Electro.Aero – World’s first high voltage charger designed for light aircraft

electric aviation

Press Release 23rd October 2019

World’s first high voltage charger designed for light aircraft delivered from Australian company Electro.Aero to US company Ampaire

Electro.Aero is pleased to announce that Los Angeles-based electric aircraft company Ampaire is the launch customer for our new RAPID Charger 30kW aircraft charging system. This system is the world’s first high voltage charger specifically designed for aviation use, to charge batteries up to 1 kV.

Electro.Aero Charger RAPID 30 is a compact and portable charger for electric light aviation. Setting the benchmark for the new SAE International AS6968 standard for electric aircraft charging, the RAPID 30 can deliver a full 30 kW of power over a wide DC output voltage, from 300 V to 1 kV.

Ampaire Co-Founder and CTO Cory Combs has stated that “the Electro.Aero Charger RAPID will prove to be an invaluable asset for Ampaire’s flight demonstration efforts around the globe.”

Electro.Aero is also collaborating with Ampaire and other key industry players on worldwide charger standardization efforts via the SAE AE-7D Aircraft Energy Storage and Charging Committee. This work is culminating in the development of the AS6968 SAE Standard for Conductive Charging of Electric Aircraft.

Electro.Aero Co-Founder and CTO Joshua Portlock is “pleased to be supporting Ampaire with their electric propulsion technology and excited about the opportunity to support this emerging industry.”

Electro.Aero is committed to becoming the world leader in electric propulsion for light aviation with a rapid time-to-market for its unique technology. Electro.Aero has developed the L.E.A.P.TM integrated electric propulsion system, suitable for light aviation use. This revolutionary suite of technology includes the Charger RAPID, enabling cost-effective electric propulsion for a new generation of light aircraft.

electric aviation

Ampaire is leading the charge in aircraft electrification. The Los Angeles based company is on a mission to be the world’s most trusted developer of practical and compelling electric aircraft. To start, Ampaire is retrofitting existing passenger aircraft to electric. It’s the leanest, fastest, most capital-efficient approach to making commercial electric air travel a reality. Ampaire’s vision is to make flights more accessible to more people from more airports by providing electric aircraft that are safe, clean, quiet, and less costly to operate.

Source: Electro.Aero

Lilium releases new footage of air taxi as it completes early flight testing and builds first manufacturing facility

Lilium

MUNICH 22 October 2019: Lilium, the Munich-based startup developing a revolutionary on-demand air mobility service, has today released new footage of its all-electric Lilium Jet as it celebrates completing its first phase of flight testing, a milestone it has reached less than six months since starting its flight test campaign.

The Lilium Jet, the world’s first five-seater, all-electric, vertical take-off and landing jet, was revealed to the world in May 2019 and since then has been put through its paces at an airfield in southern Germany. The emissions-free aircraft, which will be able to complete journeys of up to 300 km in one hour on a single charge, has now been flown at speeds exceeding 100 km/h, in increasingly complex maneuvers.

The new footage reveals, for the first time, the aircraft transitioning from vertical flight to level flight. This signature maneuver, first completed just weeks after the aircraft’s maiden flight, is one of aerospace’s greatest challenges and is what gives the Lilium Jet its significant range advantage, with its two sets of wings contributing to much higher levels of efficiency than in aircraft lifted solely by rotors.

With a range of 300 km, the Lilium Jet will be capable of completing much longer journeys than the vast majority of its competitors, allowing it to connect entire regions rather than just making short trips across a single city.

The release of the footage came as the company also celebrated the completion of its first dedicated manufacturing facility, an important step towards preparing the company for serial production of the Lilium Jet.

The first manufacturing facility, a 3,000 square meter space located at the company’s headquarters, will soon be complemented by a second, much larger, facility which is already under construction at the same site. Combined, they will support Lilium’s aim of producing hundreds of aircraft a year by the time commercial services begin in 2025.

Lilium also announced an addition to its Senior Management Team, with Airbus veteran Yves Yemsi joining the team as Chief Program Officer, having worked as Head of Program Quality for the highly successful Airbus A350 aircraft.

