All posts by Ross Piscoran

Bell, subsidiary of Textron Inc, has partnered with two Japanese companies in the development of eVTOL prototypes for the future. This week the company announced partnerships with both Sumitomo Corp. and Japan Airlines as part of its mobility-as-a-service offerings, or MaaS. Bell is no stranger to the aerial mobility space with its extensive industry partnerships with Uber and its most...

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Bell Nexus 4EX prototype unveiled at CES

Jameel Investment Management Company (JIMCO), the investment arm of Abdul Latif Jameel, has announced its participation in a Series C round of funding for California-based startup Joby Aviation, which recently raised an additional $590 million in capital. Joby has attracted several big names in the automotive, aerospace, and financial sectors in its recent round of funding including Toyota Motor Corporation,...

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Joby Aviation's aircraft prototype

AutoFlightX Added to TDK Venture’s CVC Fund

02 February 2020 || 4 min read

TDK Corporation’s subsidiary, TDK Ventures Inc. has added AutoFlightX to its venture capital portfolio. TDK focuses on demanding markets in the areas of information and communication technology and automotive, industrial and consumer electronics. The company has a network of design and manufacturing locations and sales offices in Asia, Europe, and in North and South America. In fiscal 2019, TDK posted...

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AutoFlightX V600 prototype

Next month, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) will outline the certification process for eVTOL OEM’s to receive type certifications for their prototypes under the new Special Conditions VTOL rules.  This proposal will outline the critical regulations and rules eVTOL manufacturers must adhere to in achieving type certificates. It is expected as the technology advances towards commercialization that newer...

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EASA's headquarters in Cologne, Germany.

Joby Aviation to Build New Factory in California

19 January 2020 || 4 min read

Joby Aviation, backed by Uber, plans to build a large manufacturing facility in Marina, CA The flying car company recently opened a 30 day period for public comment and the release of environmental reviews surrounding its plans to develop a factory at the Marina Municipal Airport. The move could bring up to 600 tech jobs to the region and be...

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EHang conducted its first-ever U.S. trial flight of its two-seater passenger-grade AAV, the EHang 216 on January 7, as part of the North Carolina Transportation Summit hosted by the state’s department of transportation. This represents the first time that the EHang 216 has received flight approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). While this was a non-passenger flight, EHang is working...

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SkyDrive Tests Heavy-Duty Delivery Drone

05 January 2020 || 3 min read

SkyDrive, a Japanese flying car developer, completed its first tests flights in late 2019 and demonstrated carrying a heavy payload (44 pounds) in a remote location. SkyDrive is developing the cargo drone for use in industries that carry heavy materials on complex terrain such as slopes, mountain valleys, overpasses, power transmission towers, civil engineering/construction sites, agricultural fields, etc. Usage of...

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The FAA has laid the groundwork for expanded UAS operation beyond line-of-sight The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today announced a proposed rule that would continue the safe integration of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), commonly called drones, into the nation’s airspace by requiring them to be identifiable remotely. “Remote ID technologies will enhance safety and security by...

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Wing (left), AirMap (center), and UASidekick (right) remote ID applications visualize 6 unique drone operations across multiple USS. Image courtesy of Wing.

Skyryse is a Hawthorne, CA based startup with aspirations of developing semi-autonomous helicopters. To date, the company has raised $38M and has talent from across the aerospace and automotive industries from the likes of Airbus, Boeing, Ford, SpaceX, Tesla, and Uber, among others. The Silicon Valley firm was founded in 2016 and retrofits existing helicopters with semi-autonomous features meant to...

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Harbour Air has partnered with MagniX to make electrically powered flight a reality Earlier this week, the first all-electric seaplane completed its first flight in Richmond, British Columbia under a special partnership between Harbour Air and MagniX. The airplane is a retrofitted de Havilland DHC-2 Beaver with a 750-horsepower (560 kW) Magni500 propulsion system.  With the sun hanging low over...

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EHang is one step closer to realizing its aerial mobility vision EHang today announced its strategic partnership with property developer Heli Chuangxin Real Estate Co. Ltd. to build out an urban air mobility (UAM) demonstration project in Guangzhou. This is a major milestone as EHang prepares for the launch of commercial operations of its much-anticipated autonomous flying taxis. Under the...

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2 EHang passenger-grade AAVs performed simultaneous flight in the downtown area and CBD of Guangzhou city, near the landmark of Canton Tower and LIEDE Bridge where are must-see sightseeing place for all tourists in Guangzhou.

Airbus Invests in Amprius for its Zephyr Project

18 November 2019 || 6 min read

Advanced energy storage capability will be a key technological enabler for aerial mobility and major OEMs are beginning to notice. Airbus has selected Ampirus Inc. of Fremont, CA to power its Zephyr project. Zephyr is a light, unmanned platform which made its first flight in 2014 and operates at high altitudes and low speeds for several weeks at a time....

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Airbus has selected Amprius to power its Zephyr prototype and research battery technology for its aerial mobility programs.

JetPack secures funding to build a futuristic flying motorcycle JetPack has raised a seed round of $2 million from investors indulging Draper Associates, Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn, YC, Cathexis Ventures and a group of angels that it says will fund the development of the Speeder’s first functional prototype. Earlier this month, we reported on a competitor, Aviator Cycles, debuting its own...

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Hyundai to Develop Flying Car by 2023

11 November 2019 || 4 min read

Chung Euisun, executive vice chairman at Hyundai Motor Group, has vowed that the auto group will develop its own flying car technology by 2023 and commercialize air taxi service by 2029. Chung Euisun, Executive Vice Chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, has unveiled lofty ambitions of the Korean auto giant taking on aerial mobility at last week’s Mobility Innovators Forum 2019...

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Chung Euisun, executive vice chairman at Hyundai Motor Group, unveiled its plans for UAM at the Mobility Innovators Forum 2019 in San Francisco.

OXIS Energy and Bye Aerospace have begun a 12-month collaborative program announced in late July that seeks to achieve a 50% to 100% increase in flight time from a single charge on Bye Aerospace eAircraft. OXIS has developed an innovative Lithium Sulfur (Li-S) battery technology that offers significant benefits to aviation markets. Compared to existing Li-ion battery systems technology, the...

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eFlyer artist rendering. Source: Bye Aerospace