“Be the first to fly with an electric air taxi,” Volocopter advertised as it announced the commencement of the world’s first public sale for electrical air taxi flight reservations. As of today, September 16th, Volocopter fans world-wide can reserve their tickets online and be amongst the very first to take this new form of mobility. Volocopter revealed the initiative at...
“Be the first to fly with an electric air taxi,” Volocopter advertised as it announced the commencement of the world’s first public sale for electrical air taxi flight reservations.
As of today, September 16th, Volocopter fans world-wide can reserve their tickets online and be amongst the very first to take this new form of mobility. Volocopter revealed the initiative at the Greentech Festival in Berlin, and has made 1000 presale reservations available for a limited time. The “VoloFirst” costs €300 and can be reserved with a 10% deposit. With the reservation, passengers will receive the following:
- A flight with a duration of approx. 15 minutes (approx.) scheduled within the first 12 months after commercial launch
- A video of the passenger’s flight
- A limited edition, personalized certificate included in reservation
The announcement follows Volocopter’s successful demonstration flights in Stuttgart, at Helsinki’s international airport, and over Singapore’s Marina Bay. “Based on our public test flights and regulatory achievement record, we have paved the way to make electric flight in cities common in just a few years. With the start of reservations, we now invite our supporters and innovators around the world to join us and be amongst the first to experience this new and exciting form of mobility,” said Volocopter CEO Florian Reuter. The reservations for the first VoloCity flights are available world-wide on the Volocopter Reservation Platform.
Why it’s important: Volocopter is working to build the world’s first sustainable and scalable urban air mobility business to bring affordable air taxi services to megacities worldwide. The VoloCity, its fully electric “eVTOL” aircraft, has already begun the certification process in order to safely and quietly transport passengers within cities. Volocopter’s outspoken goal is to ‘Bring Urban Air Mobility to Life’ and has made significant headway in conjunction with its partners in infrastructure, operations, and air traffic management to build the necessary ecosystem. The early commercialization of its technology through limited reservation flights will serve as a funding mechanism for continued development of its technology as well as for the certification process. As an added benefit, the strategically limited supply of flights may increase publicity of the offering and ultimately result in an impactful marketing effort for the company.
- Volocopter Selects Diehl Aerospace for its Flight Computers
- Dr. Arnaud Coville Named new Volocopter CTO
Source // Volocopter press release
Just days after Amazon Prime Air has received FAA approval for drone deliveries, Walmart has initiated a program with Flytrex for its own drone delivery service. Upon announcing the new initiative, Walmart looked back on a quote from founder Sam Walton: “I have always been driven to buck the system, to innovate, to take things beyond where they’ve been.” It remains...
Just days after Amazon Prime Air has received FAA approval for drone deliveries, Walmart has initiated a program with Flytrex for its own drone delivery service.
Upon announcing the new initiative, Walmart looked back on a quote from founder Sam Walton: “I have always been driven to buck the system, to innovate, to take things beyond where they’ve been.” It remains a guiding principle at Walmart to this day, according to the company. “From being an early pioneer of universal bar codes and electronic scanning cash registers to our work on autonomous vehicle delivery, we’re working to understand how these technologies can impact the future of our business and help us better serve our customers.”
“Our latest initiative has us exploring how drones can deliver items in a way that’s convenient, safe, and – you guessed it – fast. Today, we’re taking the next step in our exploration of on-demand delivery by announcing a new pilot with Flytrex, an end-to-end drone delivery company.”
The pilot program launched as of September 9th in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and focuses on delivering select grocery and household essential items from Walmart stores using Flytrex’s automated drones. The drones, which are controlled over the cloud using a smart and easy control dashboard, will help us gain valuable insight into the customer and associate experience, from picking and packing to takeoff and delivery. The announcement of Walmart’s new program accompanies various other recent efforts as the U.S. retailer looks to bolster its delivery business.
Why it’s important:
In a press release, Walmart acknowledged the long road ahead; “we know that it will be some time before we see millions of packages delivered via drone. That still feels like a bit of science fiction, but we’re at a point where we’re learning more and more about the technology that is available and how we can use it to make our customers’ lives easier. Take for example our autonomous vehicle work with Gatik, Ford and Nuro – we’ve gained loads of valuable insight into how autonomous vehicles fit within our business.”
Ultimately, it’s learnings from pilots such as this that will help shape the potential of drone delivery on a larger scale and expand Walmart beyond its reputation as a company specializing in in-store shopping. Fortunately, Amazon’s Prime Air business arm has begun to pave the way for certification with its official Part 135 approval to begin operating commercial deliveries on a trial basis.
Source // Walmart press release
Exactly 112 years after the Wright Brothers delivered their first military aircraft, top Air Force leaders gathered with their Texas National Guard hosts and AFWERX personnel to watch the first Agility Prime ORB flight demonstration. Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass came together to witness the...
Exactly 112 years after the Wright Brothers delivered their first military aircraft, top Air Force leaders gathered with their Texas National Guard hosts and AFWERX personnel to watch the first Agility Prime ORB flight demonstration.
Secretary of the Air Force Barbara Barrett, Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., and Chief Master Sgt. of the Air Force JoAnne S. Bass came together to witness the advances in electric vertical takeoff and landing flight (eVTOL) at Camp Mabry, Aug. 20.
The demonstration was presented by LIFT Aircraft, a Texas-based Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract recipient, as one of the first companies of its size to join the Agility Prime “Air Race to Certification.” LIFT’s Hexa is a short distance single-seater eVTOL designed to work much like shared scooter systems in urban areas do today. Users will be able to fly Hexa between landing ports in urban areas, guided by instructions from a mobile app. Hexa is designed to take off and land autonomously, making the flight experience seamless. LIFT plans on initially launching in 25 U.S citizens, and is already taking pre-sale reservations.