Commenting on these milestones, Daniel Wiegand, co-founder and CEO, said: “It’s been thrilling to watch the Lilium Jet progress so rapidly and to see our first flying taxi manufacturing facility. We are taking tangible and concrete steps towards making our vision of regional air mobility a reality and we’re doing it on time.

“We believe that regional air mobility has the potential to be a remarkable force for good in society and we can’t wait for what comes next.”

Lilium

The Lilium Jet and flight testing

The Lilium Jet prototype first took to the skies at 08.03 local time on 4th May 2019. Powered by 36 all-electric jet engines, the aircraft has zero operating emissions and requires less than 10% of its maximum 2000 horsepower during horizontal cruise flight thanks to the lift generated by having two sets of wings.

Since its maiden flight, which featured a simple vertical take-off and landing, the aircraft has been undertaking increasingly complex maneuvers and longer flights. Having successfully completed more than 100 different ground and flight tests, the first phase of testing culminated with a flight that saw the aircraft travel at speeds exceeding 100 km/h.

During the first phase of testing, the aircraft also successfully completed a range of safety tests, including engine failures and flap failures, as well as fuse-blow-tests on the ground and in the air.

The aircraft, which is controlled remotely from the ground, will now move on to its second phase of testing which will look specifically at how it performs at high speeds.

With a top speed of 300 km/h the Lilium Jet is expected to shortly become the fastest all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in the world.

Commenting on the successful completion of the first phase of flight testing, Leandro Bigarella, Head of Flight Test, said: “The Lilium Jet continues to meet our expectations, delivering excellent in-flight performance and remarkably smooth transition from vertical to horizontal flight.

“That said, we take a relentless approach to improvement and, like any good testing program, we have had the chance to implement a number of refinements to the aircraft along the way.

“We are now moving into a critical stage of testing as we prepare for high speed operations and eventual certification by the relevant authorities.”

 

New production facilities

Speaking about the new production facilities at the company’s headquarters in southern Germany, Daniel Wiegand, co-founder and CEO, said: “Our ambition is to develop a world-class production facility here that will allow us to build critical parts ourselves and then deliver fully-assembled aircraft at the scale of the automotive sector but at the extremely high quality levels required in the aerospace sector.

“Having considered many locations to produce our first Lilium Jets, we felt our location in the heart of Europe was best suited to our needs, given the strength of the local aerospace supply chain.

“Having our production facility co-locate with our headquarters also makes sense at this point in our development, allowing us to maintain the rapid pace at which we are developing the Lilium Jet, from innovation through to engineering and manufacturing.”

Today, Lilium employs more than 350 people at its base in Munich, with more than 150 roles currently available across a range of disciplines. The new production facilities are expected to create up to 500 new jobs between now and 2025.

 

Yves Yemsi hired to lead aircraft program

In addition to putting in place the physical infrastructure required to deliver serial production, Lilium has also recently hired industry veteran Yves Yemsi to oversee the Lilium Jet aircraft program. As Chief Program Officer, Yves will also lead strategic procurement activities for the company.

Over the past 15 years Yves has performed a wide range of roles at Airbus, most recently as a Senior Vice President, leading Procurement for their Defence and Space division. Prior to this he was the Head of Program Quality for the highly successful Airbus A350 aircraft, which has seen industry-leading levels of reliability.

Yves’ appointment complements the existing production team at Lilium, led by Chief Manufacturing Officer, Dirk Gebser, who also joined Lilium from Airbus, having led the assembly of the A380 and A320 aircraft.

The hiring of this role completes Lilium’s Senior Management Team, following the arrival of Christopher Delbrück, formerly Chief Financial Officer at Uniper, as CFO earlier this year.

Commenting on his appointment, Yves Yemsi, Chief Program Officer, said: “I’m extremely excited to be joining another iconic aerospace company and look forward to playing my part in revolutionizing this industry. In my time at Airbus I contributed to developing the most stringent quality standards for a brand new aircraft and I look forward to doing the same at Lilium.”

Source: Lilium

Volocopter air taxi flies over Singapore’s Marina Bay

VTOL Volocopter

Singapore, 22 October 2019 – Volocopter, the pioneer in Urban Air Mobility (UAM), successfully completed its first manned flight over Singapore’s Marina Bay today. This was the last trial of a demanding test series to verify and validate the ability of Volocopter air taxis to fly over the area. Government authorities including the Ministry of Transport (MOT), the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), and the Economic Development Board (EDB) supported Volocopter in this testing phase and will continue to do so in the future. This flight kicks-off Volocopter’s efforts to bring commercial air taxi services to Singapore.

