Flying at the highest altitude with a lithium-sulfur battery

electric aviation

LG Chem has succeeded in flying at the highest altitude with a lithium-sulfur battery for the first time in Korea

Loaded a lithium-sulfur battery on a solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle (EAV-3) developed by Korea Aerospace Research Institute

– Conducted a first flight test using a lithium-sulfur battery in Korea

■ Confirmed a stable charge/discharge function of a lithium-sulfur battery in the extreme environment of the stratosphere

– Flied with a stable output even at 70 degrees below zero and atmospheric pressure of 1/25 of one at ground level

■ CTO / President Kisu Ro,

“LG Chem will consolidate its position as the leading firm in the global battery market by focusing on research and development of the next generation battery sector.”

 

LG Chem has succeeded in flight testing of an unmanned vehicle at the highest altitude using the next generation battery for the first time in Korea.

In respect of this LG Chem announced that a high-altitude long-endurance solar-powered unmanned vehicle (EAV-3) developed by Korea Aerospace Research Institute has successfully finished flight testing in the environment of the stratosphere using its lithium-sulfur battery, on 10.

* Stratosphere: it is an atmospheric layer ranging from 12-50km altitude between the troposphere (the ground – 12km) and the mesosphere (50-80km).

EAV-3 is a small aircraft which can fly in the stratospheric altitude of 12km or higher for a long period of time using solar energy and batteries. It charges energy using a solar cell placed on the top of the wing. During the daytime, it flies utilizing a solar cell and battery power as a source of energy and during the night time, it utilizes battery power charged during the day time. It has wings of 20m long and a body of 9m long.

On 30 August, LG Chem loaded a lithium-sulfur battery on EAV-3 at the Aviation Center of Korea Aerospace Research Institute in Goheung and conducted flight testing approximately for 13 hours from 08:36AM to 09:47PM. LG Chem is the first company in Korea which conducted flight testing using a lithium-sulfur battery.

Especially, EAV-3 flew in the altitude of 22kms, which is unprecedented for a domestic unmanned aircraft, and achieved a new record of flying at the highest attitude in the stratosphere in Korea. Also, it flew for 7 hours out of a total of 13 flight hours with a stable output in the stratospheric altitude of 12-22km where a general aircraft cannot fly.

This fight testing is highly significant as it confirmed a stable charge/discharge function of a lithium-sulfur battery, the next generation battery in the extreme environment of the stratosphere with a low temperature of 70 degrees below zero and atmospheric pressure of 1/25 of one at ground level, which is close to a vacuum state.

A lithium-sulfur battery is one of the next generation batteries which will replace a lithium-ion battery, and its energy density is 1.5 times higher than the existing lithium-ion battery, which has a high energy density per weight, as it uses lightweight materials such as sulfur and carbon compounds for anode materials and lithium metal, etc. for cathode materials. The merit of the lithium-sulfur battery is that it is lighter and more competitive in terms of price compared to the existing lithium-ion battery as it does not use rare metals.

Also, it is considered as a key component that would determine the function of the future transportation such as electronic cars as well as long-endurance drones and personal aircraft, etc. and many countries in the world are competing intensely for the development of the same.

For a year and 6 months, LG Chem Future Technology Research Center’s Innovative Battery Project Team has conducted research on the development of a lithium-sulfur battery in the low temperature and atmospheric pressure by creating the extreme environment similar to the stratosphere, and could successfully complete this flight testing based on such research.

LG Chem plans to demonstrate a long-endurance flight that lasts more than a number of days by producing additional trial products of lithium-sulfur batteries in the future. Moreover, it plans to mass-produce a lithium-sulfur battery that has an energy density more than twice that of the present lithium-ion battery after 2025.

Kisu Ro, the CTO/President of LG Chem, mentioned “LG Chem has proved that it has the world’s best technology in the sector of the next generation battery with a high energy density from this flight testing” and “it will consolidate its position as the leading firm in the global battery market by focusing on research and development of the next generation battery sector”.