The event was the first time the service had witnessed a manned eVTOL aircraft take flight under its Agility Prime program, it said on 21 August. Agility Prime is a non-traditional program seeking to accelerate the commercial market for advanced air mobility vehicles. The USAF’s initiative presents an opportunity to exchange government resources in for knowledge transfer, aerial demonstration flights, and potential buyouts of various aerial mobility companies that elect to participate.
“Agility Prime is a program with a vision of world impact,” Barrett said during the program’s launch in April 2020. “The thought of an electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle — a flying car — might seem straight out of a Hollywood movie, but by partnering today with stakeholders across industries and agencies, we can set up the United States for this aerospace phenomenon.”
“We now have over fifteen of the leading aircraft manufacturers in the world applying to partner with Agility Prime, with many of them already on contract,” said Col. Nathan Diller, AFWERX director and Agility Prime lead. “This flight today marks the first of many demonstrations and near term flight tests designed to reduce the technical risk and prepare for Agility Prime fielding in 2023.”
Why it’s important:
The Agility Prime program is the flagship eVTOL program for the USAF, as an increasing number of military organizations across the world become more and more interested in applications of aerial mobility technology as supplemental (and eventually in replacement of) current mobility offerings for both manned and unmanned missions.
In addition to the USAF, the US Army is examining eVTOL aircraft as a means to resupply troops, as well as provide combat search and rescue. The autonomous flying ability of the aircraft would allow the services to keep human pilots out of danger on certain missions. USAF’s Agility Prime initiative, and the successful Lift HEXA flight demonstration, are providing excellent exposure for emerging aerial mobility technologies and manufacturers. Ultimately, this has a high potential for these new startup companies to secure new contracts across both the military and commercial sectors.
Source // USAF (AFWERX Public Affairs)
Vertical Aerospace, a prevalent UK-based eVTOL developer, has just released its long-awaited new air taxi design. The company advertises that its new vehicle will be able to “reduce your journey time by over 80% and eliminate air pollution by flying above the traffic.” According to Vertical Aerospace, the VA-1X will soon be taken through certification with EASA in Europe, and...
Vertical Aerospace, a prevalent UK-based eVTOL developer, has just released its long-awaited new air taxi design. The company advertises that its new vehicle will be able to “reduce your journey time by over 80% and eliminate air pollution by flying above the traffic.”
According to Vertical Aerospace, the VA-1X will soon be taken through certification with EASA in Europe, and is on course to start commercial flights in 2024.
The VA-1X has been designed to be a high performing aircraft, able to connect entire regions as well as carrying out shorter missions across single cities. Capable of carrying up to five people, a pilot and four passengers, Vertical hopes for the VA-1X to be the world’s first certified winged all-electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Build will begin shortly, with manufacturing taking place in the UK near Vertical’s headquarters in Bristol.
With the redesign of its vehicle, Vertical has placed an emphasis on the principles of safety, experience, sustainability, noise reduction, and range. The new design is a substantial departure from Vertical’s previous design, the Seraph, which employed twelve overhead propellers in a multi-rotor fashion to lift a maximum of 550 lbs at speeds up to 50 mph. Shifting toward a far more efficient design with vectored thrust and numerous control surfaces, Vertical has chosen to undertake a more complicated project that will prove difficult to certify, but may have more transport applications than their previous aircraft design.
The VA-1X will feature a 150 mph with a useable range of up to 100 miles, meaning passengers could travel from London to Brighton in approximately half an hour, compared to two hours driving, or an hour by train. It will be completely emissions-free, and certified to the same safety standards as traditional commercial jetliners. Vertical expects initial flight prices to fall somewhere in between a private car trip and a chartered helicopter flight.
The mission of Vertical’s air taxi is to connect entire regions as well as carrying out shorter missions across single cities. The VA-1X is optimized for longer-range flights to take full advantage of the tilt-rotor’s efficient cruise, and its design also fits the “common reference models” released by the Uber in 2017 to help manufacturers meet their ecosystem’s design requirements. However, the two have not made public any discussion on collaboration at this time. Head of Uber Elevate, Eric Allison, responded to the Twitter reveal with positive support, so the stage has been set for a potential partnership down the line as Vertical progresses with a physical manifestation of the aircraft.
Said Michael Cervenka, CEO, Vertical Aerospace:
“eVTOL technology will revolutionize travel, combining the safety of commercial airlines with the disruptive environmental and cost benefits of the electrification of flight. With the launch of the VA-1X, we’re proud to be taking eVTOL one step
closer to mass-market adoption, and supporting the next era of aviation. At Vertical Aerospace we believe that people should be able to quickly and affordably get from A to B without sacrificing the planet – with the VA-1X, this vision will start to be realized in under five years.”
Why it’s important: With no physical prototype yet constructed, Vertical recognizes that it must move quickly to gain EASA type certification and production approval for the VA-1X in support of beginning commercial operations by 2024. To support this timeline, the company plans to forgo sub-scale prototyping and move straight to a full-scale build of the aircraft — with testing of individual systems, such as propellers. Fortunately, suppliers including Honeywell and Dassault Systems’ cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE have already been working with Vertical as its development program nears the manufacturing phase.
- Vertical Aerospace eVTOL to be Equipped with Latest Honeywell Flight Deck Technology
- Vertical Aerospace Selects 3DEXPERIENCE for Product Lifecycle Management
Source // Vertical Aerospace; Aviation Today
In the coming weeks, we can expect to see a full-scale prototype of Vertical Aerospace’s latest electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft fly for the first time. The company has been quietly conducting advanced research and development on its vehicle, while simultaneously securing more publicly-announced partnerships with Honeywell and Dassault. Just last week, Vertical Aerospace shared a sneak-peek of...