“A 2X model of the company’s test series flown by a pilot onboard was used. The flight covered a distance of approximately 1.5 km and lasted for two minutes at an average cruising height of 40 m. 

“The flight today in Singapore was the most advanced Volocopter flight yet and the piloted flight was as stable as ever. At the same time, we are showcasing a prototype of our full-scale VoloPort Infrastructure, allowing for a realistic demonstration of air taxi boarding and maintenance services. Never before have people been this close to experiencing what Urban Air Mobility in the city of tomorrow will feel like,” says Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter.

Leading up to the flight, the aircraft had undergone intensive testing in Germany for several months. Following which, a rigorous flight test program to verify the Volocopter 2X aircraft performance under local environment was conducted at Seletar Airport in accordance with CAAS.

“Since late 2018, the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) has been working with Volocopter to facilitate this flight in Singapore. The Volocopter team went through a series of stringent evaluations to ensure that all the necessary safety requirements were met before the flight was allowed to take place. By working closely with companies such as Volocopter, we hope to facilitate innovations for beneficial uses whilst ensuring aviation and public safety,” said Mr. Ho Yuen Sang, Director (Aviation Industry) from CAAS.

“Volocopter’s decision to testbed its innovative air taxi in Singapore is testament to the opportunities and environment that Singapore provides. The Singapore Economic Development Board hopes to be an enabling partner for companies developing new mobility technologies such as autonomous vehicles and urban aerial mobility. We are happy to support Volocopter in their development plans and hope that this is a first step towards the creation of more exciting business and job opportunities in Singapore,” said Mr. Tan Kong Hwee, Assistant Managing Director, EDB.

At the ITSWC, Volocopter and their partner Skyports built the first VoloPort prototype on the floating dock in Marina Bay. VoloPorts are the only physical infrastructure required for air taxis and they are one important step to commencing operations in cities. They are designed to provide passengers with a seamless air taxi experience that is safe, secure, and integrated into existing infrastructure.

Volocopter opened an office in Singapore in January 2019 and has started to build up a local team to support South East Asia expansion plans. The company has recently presented their VoloCity – the next generation eVTOL air taxi which is designed to comply with EASA requirements. With their recently announced Series C funding round the company will bring the VoloCity to commercial certification.

About Volocopter GmbH:

Volocopter is building the world’s first sustainable and scalable urban air mobility business to bring affordable air taxi services to megacities worldwide. With the VoloCity, the company is developing the first fully electric “eVTOL” aircraft in certification to safely and quietly transport passengers within cities. Volocopter leads and cooperates with partners in infrastructure, operations, and air traffic management to build the ecosystem necessary to ‘Bring Urban Air Mobility to Life’.

In 2011, Volocopter performed the first-ever manned flight of a purely electric multicopter and has since showcased numerous public flights with its full-scale aircraft. The most notable have been the flight at the CES 2018 in Las Vegas and the world’s first autonomous eVTOL flight in Dubai 2017.

Founded in 2011 by Stephan Wolf and Alexander Zosel, Volocopter has 150 employees in offices in Bruchsal, Munich, and Singapore. The company is managed by CEO Florian Reuter, CTO Jan-Hendrik Boelens, and CFO Rene Griemens, and has raised a total of 85 million euro in equity. Volocopters‘s investors include Daimler, Geely, Intel Capital, BtoV, and Manta Ray Ventures. Find out more at: www.volocopter.com

Source: Volocopter

SAS JOINS NORDIC INITIATIVE FOR ELECTRIC AVIATION

SAS joins Nordic initiative for electric aviation

A Nordic initiative to drive the development of electric aircraft is now being launched. Funded by Nordic Innovation (an organization under the Nordic Council of Ministers), a platform is created where SAS together with other Nordic players gather.

“We will be a Nordic network that works with both infrastructure, industry issues and new business models,” says Maria Fiskerud, project manager for The Nordic Network for Electric Aviation (NEA).

