Aiming to fulfill its vision of building a comprehensive Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) ecosystem, Hyundai’s subsidiary Supernal has announced that it will be developing a longer range, hydrogen-powered short take-off and landing aircraft in addition to the SA-1 eVTOL that is already in development.
Many companies the world over are beginning to realize the potential of distributed electric propulsion technology to fill a market need for sustainable and cost-effective regional air transportation in addition to in-city vertical take-off and landing services. These companies, several of which are launching the United States including Electra.aero, Metro Hop, and Airflow, argue that these new aircraft, many of which are capable of taking off and landing within 100 feet, could replace regional aircraft that fulfill logistics and eCommerce needs for middle-mile transportation.
The new aircraft from Supernal, which will be released after its main eVTOL aircraft SA-1 (seen above), aims to be able to fly around 1,000 kilometers per flight, and will be powered by hydrogen fuel cells rather than purely by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
A new aircraft development unit of Hyundai in Korea, the ‘Korea Advanced Air Mobility’ unit, will be primarily responsible for this new aircraft. Hyundai plans on launching a regional aerial mobility network with this aircraft starting in Seoul, Korea, around 2030.
No renderings of the new aircraft have been released yet, but Supernal senior manager Yesh Premkumar emphasized Hyundai’s holistic approach to Advanced Aerial mobility by saying: “We looked at multiple ways of solving the problem. For the short-range model, batteries emerged as the best solution because of their existing use in the automotive field. For the long-range aircraft, Hyundai chose hydrogen fuel cells in the context of its existing experience with the technology. The company currently makes about 10,000 fuel cells a year for automotive applications.”
Why it’s important: This latest move by Hyundai represents the company’s intention to create a fully comprehensive aerial mobility ecosystem rather than only one aircraft. The company recognizes that there will be a market need for both short range eVTOL services and for long range intercity services, and seeks to be a provider for all areas of the market.
Source // Future Flight.aero