In the coming weeks, we can expect to see a full-scale prototype of Vertical Aerospace’s latest electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft fly for the first time. The company has been quietly conducting advanced research and development on its vehicle, while simultaneously securing more publicly-announced partnerships with Honeywell and Dassault.
Just last week, Vertical Aerospace shared a sneak-peek of its new aircraft design. Judging from the images, the vehicle can be expected to utilize four propellers in a tilt-wing configuration, as well as a v-tail configuration for stability and control. Honeywell, as recently announced, will supply the multitouch displays, avionics system controls, avionics software and vehicle operating system.
— Honeywell Aerospace (@Honeywell_Aero) August 11, 2020
With regards to the announcement, Michael Cervenka, CEO of Vertical Aerospace said, “Vertical is well advanced in the development of its next-generation, high-performance, passenger-carrying vehicle. We are excited at the prospect of broadening our partnership with Honeywell, enabling our vehicles to leverage not only Honeywell’s flight control systems, but also to marry these with the very latest in intuitive and safe flight deck technologies.”
The upcoming aircraft is predicted to be capable of carrying a pilot and four passengers up to 100 miles at speeds of up to 240km/h.
Last year, the Bristol-based startup revealed flight footage of an electric vertical take off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) capable of carrying loads of up to 250kg – the first company in the world to do so. The prototype, named Seraph, completed its maiden flight at Llanbedr Airfield in Wales on August 22, 2019.
Vertical plans to operate the Seraph (featured above) itself, in addition to the new aircraft to be announced. The company has already flown two full-scale prototypes of the Seraph at a maximum speed of 80km/h and with a payload of 250kg. Last year, Honeywell supplied Vertical’s demonstration aircraft with its Compact Fly-By-Wire System and flight control software, so the two already have collaboration experience.
Why it’s important: The announcement of new contracts and strategic aerial mobility partnerships – including Vertical Aerospace, and in general – signals promising forward momentum in the UAM industry. The unveiling of the upcoming new aircraft from Vertical is eagerly awaited and will mark a large milestone for Vertical Aerospace and Honeywell, as it will showcase technologies that we may expect to see implemented in other aerial mobility vehicles. This partnership will also serve as an opportunity for eVTOL aircraft manufacturers to witness Honeywell’s technologies in a physical prototype and evaluate whether they will adopt Honeywell’s specific features in their own eVTOL prototype designs. Honeywell, in return, has much industry reputation to gain from Vertical Aerospace’s unveiling of the upcoming aircraft, as the supplier could potentially earn itself several new contracts following an impressive vehicle demonstration.
- Vertical Aerospace Confirms Partnership with Honeywell
- Honeywell Releases Their New Compact Fly-By-Wire System for UAM
- Listen to the TransportUP Podcast Interview with Vertical Aerospace CEO Michael Cervenka
Source // Honeywell; AINOnline
Bell Textron Inc. unveiled today its new 140,000-square-foot Manufacturing Technology Center (MTC) in Fort Worth, Texas. The MTC is an innovative proving ground where Bell will test and refine technologies and processes—demonstrating manufacturing readiness and ability to successfully build and support Future Vertical Lift (FVL) aircraft. The facility provides capabilities that span all of Bell’s core manufacturing of rotor and drive systems,...
Bell Textron Inc. unveiled today its new 140,000-square-foot Manufacturing Technology Center (MTC) in Fort Worth, Texas. The MTC is an innovative proving ground where Bell will test and refine technologies and processes—demonstrating manufacturing readiness and ability to successfully build and support Future Vertical Lift (FVL) aircraft. The facility provides capabilities that span all of Bell’s core manufacturing of rotor and drive systems, critical infrastructure and final assembly.
Since establishing a footprint in North Texas in 1951, Bell’s facilities have been a hub for new technology in aviation. Many milestones, including first flight of the XV-15, V-22, 609 and 407, took place in the DFW metroplex. According to Bell, building FVL aircraft will require the right blend of investment in manufacturing technology and a quality workforce, as well as strong partnerships with the state and community.
“The MTC is the next step in successfully deploying new manufacturing technologies and processes into Bell’s future factories,” said Glenn Isbell, vice president, Rapid Prototyping & Manufacturing Innovation. “These future factories working together with our teammates and suppliers, will be designed to enable high-quality, high-rate production of the Bell V-280 Valor, Bell 360 Invictus and other future aircraft.”
Digital connectivity and integration form the backbone of the MTC. The entire facility will be monitored and controlled by its own IT Network; Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and cybersecurity systems that manage the inflow and outflow of materials, as well as the movement of activity throughout the factory. By deploying a networked software infrastructure, the MTC will produce a digital twin of itself that gives managers a common operating picture of the building, the equipment and the processes.
Why it matters: In tandem with its development of Future Vertical Lift aircraft for military applications, Bell has been applying similar technologies to the advancement of urban air mobility vehicles. Notably, the company has already unveiled prototypes of the Bell Nexus passenger eVTOLs as well as the APT cargo eVTOL, which may be developed or produced in facilities like the MCT.
- Bell Unveils All-Electric Nexus 4EX at CES 2020
- Bell Partners with Sumitomo and Japan Airlines for Future of eVTOL
Source // Bell Flight press release
Urban-Air Port Ltd and Hyundai Air Mobility (a Hyundai Motor Group division) have announced a collaboration effort to create smart mobility solutions that put people first, connect communities, and generate shared value. Hyundai has recently focused additional resources on enhancing its product line up to help usher in a more sustainable future, while offering innovative solutions to real-world mobility challenges. ...