The NEA network will organize workshops and other events to build knowledge and cooperation in the Nordic countries. At present, the network has eleven members (Air Greenland, Avinor, Braathens Regional Airlines, El-fly AS, Finnair, Heart Aerospace, Iceland Air, NISA (Nordic Innovation Sustainable Aviation), RISE, SAS and Swedavia).

“The transition to sustainable air travel is existential to us and the aviation industry. Therefore, it is vital to exchange knowledge with other stakeholders to gain speed in the development of electric aircraft for commercial use. We have high ambitions for our sustainability work and we already collaborate with Airbus, among others, regarding the electrification of aviation,” says Lars Andersen Resare, Head of Environment and CSR at SAS.

A Nordic initiative to drive the development of electric aircraft is now being launched. Funded by Nordic Innovation (an organization under the Nordic Council of Ministers), a platform is created where SAS together with other Nordic players gather.

There are four focus areas with clear objectives for driving the growth of electric aircraft: to Standardize electric air infrastructure in the Nordic countries, to Develop business models for regional point-to-point connectivity between Nordic countries, to Develop aircraft technology for Nordic weather conditions, and to Create a platform for European and global collaborations.

Source: SAS

Harbour Air and magniX Partner to Build World’s First All-Electric Airline

IASA - Sustainable Aviation

Aviation Leaders Set to Transform Seaplanes into ePlanes — a Zero-emission Aircraft for the Future

REDMOND, WA and VANCOUVER, B.C. – March 26, 2019 – magniX, the company powering the electric aviation revolution, and Harbour Air, North America’s largest seaplane airline, today announced a partnership to transform Harbour Air seaplanes into an all-electric commercial fleet powered by the magni500, a 750 horsepower (HP) all-electric motor.

Operating 12 routes between hubs like Seattle and Vancouver and across the pristine natural wilderness of the Pacific Northwest, Harbour Air welcomes more than 500,000 passengers on 30,000 commercial flights each year. Through this partnership, both companies are furthering the vision to someday connect communities with clean, efficient and affordable electric air travel.

“Harbour Air first demonstrated its commitment to sustainability by becoming the first fully carbon-neutral airline in North America in 2007, through the purchase of carbon offsets,” said Greg McDougall, founder and CEO of Harbour Air Seaplanes. “Through our commitment to making a positive impact on people’s lives, the communities where we operate and the environment, we are once again pushing the boundaries of aviation by becoming the first commercial aircraft to be powered by electric propulsion. We are excited to bring commercial electric aviation to the Pacific Northwest, turning our seaplanes into ePlanes.”

The aviation industry currently contributes 12 percent of all U.S. carbon emissions and 4.9 percent globally, all while providing few low-cost, fuel-efficient options for passenger flights under 1,000 miles. By modifying existing Harbour Air planes with innovative, all-electric magniX propulsion systems, the partnership will create the world’s first completely electric commercial seaplane fleet. A Harbour Air ePlane will have zero reliance on fossil fuels and produce zero emissions – a significant step forward in the innovation and advancement of the airline industry.

“In 2018, 75 percent of worldwide airline flights were 1,000 miles or less in range. With magniX’s new propulsion systems coupled with emerging battery capabilities, we see tremendous potential for electric aviation to transform this heavily trafficked ‘middle mile’ range,” said Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX. “We’re excited to partner with Harbour Air, a forward thinking, like-minded company that is dedicated to bringing environmentally conscious, cost effective air-transport solutions to the West Coast of North America. This partnership will set the standard for the future of commercial aviation operators.”

IASA - Sustainable Aviation

The first aircraft to be converted will be the DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver, a six-passenger commercial aircraft used across Harbour Air’s route network. Harbour Air and magniX expect to conduct first flight tests of the all-electric aircraft in late 2019.

This partnership follows significant milestones for both companies, including the successful testing of magniX’s 350 HP all-electric motor and the addition of a Vancouver to Seattle route in Harbour Air’s destination roster.

