Wisk Resumes Flight Testing with Self-Flying Air Taxi

Wisk - sustainable aviation

All-electric, eVTOL aircraft, Cora, returns to flight in the U.S. and New Zealand

JUN 10TH, 2020

MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA AND WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND – – Wisk, the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) company behind the world’s first all-electric, self-flying air taxi, Cora, announced today that it has resumed flight testing in both the U.S. and in New Zealand.

The flight tests will evaluate the performance of the aircraft in a real world environment, while collecting data that will help inform the further development, operation, safety features and certification of the aircraft.

“We are excited to resume test flights following a brief pause due to COVID-19,” said Gary Gysin, CEO of Wisk. “The team’s dedication over the past few months has allowed us to remain focused on critical non-flight areas, such as certification, software development, and operations. This has allowed us to maintain momentum during this unique time. But it’s awesome to be flying again.”

Flight tests had been temporarily paused due to shelter-in-place restrictions resulting from the Coronavirus pandemic. Prior to the pandemic, the company had completed more than 1300 test flights expanding the flight envelope, providing data for model, design, and requirements updates, and maturing procedures to operate the aircraft safely and efficiently.

Wisk - sustainable aviation

“Our first priority has always been safety, both for our employees and in the development of our aircraft,” said Carl Engel, Director, Flight Test for Wisk. “As we return to flight testing, we have implemented a number of procedures and social distancing measures based on best practices and recommendations from local and national health and government organizations.”

Sourcewisk.aero

PIPISTREL OBTAINS FIRST EVER TYPE CERTIFICATE FOR AN ELECTRIC AEROPLANE FROM EASA

Pipistrel Velis Electro

The Pipistrel Velis Electro is the world’s first fully electric aeroplane ever to receive type certification. The two-seater, intended primarily for pilot training, is a game-changing aircraft in terms of technological innovations and cost-efficiency. Its EASA certification paves the way for the future of environmentally sustainable, emission-free aviation.

AJDOVŠČINA, SLOVENIA – June 10, 2020: After years of intensive research and several successful award-winning electric aircraft models developed since 2007, Pipistrel has today achieved a breakthrough feat in aviation history, having type certified the battery powered Velis Electro. Working in tight collaboration with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, whose engagement was essential to reaching this unprecedented milestone, Pipistrel demonstrated that its new Velis Electro achieves the highest levels of safety.

The beginning of a new era

Conceived as a fundamental part of the ‘Velis Training System’, the Velis Electro was designed to be simple to operate and maintain, without compromising safety. Employing Pipistrel’s type certified electric engine, the Velis Electro delivers power instantly and without hesitation – using a simplified user interface in a cockpit that maintains the same look-and-feel of its conventionally powered siblings. The reduced number of moving parts dramatically decreases maintenance costs and the risk of malfunctions is further minimized thanks to its built-in continuous health-monitoring system.

This enhanced reliability allows the Velis Electro to have more than double the lifespan of powertrain elements in comparison to the previous generation of electric aeroplanes.

The revolutionary powertrain is entirely liquid-cooled, including the batteries, and demonstrated the ability to withstand faults, battery thermal runaway events, and crash loads as part of the certification process.

The overall result of all these breakthrough innovations is a drastic reduction in the operating costs, significantly contributing to the affordability of pilot training.

“The type certification of the Pipistrel Velis Electro is the first step towards the commercial use of electric aircraft, which is needed to make emission-free aviation feasible. It is considerably quieter than other aeroplanes and produces no combustion gases at all,” said Mr Ivo Boscarol, founder and CEO of Pipistrel Aircraft. “It confirms and provides optimism, also to other electric aircraft designers, that the Type Certificate of electric engines and aeroplanes is possible. The engine, which Pipistrel type certified separately, is also available to other aircraft OEMs. For Pipistrel, this achievement injects additional motivation for the future eVTOL and multi‑seat hydrogen-powered projects. Pipistrel is especially thankful to all our customers for their confidence in our products, which allows us to continue developing these innovative aircraft,” he added.

Mr Dominique Roland, Head of the General Aviation Department at EASA, expressed: “For EASA, the type certification of this aircraft marks a significant dual milestone: on 18th of May 2020 we type certified its engine as the first electric engine – now we have followed up with the first type certification of a plane flying that engine. This was a truly ground-breaking project which has yielded many learnings for the future certification of electric engines and aircraft, undoubtedly a growth area in coming years in line with the aims of environmental protection.

“It should also be noted that this innovative product was, despite the many challenging aspects, certified in less than 3 years, showing the excellent work performed by Pipistrel and the EASA teams. Finally, it is worth mentioning that the certification team was composed of EASA staff, but included experts from the Swiss and French authorities, in order to prepare and facilitate the entry into service of the Velis Electro in these two countries.”

Mr Paolo Romagnolli, Head of Engineering at Pipistrel, highlighted the technical excellence: “The Velis Electro project has been one of those engineering challenges we like at Pipistrel. EASA Type Certificate is an uncompromised affirmation of the safety of the design. Having achieved this with a relatively small team is proof that young, talented, and motivated professionals can bring innovation into reality. Completing the work nobody else has ever done before makes us all very proud of being members of this engineering team.”

Ready to fly

Pipistrel will deliver the first 31 Velis Electro to customers in 7 different countries already in 2020. Mr Marc B. Corpataux, the launch customer for the Velis Electro, commented: “AlpinAirPlanes GmbH is very proud to be given the great opportunity by Pipistrel to be part of this game-changing journey. With more than 400 flight hours and 25 pilots introduced to the predecessor Alpha Electro, we are convinced of the suitability of electric flight in the daily flight school environment. Initially, we will distribute 12 aircraft on 10 airfields over Switzerland. Each base will be equipped with 150 m2 of photovoltaic panels, producing electricity for 12,000 flight hours per year on the Velis Electro. We are happy to offer the most environmental friendly training possible.”