Urban-Air Port Ltd and Hyundai Air Mobility (a Hyundai Motor Group division) have announced a collaboration effort to create smart mobility solutions that put people first, connect communities, and generate shared value.
Hyundai has recently focused additional resources on enhancing its product line up to help usher in a more sustainable future, while offering innovative solutions to real-world mobility challenges. Through the process, the multinational automotive manufacturer aims to facilitate ‘Progress for Humanity’ with smart mobility solutions that vitalize connections between people and provide quality time to its customers.
To achieve this, Hyundai has partnered with Urban-Air Port Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of small. (Six Miles Across London Limited). small. consists of a group of UK based Urban DeepTech companies focusing on Future Mobility; Urban.AV (Autonomous Vehicles), Urban.MASS (Mass Transit) and Urban-Air Port. In total, Hyundai plans to invest $1.5B in UAM over the next five years to create an air vehicle and the supporting mobility ecosystem for UAM operations. Whilst vehicle development is crucial and underway, an urgent need for appropriate ground infrastructure remains one of the biggest constraints on the growing sector, according to NASA and industry leaders.
“As part of Hyundai Motor Group, our Air Mobility division is intent on supporting the development of human-centred cities through innovation,” said Dr. Jaiwon Shin, Head of Hyundai Air Mobility.
Hyundai’s and Urban-Air Port’s goals in this partnership are fully aligned – transforming cities for the better by creating a versatile infrastructure that enables future mobility, vitalises urban communities, and expands access to transportation services and the green economy. Pamela Cohn, COO of Hyundai Air Mobility, said “There is often a strong focus on the vehicles, but without coordination and investment in other parts of the ecosystem, UAM is just a flying science project. Infrastructure is one of the crucial areas of the broader ecosystem that will bring aerial mobility to communities around the world. We are excited to partner with Urban-Air Port and UK communities to explore what this infrastructure of the future will look like.”
Ricky Sandhu, CEO of Urban-Air Port said: “We are extremely proud to announce our partnership with Hyundai Air Mobility as we embark on bringing together world-class electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle OEMs, passenger and logistics service operators and our physical & digital infrastructure in our unique, flexible and sustainable turn-key “Air-OneTM” approach that we believe will help unlock and propel a clean, future UAM mobility ecosystem both here in the UK and around the world for multiple sectors.”
Hyundai Air Mobility and Urban-Air Port plan to invest in development of a full-scale prototype for live eVTOL demonstrations. Two UK cities have already signed on to support development in 2021, including what will be UK’s 1st, Coventry in the West Midlands, which will host UK City of Culture 2021 and the Commonwealth Games.
Why it’s important: This partnership highlights Hyundai’s ambition for a future mobility ecosystem by adding infrastructure to their existing industry partnerships. The Urban-Air Port® design has a 60% smaller footprint than a traditional heliport or nearest-state-of-the-art ‘vertiports’, allowing for quick and easy installation in space-limited urban sites. Its modular flat-pack structure results in a cost-effective, transportable and rapidly deployable new form of infrastructure that is impressively capable of providing both passenger/cargo processing/amenities and vehicle charging/maintenance facilities.
Source // Urban-Air Port press release
Dufour Aerospace has just announced that it has completed the first phase of flight testing of its tilt-wing eVTOL demonstrator aircraft. Over the course of 550 test flights, expanding the flight envelope incrementally, the vehicle demonstrated a high degree of stability and control in all conditions, including transitions from hover to cruise and back again. During the first phase of...
Dufour Aerospace has just announced that it has completed the first phase of flight testing of its tilt-wing eVTOL demonstrator aircraft. Over the course of 550 test flights, expanding the flight envelope incrementally, the vehicle demonstrated a high degree of stability and control in all conditions, including transitions from hover to cruise and back again.
During the first phase of testing, Dufour’s test vehicle executed full transitions to and from wing-borne cruise flight, as well as other highly precise aerodynamic maneuvers. Felix Rubin, lead engineer for aerodynamics, commented, “At larger scales, slipstream airflows over tilting wings become more turbulent and harder to predict, and care is needed to ensure that the aircraft remains stable during transition. With this large-scale unmanned aircraft, we’ve now been able to demonstrate that we can achieve that stability at high Reynolds numbers.”
The company has amassed over 30 years of experience in Swiss commercial helicopter operations, and is now applying its deep technical roots to the real world requirements of VTOL aircraft. Below is a short clip of the impressive footage that Dufour shared with the public in their latest press release:
Dufour was initially inspired by Canadair’s pioneering work fifty years ago with the CL-84, and its research since then has shown that tilt-wing convertible aircraft offer a high degree of safety and efficiency. Co-founders Dominique Steffen and CEO Thomas Pfammatter also collaborated on the aEro 1 electric aerobatic plane that debuted in 2016.
Chief Technology Officer Jasmine Kent — a software engineer who spent eight years with Google and co-founded the artificial intelligence (AI) startup Daedalean — joined the company in 2017. Kent commented, “From our simulations, we expected that our proprietary tilt-wing control system, developed over the last two years in collaboration with ETH Zurich, would perform well. But it’s encouraging to see that its performance and stability exceeded our expectations.”
Thomas Pfammatter, CEO, commented, “I’m proud that the team has been able to build on the electric propulsion technology and flight test processes we pioneered with aEro 1. We now have solid experience with both manned electric fixed-wing and eVTOL technology. As a helicopter rescue pilot, I’m looking forward to bringing these together.”
