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.
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.
DENVER, Col. – August 21, 2019 – Bye Aerospace announced that Quantum Air has signed a purchase deposit agreement for 22 of its all-electric four-seat eFlyer 4s and 2 two-seat eFlyer 2 airplanes. The company also signed a comprehensive agreement that includes two future advanced aircraft under development from Bye Aerospace.
George E. Bye, CEO of Bye Aerospace, welcomed Los Angeles-based Quantum Air to the growing list of Bye Aerospace customers. “One of Quantum Air’s goals is to disrupt aviation, providing more accessible, cost-efficient, high speed air transportation solutions — including FAA Part 135 on-demand air taxi travel— to help alleviate the noise and CO2 emissions challenges that accompany traditional internal combustion aircraft,” he said.
Quantum’s new fleet of eFlyers cements its status as the first and leading air taxi service in Los Angeles. “With the arrival of electric aircraft, we are entering a new Golden Age in aviation,” said Tony Thompson, Quantum CEO. “Since the dawn of flight, point to point air travel has been a luxury available only to a privileged few. Quantum’s groundbreaking air taxi service will finally make point to point air travel widely available.”
“The future has arrived,” added Scott Akina, Quantum’s Vice President and Chief Pilot. “By electrifying aviation, Quantum will ignite urban and regional mobility. Electric aircraft are safer, quieter, and more efficient than legacy aircraft, and they are more fun, more comfortable, and do not pollute.”
In addition, Bye will join Quantum’s board of advisers. According to Thompson: “With George Bye on our board of advisers, Quantum will tightly integrate with Bye Aerospace, producing a superior flight experience for our customers.”
Bye Aerospace is developing the FAA FAR 23-certified family of eFlyer general aviation aircraft, starting with the eFlyer 2, for the flight training mission. All of Bye Aerospace’s current and future families of aircraft, including the eFlyer 2 and the eFlyer 4, feature exemplary engineering, research, and electric aircraft solutions producing no CO2, and are designed to answer compelling market needs. These include significantly lower operating costs, zero emissions, and decreased noise.
Dublin Airport has a target to convert its existing fleet of 111 vehicles to Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) over the next five years.
The move to LEVs is part of the airport’s overall sustainability strategy which includes targets based around carbon, energy, waste, water and the fleet of vehicles used on the airport campus. These initiatives will deliver a range of immediate benefits to those that work at the airport and to local communities.
The benefits include improvements in air quality, a reduction in noise and carbon emissions and further savings in airport energy consumption.
Some areas of Dublin Airport’s operation require specialist four-wheel drive vehicles. A recently developed plug-in, hybrid replacement for four-wheel drives that were traditionally powered by two-litre diesel engines has allowed the airport to convert vehicles across its operation.
“Our licence to grow Dublin Airport is predicated on operating in a sustainable manner and we take our responsibilities in this regard very seriously,” said Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison.
“Using low-emission vehicles is another great step in achieving our sustainability targets and being an exemplar to other airports and organisations in Ireland and across the world. Our fleet management team continually monitor the developing LEV market to identify appropriate vehicles that can replace existing vehicles in line with our vehicle maintenance strategies,” Harrison added.
Teams across the airport recently took delivery of six low-emission vehicles with two more due for delivery in the coming months. Around 20% of the airport’s vehicle fleet have now been upgraded to Low Emission Vehicles (LEVs) and a further 5% are Hybrid vehicles.
Dublin Airport also aims to convert its bus operations to a low emission vehicle fleet by 2022. Trials of electric buses took place on the campus earlier this year in association with Aircoach.
The LEV strategy is part of daa’s overall Sustainability Strategy. Further details are available Opens in new windowhere.
In the last five years, Dublin Airport has reduced its primary energy consumption by a cumulative value of 9,285,011kWh. This is equivalent to the average yearly usage of about 450-500 standard semi-detached houses. In the last ten years, water consumption per passenger has reduced by 26.8 litres. That’s the equivalent of filling almost 10 million baths.
