EVTOL / ADVANCED / URBAN AIR MOBILITY (UAM / AAM)
- ACITURRI | B.RILEY SECURITIES | LILIUM
- EHANG | ISRAEL INNOVATION AUTHORITY | NAAMA
- HYUNDAI | NUSANTARA CAPITAL CITY AUTHORITY
- KOREAN MINISTRY OF LAND, INFRASTRUCTURE AND TRANSPORT
VERTIPORTS / INFRASTRUCTURE
- AEROPORTS DE PARIS (ADP) | FEDERATION FRANCAISE AERONAUTIQUE (FFA) | TOTALENERGIES
- LONDON ELSTREE AERODROME | SKYPORTS
SMALL PROPELLER, COMMUTER (19-SEATS OR LESS)
- CRANFIELD AEROSPACE SOLUTIONS | EVIA AERO
- SURF AIR
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EVTOL / ADVANCED / URBAN AIR MOBILITY (UAM / AAM)
PACIFIC GROUP | SKYDRIVE
Japan's SkyDrive signed an MoU with Vietnamese renewable energy developer Pacific Group that included pre-orders for 10 of the company's SD-05 eVTOL aircraft, with options on 90 more. The companies will also collaboratively explore new mobility solutions in the Vietnamese market:
"SkyDrive and Pacific Group will collaborate to evaluate the potential use cases by exploring the requirements for eVTOL vehicle operations in Vietnam. They will also evaluate other commercial considerations such as vertiports, route and network planning, infrastructure requirements, and ecosystem with interested players who can play a role in launching new mobility solutions in Vietnam."
Archer Aviation unveiled the design of their Midnight eVTOL, highlights included:
Four passenger / 1,000lb payload
"12 tilt 6 configuration"
Optimised for 20-mile trips
100-mile range at 150mph cruise
Claimed 10-minute charging time
Working to certify with "FAA in late-2024"
"Designed to cruise at approximately 2,000 feet"
ARCHER AVIATION | GARMIN
Archer Aviation announced an agreement with Garmin for the supply of avionics systems for the company's newly unveiled four passenger Midnight eVTOL aircraft, specifically the G3000 Integrated Flight Deck.
Other electric aircraft confirmed to be using the Garmin G3X avionics suite include Flight Design's F2e, Heart Aerospace's Es-19/30 and Joby Aviation's S-4:
ARCHER AVIATION | MOLICEL
Archer Aviation announced that Taiwan's E-One Moli Energy Corp, also known as 'Molicel', will manufacture and supply batteries for the production version of their Midnight eVTOL aircraft.
The company were also selected by the UK's Vertical Aerospace to power the VX4 back in July:
Britain's Equipmake - electric powertrain solutions specialists, whose products are more typically found in buses and other ground vehicles - have partnered with "an unnamed electric aerospace propulsions specialist to supply motors for an electric aircraft."
The order (with reported value of £400k GBP) will see motors designed and manufactured in the UK for delivery in 2023 with "production of the aircraft...currently targeted for 2024"
(via Morning Star).
ACITURRI | B.RILEY SECURITIES | LILIUM
Lilium raised an additional $119m USD of funding "from existing shareholders, new investors, and strategic partners". We noted new investors to include:
US investment bank B. Riley Securities - who also acted as one of three placement agents for the round
Airbus veteran and Lilium CEO Klaus Roewe
Board member Barry Engle - founder of Qell Acquisition Corp, the 'SPAC' with whom Lilium merged to complete their public listing
Board member David Wallerstein - Tencent CXO
Funds will be used to "strengthen our balance sheet...advance our commercialization efforts including signing of customer agreements with pre-delivery payments, reaching an agreement with EASA on our Means of Compliance, and commencing assembly of the type-conforming aircraft for the final manned flight test campaign..."
Investors listed as participating in this latest round are highlighted in green below:
Shanghai-based Volant Aerotech's prototype 2.5 tonne MTOW VE25 eVTOL passenger aircraft reportedly "conducted power on test on the ground":
The company was founded in just June of 2021 and is backed by Chinese investors Future Capital, Qinsong Fund, Shunwei, Ventech and Welight Capital:
(via Xin Gou; @chineseflyer).
H3 Dynamics completed a test flight in France claimed to be the "world's first with proprietary distributed hydrogen-electric nacelle technology." The 25kg test aircraft has "an electric flight range of up to 900km on liquid hydrogen, or 350km with pressurized hydrogen."
