Hyundai Motor to Accelerate Urban Air Mobility Test Flights

Hyundai air taxi

Hyundai Motor to Accelerate Urban Air Mobility Test Flights in Partnership with Incheon Airport, Hyundai Construction, KT

Offenbach, 21 September 2020 – Hyundai Motor Company is partnering with Incheon International Airport Corp. (IIAC), Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co. and KT Corp. to accelerate the development of Urban Air Mobility (UAM) and work together to conduct test flights. With a memorandum of understanding signed on September 18, the four parties will work toward commercializing UAM by 2028.

In June 2020, the Korean government announced the Korean UAM Roadmap, outlining steps needed to commercialize UAM. Hyundai Motor and its partners will align with the roadmap that includes the Korean UAM Grand Challenge, the public-private joint demonstration project that provides the basis for jointly studying the construction and operation of vertiports, airports for UAMs.

Hyundai will push forward developing the UAM business and securing business cases while IIAC will work to establish the infrastructure and study feasibility of utilizing UAM as airport shuttles. Hyundai Construction will utilize its expertise to build vertiports as well as the transit hub that will connect UAM to other public transportations. KT will set up the communications infrastructure and make business cases for UAM as a mobility service. All four parties will be sharing necessary information during the development as well as jointly working on test flights.

“The breadth and depth of this partnership shows what it will take to build a comprehensive UAM ecosystem to serve megacities like Seoul,” said Jaiwon Shin, Executive Vice President and Head of Urban Air Mobility Division at Hyundai Motor. “Building a robust infrastructure and business model is just as important as developing innovative UAM vehicles. This partnership demonstrates Hyundai’s commitment to facilitating progress for humanity by ushering in a new era of urban air mobility that will revolutionize transportation.”

At CES 2020, Hyundai unveiled its innovative vision for urban mobility and its first concept Urban Air Mobility vehicle equipped with eVTOL. More information on Hyundai’s announcement at CES 2020 can be found here.

Source: Hyundai

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 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

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