Why it’s important: Dufour aims to begin manufacturing a full-sized experimental VTOL prototype next year, with flight testing to begin with a human test pilot by 2022. With over 550 test flights of experience, the company has proven its technology and built its case for moving forward with manufacturing in the near future. In the meantime, Dufour also plans to continue collaboration efforts with Daedalean, developer of an AI-based autopilot, to eventually enable autonomous flight for its eVTOL demonstrator.
- Dufour adds Karsten Fischer to Senior Advisory Team
- Dufour Selected as a Winner of IMD Startup Competition
- Dufour’s Vision for Regional Air Mobility
Source // Dufour Aerospace press release
Electric General Aviation aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel and electric vehicle charging pioneer, Green Motion, are announcing a game changing partnership to develop a “universal, future-proof, environmentally friendly, ‘turnkey'” charging technology for electric airplanes. This new charging infrastructure will be in line with regulations from EASA, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency. By obtaining of the first ever type certificate for an...
Electric General Aviation aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel and electric vehicle charging pioneer, Green Motion, are announcing a game changing partnership to develop a “universal, future-proof, environmentally friendly, ‘turnkey'” charging technology for electric airplanes. This new charging infrastructure will be in line with regulations from EASA, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.
By obtaining of the first ever type certificate for an electric airplane from EASA for its Velis Elctro aircraft, Pipistrel has affirmed that the electric market in Europe and the U.S will grow. With its FLIGHT XT, one of the world’s first electric airplane chargers already in use in two airports in Switzerland, Green Motion has gained extensive knowledge of electric airplane charging.
While Pipistrel is shaping the aviation industry by developing and delivering a cutting-edge electric airplane, Green Motion is simultaneously raising the bar in electric vehicle charging for cars, two-wheelers, trucks, airplanes, and even Urban Air Mobility (UAM). Both companies put user experience and exceptional quality first, in order to foster environmentally friendly and affordable transportation.
Now, the two companies are joining forces to create a “future-proof” electric airplane charging solution that will last and evolve with the latest technologies on the market. Another focus during development of the technology will be turnkey installation combined with a photovoltaic system, as solar technologies also help airports receive subsidies. Charging modules can also be complemented with cutting-edge energy storage to enable fully self-contained systems. Ultimately, Pipistrel and Green Motion envision an entire a network of electric airplane charging stations; leveraging Green Motion’s software expertise and history of success in creating and operating networks for ground-based EV’s.
Ivo Boscarol, Founder and president of Pipistrel commented: “I am dedicating my life to contributing to a cleaner atmosphere and emission-free aviation. Type certifying the first all-electric airplane was the
necessary step towards this goal. As part of the endeavor, Pipistrel was forced to develop and produce almost everything in house, including the chargers. However, to assure a significant change to cleaner atmosphere, widespread use of electric aircraft is a must, and we need to spread the network of chargers to airports all over the world. This cannot be achieved by Pipistrel alone, but with a skilled and distinguished partner as Green Motion, this becomes a reality. I am happy that our SkyCharge stations will grow further with its potential into a common new brand SkyCharge by Green Motion and Pipistrel, to offer electric aircraft users a breakthrough, connected and a turn key service all over the world”.
François Randin, Founder and CEO of Green Motion said, “Green Motion has worked on electric airplane and UAM charging solutions for over two years. We see the beginning of this new market like we did more than 11 years ago with electric cars. After being a pioneer for electric cars, we are now a trail blazer in electric aircrafts charging too. That is why we are so proud and honoured to partner with Pipistrel, a world-renowned aircraft producer which has complementary technology and mindset to ours, so we can define the future of electric planes together.”
Why it’s important: Pipistrel and Green Motion, two companies with revolutionary ideas and cutting-edge electric solutions, are now putting their world class engineering teams together to shape and define the future of electric planes. Together, they hope to deliver the best flight experiences possible through reducing the cost, carbon emissions, and noise pollution of general aviation flight. The eventual goal of these companies is to establish a universal technology network across all airports and vertiports for electric flight, which may lead to a worldwide standard in electric airplane charging in the near future.
Source // Pipistrel press release
Lilium, a German aerospace company developing the all-electric Lilium Jet, and Toray Industries, the world’s leading manufacturer of carbon fiber, announced that the two companies have signed an agreement for the supply of higher performance carbon fiber composite. The Lilium Jet is a five-seater, emissions-free aircraft that can take off and land vertically and is designed to provide high-speed regional...
Lilium, a German aerospace company developing the all-electric Lilium Jet, and Toray Industries, the world’s leading manufacturer of carbon fiber, announced that the two companies have signed an agreement for the supply of higher performance carbon fiber composite.
The Lilium Jet is a five-seater, emissions-free aircraft that can take off and land vertically and is designed to provide high-speed regional connections of up to 300km in under 60 minutes. The aircraft’s primary structures, such as the fuselage, wings and flaps will all be made from carbon fiber.
Toray Industries is recognized as a global leader in aerospace materials and their carbon fiber products played a critical role in the success of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner. “Securing this supply agreement marks an important step in the maturity of our supply chain and in our preparations for serial production,” commented Daniel Wiegand, co-founder and CEO at Lilium.
In the first instance, the material will be supplied directly to Lilium for use in the production of further technology demonstrators, before being delivered directly to suppliers who will manufacture parts for prototypes and serial production.The agreement also paves the way for further collaboration between the two companies, both in the provision of other high-performance materials and the establishment of research and development partnerships.
Commenting on the partnership, Yves Yemsi, Chief Program Officer, Lilium said: “Toray’s wealth of experience in the world of high-performance carbon fibers and composite materials speaks for itself and we’re proud to be counted amongst the aerospace companies they supply.