"H3 Dynamics’ hydrogen propulsion nacelles could potentially become a “snap-on” retrofit for battery-powered unmanned eVTOL or fixed wing cargo drones":
(via H3 Dynamics).
ALBERS AEROSPACE | HOPFLYT
US veteran-owned engineering service business / innovation incubator Albers Aerospace have invested $1m USD into Hopflyt for development of military derivatives of the company's eVTOL aircraft:
Squall - an ISR / SIGINT group 2 UAS and
Cyclone - a group 2+/3 aircraft
Vortex - a hybrid eVTOL with 200kts speed, 500nm range and 1,000lb useful load
"As a part of Albers Aerospace’s Amarillo Incentive package, Hopflyt is preparing to move its military division to Amarillo, TX, as a future tenant of Albers’ larger manufacturing and flight test facility being established in Amarillo, Texas."
(via Albers Aerospace).
Joby Aviation have purchased c. 162,000 sq ft of property in Santa Cruz - three adjacent facilities including the former HQ of telecoms company Plantronic.
Joby’s head of communications, Oliver Walker-Jones, said the site “provided a unique opportunity to consolidate teams across multiple locations, provide a space for team members who joined during the pandemic to come together, and to support our growth plans at one location.”
(via Lookout Santa Cruz).
Honda reiterated their commitment to eVTOL development in a roundtable interview, affirming work on both:
A 60-mile range all-electric eVTOL with eight, high-mounted rotors and
A hybrid VTOL with 300-mile range and able to "run on the aviation fuel the company created by sequestering carbon"
Flight testing is scheduled to begin in 2023.
The FAA propose to add a "powered-lift" category to the regulatory definitions of "certain air carrier and commercial operations. In addition, this proposed rule would apply the rules for commercial air tours to powered-lift" (via FAA).
EHANG | EUSPA
Ehang are participating in a project of the European Union Agency for the Space Programme (EUSPA) that will see the company's 216 AAV's make use of the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS) as part of demonstration flights in Spain through project 'SAMVA'.
"The SAMVA project will unleash EGNOS capabilities aboard EHang’s EH216 AAV to provide precise and integer navigation guidance and support U-Space airspace integration."
EHANG | ISRAEL INNOVATION AUTHORITY | NAAMA
The Israel Innovation Authority announced 60m NIS (c. $17.5m USD) in funding that will "be invested in 10 companies as part of a pilot project that will also examine the use of large cargo and passenger-carrying heavy drones flying in controlled airspace." It constitutes the second phase of the Israeli government backed National Drone Initiative 'NAAMA'.
Highlights of the second phase include:
For the first time in Israel, there will be a demonstration of EHang air taxi drones
Initial attempts at planning and implementing vertiports for heavy electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL)
Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) focused recipients of funding include:
Brook Aviation - an Israeli helicopter operator who will "operate an eVTOL...fleet alongside helicopters and aircraft based on similar flight characteristic"
Air Taxi Israel (ATI) - "a dedicated AAM (advanced air mobility) company in Israel that works in partnership with relevant aviation companies involved in the project"
(via Israel Innovation Authority).
HYUNDAI | NUSANTARA CAPITAL CITY AUTHORITY
Hyundai signed an MoU with Indonesia's Nusantara Capital City Authority to "proactively introduce advanced air mobility (AAM) in the new capital city, starting with a demonstration project and test flights":
KOREAN MINISTRY OF LAND, INFRASTRUCTURE AND TRANSPORT
The Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) hosted a third set of UAM test flights -this time of two pilotless, domestically produced eVTOL aircraft on a temporary vertiport on the roof of the Ara Marina convention centre in Gimpo, Gyeonggi:
The 70kg payload capable SKYLA-V2 made by automotive parts / drone manufacturer Voltline - flew for 20 mins., max speed 90km/h
The 120kg payload capable V-Speeder from battery and electric bike manufacturer V-Space
In addition "mock-up vehicles were displayed from Hyundai Motor, Hanwha Systems, a Land Ministry and the Ministry of Trade Industry Energy research team, and university students."
(via Korea JoongAng Daily).