Dublin Airport supports 117,300 jobs in the Irish economy, including 19,200 people employed directly at the airport and its environs. The economic activity underpinned by Dublin Airport in terms of the spin-off benefits through trade, tourism, and jobs is worth €8.3 billion to the Irish economy annually.
Image: Myles Reilly, Airside Delivery Manager, Owen Hickey, Airside Training Instructor, Catherine Fox, Passenger Screening Supervisor, Siobhán Bisset, Vehicle Control Posts Assistant Manager, Joe Roche, Airfield Systems Manager, Seán McKessy, Airfield Supervisor and Darren McAtamney, Heavy Fleet and Logistics Engineer pictured with some of Dublin Airport’s LEV fleet.
The Highest-Capacity Electric Aircraft Ever Flown Held First Public Test Flight in the Skies Above Southern California on Thursday, Paving the Way for Ampaire Inc. to Have Regular Commercial Service for Passengers and Cargo as Soon as 2021
Aviation Company Ampaire, Inc., Helps Further Cement Los Angeles as the Center of Innovation on Transportation Electrification
Camarillo, California, June 6, 2019.
Ampaire, Inc. has moved the aviation industry a major step forward with the test flight of the Ampaire 337, the highest-capacity hybrid-electric aircraft ever flown. On Thursday, June 6, Ampaire engineers, investors and journalists witnessed the hybrid-electric Ampaire 337 fly in the skies above Camarillo Airport.
This is a significant step for aviation because never before has a hybrid-electric aircraft this large flown. Ampaire’s 337 is built with a direct path towards commercialization—moving electric aviation firmly from futuristic to attainable.
The aircraft, based on the six-seat Cessna 337 Skymaster, was retrofitted with Ampaire’s proprietary electric propulsion system and is powered by a lightweight battery system. The battery-powered electric motor replaces a combustion engine of the aircraft’s original two-engine configuration, and the resulting system is a ‘parallel hybrid’, meaning the internal combustion engine and electric motor work in concert to optimize power output as the plane flies. In hybrid configuration, the aircraft sees significant greenhouse gas emissions savings and operating cost reductions. The experimental plane was flown by a test pilot and flight engineer.
“The first flight of Ampaire’s electric passenger aircraft is a huge step forward for aviation,” said Deborah Flint, CEO of Los Angeles World Airports. “As a cleantech company that was started in our great city as part of LACI, Ampaire’s incredible achievement further cements Los Angeles as the leader in transportation electrification and technology innovation.”
“Imagine that in just a few years you will be able to buy a ticket for a flight that is clean, quiet and inexpensive,” said Kevin Noertker, CEO of Ampaire. “Ampaire is proud to lead the aviation industry in transportation electrification, and we recognize the importance of electric aviation for climate change and community connectivity.”
“Given the urgency of the climate crisis, today’s historic flight not only signifies a huge step forward for aviation, it also shines a light on Los Angeles’s leadership in transportation electrification,” said Matt Petersen, CEO of the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI). “That’s why I’m so excited for the Ampaire team for their first hybrid-electric flight—as a LACI portfolio company, Ampaire and their Ampaire 337 flight test program further proves that Los Angeles is a cleantech hub that attracts investment and game-changing innovation for climate solutions.”
“Flight is becoming electric and this is the most incredible team to make that happen! Ampaire’s approach is one of the many reasons we chose to support them through our accelerator program,” said Van Espahbodi, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Starburst Accelerator. “We see tremendous potential in their business model, and we’re excited to see them achieve this significant technical milestone.”
Aircraft are a significant contributor to both local and global emissions. Electric and hybrid-electric aircraft will reduce GHG emissions and air pollution even as more and more goods and people fly. In addition, electric aircraft are quieter, more efficient and cost much less to fly and maintain connecting communities, making skies quieter.