Source: Harbour Air

Zunum and Safran Join Forces to Deliver Hybrid-to-Electric Aircraft Dramatically reduced operating costs expected

sustainable aviation

Seattle, October 04, 2018:  Zunum Aero, a pioneer in electric aviation, selected Safran Helicopter Engines (Bordes, France) for its hybrid-to-electric commercial aircraft, which will be available in the early 2020s. Safran Helicopter Engines will provide a new generation engine turbine to drive the Zunum ZA10’s electrical generator. This turbo-generator will power this 12-seat, hybrid-to-electric 700-mile commercial aircraft, driving extraordinarily low operating costs and offering unprecedented door-to-door travel times that are 2 to 4 times faster than today. Zunum expects to light up thirty thousand airports around the world with frequent and affordable air service.

In October 2017, Zunum revealed first details on its all new hybrid-to-electric aircraft family. These aircraft are designed to address a vast gap in transport infrastructure over regional ranges up to 1,000 miles, offering quiet, green and fast door-to-door service to tens of thousands of secondary airports around the world.

The Zunum aircraft under development, internally dubbed the ZA10, is the first in the company’s family of regional, hybrid-to-electric aircraft. It will be powered by dual power sources: propulsion batteries, and a Safran turboshaft engine from the 1,700 to 2,000 shaft horsepower (shp) Ardiden range. Safran is the world’s leading manufacturer of helicopter engines, with more than 72,000 produced since being founded. The manufacturer offers the widest range of helicopter turboshaft engines  in the world and has more than 2,500 customers in 155 countries.

This new model, the Ardiden 3Z, will be used as a hybrid power source achieving demanding cost, efficiency and uptime requirements. It will be coupled with an electric generator, and the integrated turbo-generator will deliver 500kW of electric power to supplement the battery packs on key stages of flight and over long ranges. Upgrades such as advanced materials and integrated lifecycle management for hybrid service will dramatically reduce operating costs of the engine by extending the life of critical components.

The new aircraft will deliver breakthrough operating costs of 8 cents per available seat mile or $250 per hour for the aircraft, which is 60-80 percent lower than comparable conventional aircraft of comparable size. The ZA10 aircraft is designed to cruise and land on turbo-generator power alone, offering full redundancy.

Zunum’s selection of Safran is a critical step towards realizing the delivery of an economical, efficient hybrid-to-electric aircraft by the early 2020s. Because a key element of the MW-class hybrid-to-electric powertrain is a 500kW capable gas turbine that is compact, lightweight and highly efficient, to complement the propulsion batteries onboard, Safran’s proven expertise made the partnership a natural decision.

sustainable aviation

Revival of regional aviation

“Today marks a significant milestone on the path to delivery of the ZA10,” said Matt Knapp, co-founder and CTO of Zunum Aero. “The Zunum ZA10 aircraft will bring breakthrough performance to regional aviation, paving the way to fast, electrified, affordable high-speed air services to communities everywhere.”

Florent Chauvancy, Safran Helicopter Engines EVP OEM Sales, added: “The Ardiden 3Z represents a very powerful complement to the ZA10 because of its exceptional performance, along with low operating and maintenance costs. This announcement marks a new step forward in demonstrating Safran ability to offer hybrid propulsive solutions for tomorrow’s mobility solutions.”

Near-term milestones include ground and flight testing scheduled for 2019, as well delivery of the ZA10 aircraft targeted for the early 2020s.

 

Rockwell Turbo Commander 840 to be used as testbed

Zunum selected a Rockwell Turbo Commander 840 to modify for the flying testbed aircraft. The Rockwell Turbo Commander 840 has similar weight and performance to the ZA10, as well as excellent single-engine capability, enabling Zunum to modify and test in phases for a high-degree of safety.

In preparation for flight in 2019, Zunum Aero conducted ground tests of the hybrid-electric power system at Chicago-area facilities earlier this year. Through Q4 2018 and early 2019, the power system will continue to be upgraded and tested in stages to advance it for flight. Meanwhile, the Ardiden 3Z engine will undergo ground tests in France and US, ahead of integration with the flying testbed in 2019.

Modifications of the test aircraft began on schedule for a series of flights in the back half of 2019 leading to full hybrid-to-electric conversion with the Safran engine. The flying testbed will continue to be upgraded with successive prototypes until start of certification in 2020-21.

Founded in 2013, Zunum Aero is funded by Boeing HorizonX, JetBlue Technology Ventures and the State of Washington Clean Energy Fund. For more information visit http://www.zunum.aero or http://www.safran-helicopter-engines.com .

Source: Zunum Aero