Source: LG Chem

PIPISTREL NUUVA SERIES OF CARGO EVTOL AIRCRAFT

Aviation-NT

PIPISTREL BEGINS TO ACCEPT ORDERS FOR NUUVA SERIES OF CARGO EVTOL AIRCRAFT

The flagship Nuuva V300 is a revolutionary long-range large-capacity heavy-weight autonomous eVTOL UAV for logistics and aerial cargo delivery. It operates 10x more economically than today’s helicopters, requires no runways, and brings enhanced safety and reliability using type-certified electric engines. The convenience of the smaller Nuuva V20 also unlocks last-mile delivery missions.

AJDOVŠČINA, SLOVENIA – 1 September 2020: Pipistrel, the pioneer of Type Certified electric aviation, is presenting the Nuuva V300 as the flagship model of the Nuuva series of unmanned air vehicles (UAV). This one‑of‑a‑kind aircraft embodies our vision to disrupt aerial cargo transportation by commercializing the use of electrical vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles. The highly customizable autonomous aircraft can carry up to 460 kg, is easy and economical to operate, and offers the efficiency and reliability of electric powertrains. Entry into service is planned for the second half of 2023.

Currently, precious cargo is delivered to many locations around the world with helicopters, which are excellent for hovering but much less efficient in cruise flight, as they rely solely on their rotor(s) to provide the necessary lift. Their complex flight mechanics also results in a high number of moving parts, requiring frequent maintenance and inspection, further increasing the costs of operation.

The Nuuva family combines the best of both aeroplane and helicopter air cargo transportation principles. The unmanned eVTOL capability enables it to go where no aeroplane is able to, while its hybrid configuration allows it to operate at a fraction of the cost of a helicopter on an equivalent mission. The Nuuva V300, with its simplicity, efficiency, and autonomy, is targeting to deliver a 10x improvement in economics to the operator.

Reliable and simple to operate

The large cargo compartment accepts up to 3 Euro-pallets (EPAL) that can be easily loaded with a regular forklift. The Nuuva V300 then flies a preloaded flight plan fully autonomously, controlled by a highly reliable digital flight control system. Continuous communication allows the ground operator, who manages the vehicle with simple mouse-clicks, to have ultimate control in case of changes or cancellation of the flight.

The Nuuva V300 takes-off and lands using eight independent battery-powered Pipistrel E-811 electric engines, already Type Certified. The whole system is safeguarded by the integrated health self‑monitoring system that alerts of any potential malfunction even before it occurs, increasing the reliability and safety. Nuuva V300’s batteries can be charged by simply plugging-in to a SkyChargeTM by Pipistrel and Green Motion charging station.

A dependable and proven internal combustion engine in the aft fuselage powers the aircraft in cruise flight, offering unbeatable fuel economy and low maintenance costs. A unique tandem-wing configuration with fly-by-wire control surfaces boosts the aerodynamic efficiency and reduces the landing footprint of the vehicle, while assuring a wide centre-of-gravity margin.

Flexibility at a low cost

The Nuuva V300 can be customized for a wide range of missions. For operators that prioritize longer range, the vehicle’s payload capacity and anti-ice capabilities can be traded-off for more usable fuel, being able to transport 50-kg payload for as far as 2,500 km – all this without compromising the ability to take-off and land vertically from altitudes as high as 8,000 ft. At lower take-off altitudes and with shorter mission requirements, the payload can be increased to up to 460 kg, beating the coveted 1,000 lb threshold.

Nuuva V20, the last-mile delivery shuttle

The smaller sibling of the Nuuva family, the V20, shares the same architecture and advantages of the larger V300 but is designed as a lightweight cargo courier carrying payloads of up to 20 kg. First customers will be able to take deliveries as early as 2021.

Integrate the Nuuva aircraft into your business

Pipistrel encourages prospective customers, operators, and investors to discuss customization options, further developments, and purchase possibilities. If you would like to know more about the Nuuva solutions and how they can adapt to your business, visit the Nuuva V300 page and fill the contact form. A Pipistrel representative will contact you soon.

 

Source: PIPISTREL

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

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