VERTIPORTS / INFRASTRUCTURE
AEROPORTS DE PARIS (ADP) | FEDERATION FRANCAISE AERONAUTIQUE (FFA) | TOTALENERGIES
TotalEnergies, Groupe ADP and general aviation aero club association Fédération Française Aéronautique (FFA) will work together to install electric aircraft charging stations "at three airfields in the Ile-de-France region to support the decarbonization of the aviation industry, and in particular the electrification of light aviation."
"Self-service" terminals will be setup at at Toussus-le-Noble, Etampes and Pontoise:
ENEL X WAY | URBANV
Enel X Way (subsidiary of Italian utility Enel) signed an agreement with UrbanV that will see the companies work together "on joint projects at a global level, studying energy solutions for UrbanV's vertiports...Projects will focus on the study and implementation of Enel X Way electricity infrastructures integrated with storage systems in vertiports, dedicated eVTOL hubs, the definition of specific use cases and a customer experience to be adapted to the needs of different markets" (via Enel X Way).
LONDON ELSTREE AERODROME | SKYPORTS
London Elstree Aerodrome have reportedly "been in talks with Skyports...about leasing and licensing arrangements but no “firm” agreements have been reached yet...the aerodrome...is proposed to be a base for Skyports to test its ground-based technology and hardware."
The aerodrome is owned by The Right Honourable Lord Aldenham (6th Baron Aldenham) and his family's privately held Aldenham Estate.
(via Watford Observer).
SMALL PROPELLER, COMMUTER (19-SEATS OR LESS)
CRANFIELD AEROSPACE SOLUTIONS | EVIA AERO
Evia Aero ordered "five more hydrogen fuel-cell based conversion kits for the 9-seat Britten Norman Islander aircraft to its existing Letter of Intent (LOI) with Cranfield Aerospace Solutions (CAeS)
This takes the total to 15 modification kits plus supplementary type certificates (STCs) to be supplied by CAeS to EVIA AERO.
In addition to this, EVIA AERO has signed a separate LOI for the supply of ten, 19-seat passenger aircraft to be powered by a scaled-up version of CAeS’ HFC based propulsion system."
(via Cranfield Aerospace Solutions, Evia Aero).
Ampaire's Eco Caravan flew for the first time "on a fully-integrated hybrid-electric propulsion system" for 33 minutes from California's Camarillo Airport:
"It climbed to 3,500 feet at full power, combining power from the combustion engine and electric engine":
AMPAIRE | ARPA-E
ARPA-E awarded Ampaire $9m USD of 'SCALEUP' funding which will be used for "developing certifiable subsystems in three areas:
The powertrain control (PTC) to manage power from both the Ampaire powertrain combustion and electric sources
The propulsion motor drive that conditions power to the electric propulsion machinery
And the integration of the thermal-runaway-protected energy storage system
Ampaire will fly a second production-conforming Eco Caravan next year. That aircraft will be used in certification test flights. Ampaire plans to complete the certification of the Eco Caravan in 2024."
DRONAMICS | EIC ACCELERATOR
Dronamics received a €2.5m grant from the European Innovation Council's EIC Accelerator (who've previously backed Swiss autonomous flight startup Daedalean) along with:
"...a material commitment to support Dronamics’ upcoming Series A round.
The grant will support the development and roll-out of Dronamics’ cargo drone fleet, the deployment of the first droneports in its network as well as operations in Europe."
Professor Min Zhang from the University of Strathclyde's Applied Superconductivity Laboratory has been awarded a £1.3m grant from the European Research Council which:
"...will focus on three ground-breaking technologies to enable the use of high temperature superconductors for electrical propulsion motors with high performance and reliability.
By the end of the “Superconducting Electrical Machines for Zero Emission Aviation”, or SUPERMAN, project, a 100 kW demonstrating motor will be developed and tested for aviation propulsion system"
(via University of Strathclyde).
Surf Air Mobility's SPAC merger with Tuscan Holdings Corporation has been terminated in favour of a direct listing (via Market Watch, Surf Air).
OCEAN FLYER | METSERVICE
Ocean Flyer (who signed a deal to purchase 25 x Regent 'sea gliders' in April) signed an MoU with the New Zealand Met Service:
"The MoU will see Ocean Flyer use MetService and MetOcean’s ocean data (swell, wave size and direction) and wind data (speed and direction) to help operate the fleet of wing-in-ground effect vehicles it is acquiring to provide commercial passenger and parcel-freight services connecting regional centers in Aotearoa."
(via Ocean Flyer).
REGIONAL AIRCRAFT / MW+
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