“We look forward to developing a close collaboration with Toray in the years ahead and to building a resilient and agile supply chain for the Lilium Jet, together with other well-established and reliable aerospace suppliers across different fields of technology.”
Discussing the partnership, Minoru Yoshinaga, Toray Senior Vice President, General Manager of Torayca and Composites Division, said: “We are pleased to be selected as a partner by Lilium, one of the most promising companies in this emerging market sector.
“We look forward to working with Lilium to solve the environmental issues in urban areas, contributing by the power of materials.”
Lilium’s vision of air mobility encompasses a network of vertiports spread across an entire region, providing high-speed, point-to-point routes. Each additional vertiport added to the network would connect directly with all others within a 300km radius, leading to a fast scaling network that can provide regional connectivity at a fraction of the cost of traditional infrastructure such as high-speed trains. Lilium expects commercial operations to commence in 2025.
Why its important: News of the partnership comes just weeks after Lilium confirmed it had welcomed Baillie Gifford, Tesla’s largest shareholder, as a new investor, bringing total funds raised to date to over $375m. The fresh funding will support the further development of the Lilium Jet as well as underpinning preparations for serial production in Lilium’s newly completed manufacturing facilities.
- Lilium’s Vision for a Scalable Vertiport
- Air Mobility Startup Lilium Boosts Valuation to +$1 Billion with Baillie Gifford Investment
Source // Lilium press release
Volansi – a designer, manufacturer, and service provider for autonomous VTOL UAVs – has been awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract by the United States Air Force (USAF) through the Department of the Air Force Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Center of Excellence innovation program. At the United States Air Force’s Agility Prime Virtual Trade Show in...
Volansi – a designer, manufacturer, and service provider for autonomous VTOL UAVs – has been awarded a Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract by the United States Air Force (USAF) through the Department of the Air Force Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) Center of Excellence innovation program.
At the United States Air Force’s Agility Prime Virtual Trade Show in May of this year, Volansi unveiled its VOLY M20 UAV – a new generation of dual role aircraft offering customers the ability to simultaneously carry 20 pounds of cargo and a 10 pound ISR or sensor payload. It was designed to meet the exacting requirements of commercial customers operating in remote maritime locations and military customers who require a flexible vehicle for resupply and ISR applications. The VOLY M20 has a 350-mile range, cruising at 75 mph, and more than eight hours of endurance for sensor operations.
The Phase II contract will allow Volansi to demonstrate the innovative capabilities of the long-distance, heavy-payload VOLY M20 VTOL drone.
“The VOLY M20 was designed with modularity and mission flexibility in mind,” Volansi CEO and Co-Founder, Hannan Parvizian said. “The user experience is a key pillar of this design. We incorporated all the feedback we received from our customers on the need for an easy to use, maintain, and operate aircraft that is capable of operating on both land and at sea.”
“We are delighted for this SBIR Phase II award and look forward to partnering with the United States Air Force Special Operations Command on this project,” said Hannan Parvizian, CEO and Co-Founder of Volansi. “Our goal is to develop technology that unburdens, equips, and increases the warfighter’s capability to successfully compete and win in any situation. We are proud to continue to contribute to the work that our brothers and sisters are doing within the United States Military.”
In a prior SBIR Phase I award, Volansi’s group 3 VTOL unmanned aerial vehicle, the VOLY C20, was successfully evaluated as an effective tool to enable resupply of the warfighter of tomorrow. Volansi’s UAVs are already in use for commercial cargo delivery projects around the world, and soon-to-begin commercial drone delivery projects launching in the United States this summer.
Why it’s important: The VTOL design of the VOLY M20 enables it to complete complex missions with minimal to zero infrastructure needs. The vehicle’s ability to land at the delivery point and return with cargo such as samples for analysis, diagnosis, or repair makes it a viable and particularly applicable product suited to the needs of the United States Air Force. Backed by the U.S. Military through both the Phase I and Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) awards, Volansi appears to have a strong lead on provisioning the next age of aerial mobility for military applications.
- USAF Agility Prime Solicitation Kicks Off
- Joby and Beta Sign Prototyping Contracts for USAF’s Agility Prime Initiative
- Volansi, Inc. Hires Former Amazon PrimeAir Co-Founder as Chief Technology Officer
Source // Volansi press release
CoMotion LAB (C-LAB) MIAMI plans to pilot innovative new mobility solutions throughout Miami-Dade County to spur growth and job creation. The launch of C-LAB MIAMI was announced at the two day web-broadcasted conference this week from June 30th through July 1st. The conference featured aerial mobility and future of transportation talks by global mayors, leading technologists, public transport operators and...
CoMotion LAB (C-LAB) MIAMI plans to pilot innovative new mobility solutions throughout Miami-Dade County to spur growth and job creation.
The launch of C-LAB MIAMI was announced at the two day web-broadcasted conference this week from June 30th through July 1st. The conference featured aerial mobility and future of transportation talks by global mayors, leading technologists, public transport operators and venture capitalists, start-ups and established players. Two days of immersive and inspirational talks, demos, & workshops offered a path forward for cities in mobility in light of our current crisis. Speakers at CoMotion Miami featured Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos A. Giménez, LADOT General Manager Seleta Reynolds, and JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby Aviation.
