management - water-cooling for battery and EPU heat management, thermal materials for battery pack
Hydraulic powerpacks - for steering and braking systems incl. accumulators and hose assemblies
Vibration and noise mitigation - engine and inverter mounts
Sealing solutions - elastomeric static and dynamic seal solutions incl. fire wall
(via Business Wire).
CAE | H55 | PIPER AIRCRAFT | SAFRAN
CAE announced they will work with Piper Aircraft to electrify two-thirds of their training fleet of Piper Archer (PA-28) aircraft. The companies will collaborate on a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) and then offer a conversion kit to market to third parties. Safran Electrical & Power will supply their ENGINeUS 100 electric motors, battery packs will come from Switzerland's H55:
THE RED SEA DEVELOPMENT COMPANY | ZEROAVIA
ZeroAvia signed an MoU with The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) which will see the organisations partner to explore retrofitting Cessna Caravan seaplanes with the company's 600kW hydrogen-electric powertrains for prospective commercial use in Saudi Arabia:
THALES | VOLTAERO
Thales' FlytLink Edge Computing system is being tested on VoltAero's Cassio 1 prototype aircraft. The system enables realtime obstacle detection from on board cameras using AI and an Iridium satellite uplink provides global connectivity (via VoltAero).
COLLINS AEROSPACE | HYBRID AIR VEHICLES
REGIONAL AIRCRAFT / MW+
RAVN ALASKA | ZEROAVIA
POWERCELL | ZEROAVIA
Sweden's PowerCell and ZeroAvia will deepen their existing collaboration, partnering on the development and production of "aviation-optimized" Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) hydrogen fuel cell stacks in the UK. The partners anticipate delivery of at least 5,000 fuel cell stacks between 2024 and 2028:
AENU | BARCLAYS | IAG | NEOM | ZEROAVIA
ZeroAvia announced a further $30m of new funding from new investors AENU (an impact technology fund), Barclays (through their Sustainable Impact Capital fund) and Saudi Arabia's NEOM sustainable city venture, alongside further funding from International Airlines Group (IAG) who first invested in the company in 2021 (via ZeroAvia).
EDMONTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT | ZEROAVIA
Edmonton International Airport will collaborate with ZeroAvia on the development of hydrogen infrastructure to support the development of zero-emission flights in Canada. Gaseous hydrogen will be used initially, with a shift to liquid hydrogen to be explored in order to support aircraft with more than 50 seats.
An initial pilot will see a demonstrator aircraft "and other operations" fuelled with a "deployed hydrogen ecosystem":
AVMAX | UNIVERSAL HYDROGEN
Canadian aircraft lessor and MRO Avmax signed a deal with Universal Hydrogen for the supply of hydrogen conversion kits and fuel supply for 20 regional aircraft. The firm order includes flexibility to choose between ATT 72-600 and Dash 8-300 conversion kits:
(via Business Wire).
US-based Universal Hydrogen announced the opening of an Engineering Design Center and European headquarters in a former Airbus hangar inToulouse, France - and unveiled their ATR 72 test aircraft at the location:
(via Business Wire).
PRATT & WHITNEY CANADA | RICARDO
Consulting engineers Ricardo signed a multi-year deal with Pratt & Whitney Canada that will see the organisations work together on development of hybrid-electric propulsion technologies (via Business Wire).
BOEING | MITSUBISHI HEAVY INDUSTRIES
A wide-ranging MoU on sustainability collaboration between Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Boeing included mention of "hydrogen, electrification and sustainable materials" though lacked further details (via MHI).