For any inquiries regarding the acquisition of the Velis Electro or any other Pipistrel product, please contact: sales@pipistrel-aircraft.com.

About Pipistrel

Pipistrel is a world-leading small aircraft designer and manufacturer, specialized in energy-efficient and affordable high-performance aircraft. With more than 30 years of experience, Pipistrel has produced more than 2200 aircraft to-date, gaining significant international reputation by delivering unique, innovative products to passionate customers on all continents. First-to-fly an electric two-seater in 2007 and the winner of the NASA Green Flight Challenge in 2011 with the World’s first electric four-seat aeroplane, Pipistrel has designed nine different experimental and serially produced electric aircraft. It has also developed propulsion systems, including batteries, power controllers and electric motors, for small and general aviation class of aircraft for NASA and Siemens, among others. With involvement in standardisation committees, i.e. ASTM F44.40, F39.05, SAE AE7-D, Pipistrel is helping to enable the future market of hybrid-electric aviation.

Pipistrel is the only company in the world currently selling four different electric aircraft models; the Taurus Electro, Alpha Electro and Alpha electro LC are now being complemented by the EASA type certified Velis Electro.

Pipistrel Vertical Solutions, the company’s R&D division, holds an EASA Design Organisation Approval and has the capability of bringing a new aircraft design concept from a basic idea into a certified design, ready for production. The division is also developing electric and hybrid-electric eVTOL air taxi and unmanned cargo delivery UAVs, as well as a hydrogen fuel-cell powered 19-seat miniliner/microfeeder, aimed at revolutionising the intra-European transport market.

Source: Pipistrel

Commercial plant for hydrogen-based renewable aviation fuel

IASA: Nachhaltige Luftfahrt - Sustainable Aviation

Norsk e-Fuel is planning Europe’s first commercial plant for hydrogen-based renewable aviation fuel in Norway

  • Leading industry consortium joins forces to make unlimited renewable fuel a reality to achieve climate-neutral transportation
  • Norsk e-fuel is generating renewable fuels from CO2 & water using 100% renewable electricity
  • Located in Herøya, Porsgrunn the output of the first plant will provide enough to cut CO2 emissions of the top five domestic aviation routes in Norway in half

Oslo/Dresden/Zurich/Luxembourg/Stavanger – Norsk e-Fuel AS, the new European industry consortium headquartered in Oslo, has announced to industrialize Power-to-Liquid technology (PtL) in Norway for the European Market.

The new state-of-the-art project will allow the conversion of Norway’s extensive renewable electricity resources into renewable fuels.

The joint venture making the industrial production of renewable fuels possible is composed of four partners: Sunfire GmbH, the world’s leading PtL-technology provider; Climeworks AG, the pioneer in CO2 air capture technology; Paul Wurth SA (SMS group), a leading international EPC company for steel manufacturers and the green investment company Valinor, parent company of Norsk Vind, the largest private wind power developer in Norway.

“We are proud to have the best industry players including our Norwegian business partners on our side to realize this important project” said Norsk e-Fuel General Manager, Karl Hauptmeier. “Together, we combine the necessary corporate strengthwith the most advanced and efficient technologies to convert Norway’s extensive resources of wind- and hydropower into renewable fuels.”

At present, the European transport sector is still heavily reliant on fossil fuels. Especially for hard-toelectrify sectors such as the aviation industry, this new project holds the promise for a radical change towards climate-neutral transportation. Using a single step co-electrolysis process, the innovative technologies of Sunfire and Climeworks convert renewable electricity, water and CO2 captured from ambient air and unavoidable CO2 sources into syngas.

Renewable fuels, such as jet fuel, are then produced through further processing and refining. The certified end products can be used directly in existing infrastructures. “The potential for this project is staggering. Norsk e-fuel makes the supply of renewable fuel possible on a scale that is larger than has ever been achieved before – something that is crucial if we are to make global transportation truly sustainable. We are glad to contribute our direct air capture technology and know-how to help create renewable crude together with our partners.”, adds Climeworks co-founder and co-CEO Christoph Gebald.

The first plant with a production capacity of 10 million liters annually will go into operation in 2023. This plant will be upscaled 10-fold to produce 100 million liters of renewable fuel before 2026. The Herøya plant will then save 250 000 tonnes of CO2 emissions from industries such as the aviation industry every year.

The upscaled, industrial sized plant will then serve as blueprint for a nationwide roll-out of the project. “To put this in perspective, only one industrial scale plant will already provide enough blended renewable fuel for the top five domestic aviation routes in Norway combined (Oslo-Trondheim, OsloBergen, Oslo-Stavanger, Oslo-Tromso and Oslo-Bodo). This would effectively cut the current flight emissions between these cities by about 50 %.” explains Lars Helge Helvig, Founder of Valinor and Chairman of Norsk Vind.

The planning of the first plant to be located at Herøya Industry Park in Porsgrunn is already well underway. In addition to its vital infrastructure, the location in Herøya offers sufficient space for the planned upscaling. Other locations for the following nationwide roll out have already been identified.

Besides of generating a large number of jobs both locally and nationally, the Norsk e-Fuel initiative will be a catalyst for the creation of a new clean energy business sector in Norway. “Climate change and rising costs for CO2 emissions result in a growing market for renewable solutions.

This new project holds broad possibilities for Norway and Europe, offering the key to a deeper decarbonisation than has ever been possible before. The energy transition is already progressing quickly in consumer facing sectors – it is time for the industry to step up and bring technologies to scale to decarbonize the sectors that power our societies behind the scenes.” says Georges Rassel, CEO of Paul Wurth.

Source: Norsk e-Fuel

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