C-LAB MIAMI aims to source and attract innovative ideas and technologies from around the world and test them through local proof of concepts and then develop policy recommendations in each particular focus area. C-LAB MIAMI activities are also designed to help spur economic growth and job creation as Miami-Dade and Florida begin to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez announced C-LAB MIAMI in keynote remarks opening the first edition of CoMotion MIAMI LIVE, a new annual gathering of global mobility and transit leaders. “CoMotion LAB MIAMI is designed to make our county a vibrant living lab of new mobility in order to create new services for our residents and thus jobs and economic activity,” said Mayor Gimenez in his remarks to several thousand mobility and urban leaders participating virtually from North America, Latin America and around the world.
C-LAB is designed as an advanced and connected urban playground for mobility innovation in which public rights of way in the County and in adjacent geographies are used to develop and validate new and commercially-viable transport technologies. Miami-Dade County, with its 5,500 miles of public roads, its airspace and its maritime channels, provides a complex and variegated testing geography, representative of different kinds of urban geographies throughout the United States and beyond: dense urban center, exurban sprawl, developer-led communities.
C-LAB is empowered by the Miami-Dade Department of Transportation and Public Works and other key public sector stakeholders in the county and the state to oversee mobility pilot zones and streamline administrative processes to test new mobility technologies and solutions. The first areas to be focused on in 2020/2021 are:
- Urban Air Mobility for EMS
- Smart curb management + smart infrastructure
- Decarbonizing maritime mobility in maritime and riverine cities
- New frameworks for public/private partnerships in transit (including data management and data governance)
Among the first founding members of C-LAB are some of the most important companies leading mobility and transportation innovation: Uber, HNTB, Lacuna, Joby Aviation, Via and INRIX. The NewCities Foundation, a leading global non-profit focused on city-building around the world, is also backing the initiative.
Why it’s important: CoMotion Miami had representation from over 35 countries across the globe, all striving to foster the development of future mobility infrastructure and establish regulations for new industries, including aerial mobility. CoMotion is a recurring international conference serving as a global laboratory and collaborative space for the future of urban mobility. It will continue to bring together many of the key influencers and doers that will contribute to the seamless integration in to major cities.
- CoMotion LA Recap: Sikorsky to Advance Aerial Mobility Vision
- Joby and Beta Sign Prototyping Contracts for USAF’s Agility Prime Initiative
- EHA and EASA Launch a Collaborative Conference for VTOL Tech
Source // CoMotion press release
Cuberg, a startup battery company based in Emeryville, California, has verified the performance of its cell-level battery – 369 Watt-hours per kilogram at a discharge rate of C/20. This was verified in testing at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), with Cuberg cells demonstrating a specific power of 2,000 Watts per kilogram. Cuberg’s announcement highlighted an exceptional combination of specific energy, specific...
Cuberg, a startup battery company based in Emeryville, California, has verified the performance of its cell-level battery – 369 Watt-hours per kilogram at a discharge rate of C/20. This was verified in testing at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), with Cuberg cells demonstrating a specific power of 2,000 Watts per kilogram.
Cuberg’s announcement highlighted an exceptional combination of specific energy, specific power, and cycle life in an independent testing and verification process conducted on behalf of the U.S. Department of Energy. The results, including up to 80% increase in specific energy relative to Li-ion cells of comparable high-power output, represent a major step forward in the performance and maturity of battery technology for the future of electric mobility. Online publication Sustainable Skies has analyzed Cuberg’s results in detail, and the provided charts can be found in their full writeup “Cuberg Batteries – Some Real Numbers“.
While the global market for batteries to power electric mobility is expected to reach $300B per year by 20301, increasing power demands are driving Li-ion battery technology to its physical limits on performance and safety. Cuberg’s batteries, based on its breakthrough lithium metal technology, are optimally designed for successful commercialization. The batteries deliver greatly increased range and capacity with competitive cost of ownership under realistic operating conditions. In addition, Cuberg’s batteries use a non-flammable proprietary electrolyte that provides substantial safety advantages over Li-ion batteries.
Critically, Cuberg has achieved these industry-leading results in a pouch cell using technology that capitalizes on the scale and quality of the existing Li-ion manufacturing ecosystem. These strengths will ultimately allow Cuberg to bring next-gen batteries to the automotive market, delivering significant improvements in range and cost while preserving the substantial deployed capital base of Li-ion manufacturing.
“Cuberg’s mission is to deliver next-gen batteries to power the rise of electric mobility, and an essential part of our strategy is to achieve independent verification and transparency of our results,” said Richard Wang, co-founder and CEO of Cuberg. “We are gratified to receive this verification by INL of the industry-leading performance and reliability of our technology, and excited to be working with our customers to begin full-scale flight testing in their aircrafts in the next year.”
Three key battery performance measures need to be optimized in balance for successful aviation commercialization: specific energy, which allows for longer flight times and ranges at a given weight; specific power output, which enables greater aircraft weights and payload capacity; and cycle life, which impacts cost of ownership. INL’s testing on Cuberg’s 5-Ah (amp-hour) battery cells indicated specific energy of 369 Wh/kg, specific power of 2,000 W/kg, and 370 cycles with C/2 charging before the cells reached end of life at an 80% capacity cut-off. Batteries providing in excess of 350 Wh/kg of specific energy represent a critical threshold for the electric aviation market. Cuberg is the first company to successfully combine this level of energy with high power and competitive cycle life under realistic operating conditions. Full testing results can be seen here.
Why it’s important: As emphasized by Liangbing Hu, the Herbert Rabin Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Materials Innovation, Materials Science, and Engineering at the University of Maryland, “the delivery of highly efficient, cost-effective and safe battery technology at scale is essential to enable the future of electric mobility. Passing the 350 Wh/kg threshold under realistic operating conditions is an important advancement and an impressive achievement.” Cuberg’s announcement represents a major milestone in the advancement of battery performance and maturity for the future of electrified aerial mobility.
- Cuberg’s Battery Produces 70% Increase in Flight Time for Drones
- OXIS Energy to Develop Lightweight Battery Cell for Bye Aerospace eFlyer
Sources // Cuberg Press Release; Sustainable Skies
The race will demonstrate the latest advancements in the Airspeeder’s hovering and maneuvering technology, and hopefully boost tourism to Coober Pedy, which has seen visitor numbers plunge during the COVID-19 pandemic. To many it may sound futuristic, but international startup Alauda Racing says it will host a full-scale flying car race in remote South Australia before the end of the year....
The race will demonstrate the latest advancements in the Airspeeder’s hovering and maneuvering technology, and hopefully boost tourism to Coober Pedy, which has seen visitor numbers plunge during the COVID-19 pandemic.
To many it may sound futuristic, but international startup Alauda Racing says it will host a full-scale flying car race in remote South Australia before the end of the year. Airspeeder has been developing the cars, which use drone technology to hover and maneuver above ground. The startup’s co-founder, Matt Pearson, said despite the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 was a big year for the industry. “With electric aviation, with the drone industry, with the autonomous vehicle industry boom — all the technology that makes autonomous electric cars possible, are making the electric flying cars industry,” he said in a recent interview.
The Alauda Airspeeder is a small single seater eVTOL designed for racing. According to Pearson, the vehicle is best described as a cross between an F1 car and a racing drone, and is capable of flying up to 124mph. Approximately one year ago, Alauda’s unmanned prototype of the speeder took to the skies at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in Sussex, UK. Watch the Alauda video below:
Although Alauda experienced some technical difficulties with the Airspeeder at Goodwood, the Alauda team still plans on debuting races in 2020. Said Pearson, “with early technology, these things happen.” The Alauda team explained that the error, which caused the prototype to briefly lose control, would have been impossible in a manned aircraft.
He also was able to provide more details about what we can expect to see in Coober Pedy later this year and in the near future. The race will be a display for the public, demonstrating two remote-controlled cars being put through their paces. It will be a while however, before the vehicles have drivers in them. Airspeeder has approval from the Civil Aviation Safety Authority to fly large scale, commercial drones, but is yet to negotiate a license to fly people. We’re working on that with the authorities — so not yet, but it is in process and we hope very soon we’ll have that possibility,” Mr. Pearson said.
Why it’s important: Australia has provided impressive support and infrastructure for many aerial mobility startups to begin testing their platforms in a controlled environment. Even Google and Amazon have chosen Australia for their test programs because of fairly advanced regulations. Alauda Racing hopes to capitalize on this opportunity to demonstrate a unique application of eVTOL technology that most have never fathomed possible. As an added benefit, this race is likely to draw tourism to the small town of Coober Pedy. With an extraterrestrial-style landscape, Coober Pedy will make for a thrilling backdrop to watch one of the world’s first flying car races.
Source // ABC News
While commercial aviation continues to feel the impact of COVID-19, Baillie Gifford signals its confidence in the future of transportation with a $35 million investment in aerial mobility vehicle startup, Lilium. Munich-based Lilium is an aviation company developing an emissions-free regional air mobility service. It has designed and prototyped the Lilium Jet, a brand-new type of aircraft that will enable it...
While commercial aviation continues to feel the impact of COVID-19, Baillie Gifford signals its confidence in the future of transportation with a $35 million investment in aerial mobility vehicle startup, Lilium.
Munich-based Lilium is an aviation company developing an emissions-free regional air mobility service. It has designed and prototyped the Lilium Jet, a brand-new type of aircraft that will enable it to deliver regional journeys that are considerably faster than rail or road, yet competitive in price. The demonstrator aircraft first flew in 2019 and is a five-seater, fully-electric aircraft that can take-off and land vertically (eVTOL). Lilium expects to service a sizeable global market demand by connecting communities at a fraction of the cost of conventional high-speed infrastructure, with zero operating emissions.
On Tuesday, Lilium welcomed respected investment management partnership, Baillie Gifford, as a new investor. Known for their track record of investing in high-impact technology companies such as Amazon, Tesla, Airbnb, Spotify and SpaceX, the partnership has invested $35m in the company, extending the current funding round to more than $275m, and total investment to date to more than $375m.
The news comes less than three months after Lilium confirmed it had received $240m in additional funding from existing investors including Atomico, Freigeist, LGT and Tencent, who led the investment round. Combined, these funds will support the further development of the Lilium Jet as well as underpinning preparations for serial production in Lilium’s newly-completed manufacturing facilities.
Commenting on the new investment, Christopher Delbrück, Chief Financial Officer, Lilium, said: “Baillie Gifford is one of the world’s most influential tech investors and their commitment to Lilium represents a significant vote of confidence in both our physical product and our business case.
“We look forward to working closely with Baillie Gifford as we seek to bring emissions-free, regional air mobility to the market as early as 2025.
“The funds raised during this round give us the security to weather the challenging economic landscape we see around us and we’re grateful to be able to stay fully focused on our mission.”
Commenting on their investment, Michael Pye, Investment Manager at Baillie Gifford, said: “We are delighted to support the remarkable team at Lilium in their ambition of developing a new mode of transport.
“While still at an early stage, we believe this technology could have profound and far-reaching benefits in a low-carbon future and we are excited to watch Lilium’s progress in the years ahead.”
Why it’s important: The aerial mobility industry is proving to be robust in these otherwise turbulent times for the aviation and transportation industries. Lilium, in particular, has boasted strong funding round results, and recently announced that it will resume flight testing after its employees spent over two months working off-site due to the global impacts of COVID-19.
Source // Lilium Media Release