Ampaire has mapped a clear path from today’s first test flight of a prototype to commercial operations in 2021. Thursday’s test flight follows the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) May 2019 airworthiness approval to begin a flight test program. The test flights will see the aircraft fly multiple times per week from June through August 2019 and will gather data about the electric propulsion performance characteristics.
In late 2019, Ampaire will begin a pilot project on a commercial route on the Hawaiian island of Maui. The aircraft will be a newly retrofitted Cessna 337 built with learnings from the test flight program that inform the configuration of the battery and motor. This aircraft will be a pre-production prototype and will move Ampaire closer to commercial readiness.
Ampaire’s focus is on supplying aircraft to regional airlines— who typically fly short-haul—often serving remote communities and island regions. In addition to the upcoming pilot project in Maui, Ampaire is also in collaboration with Vieques Air Link (VAL), a regional airline in Puerto Rico, to establish a pilot project in the region. Alongside Mokulele Airlines and VAL, Ampaire has signed Letters of Interest with 14 other airlines across the world.
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. As a LACI portfolio company, Ampaire has its roots in Los Angeles. 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.
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.”
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.
ANIMA Projectinvites IASA e.V.expert to join Expert Committee
IASA e.V. Airport Sustainable Development Expert Dr. Axel Laistner has been asked to participate on the “Impact and Balanced Approach Impact Expert Committee” of the ANIMA(Aviation Noise Impact Management through Novel Approaches) research projectwithin the EU Horizon 2020 program.
The expertise of IASA e.V. regarding sustainable solutions and methods in aviation will therefore be part of the balanced approach validation process of ANIMA.
In a global first for the airline industry, and a defining moment for the sustainability of the planet, wet-lease carrier Hi Fly is poised to make the first-ever jet-age passenger flight with not a single-use plastic item on board.
The ‘plastics-free’ trial, involving four flights by Hi Fly’s wide-body Airbus A340, 9H-SUN, will jet into the history books for the first time on December 26th, when it takes off from Lisbon on its way to Natal in Brazil.
The first flight will be full with holidaymakers looking to Samba-dance their way out of 2018. It will return to Lisbon, this time with Brazilian passengers looking to welcome in the New Year Portuguese style. The revellers will then make the return journey home a week later. Over 700 passengers will take part in the trial.
Commenting ahead of the take-off, Hi Fly President Paulo Mirpuri said: “This historic Hi Fly flight, without any single-use plastic items on board, underlines our commitment to making Hi Fly the world’s first ‘plastics-free’ airline within 12 months.
“We take that commitment very seriously.”
Also speaking prior to the flight, he added: “We are obviously excited and delighted that Hi Fly will be the first airline to attempt such a feat.
“Our corporate mission is based around sustainability and we work hand in glove with the Mirpuri Foundation to make sure that our corporate practices match our wider responsibilities to the planet.
“The test flights will prevent around 350 KG of single-use, virtually indestructible plastics from poisoning our environment.
“Over 100,000 flights take off each day around the world and, last year, commercial aircraft carried nearly four billion passengers. This number is expected to double again in less than 20 years. So, the potential to make a difference here is clearly enormous.
The test flights will help us trial the many substitute items we have developed and introduced them, in a real-world environment.
“We know we may encounter some initial teething problems, but we are confident of addressing these over the coming months.
“We know, too, from the feedback we have received from client airlines and passengers, that it’s the right thing for the airline to be doing.”
Pedro Ramos, the Director-General of Tour operator Alto Astral, the company who chartered the flights between Lisbon and Brazil, spoke of his company’s delight at being a participant in this key industry event.
“Everyone at Alto Astral is excited to be involved in this adventure and we believe that future generations will thank those of us who have been prepared to stand up to try to make a difference now.
“Hi Fly has long been the leader in the field of corporate environmental responsibility and sustainability, and they have rightly identified, as a key objective, the early elimination of plastics pollution. It’s been great for us to see how, in practical terms, they have gone about replacing so much in order to kick-start this elimination process.
“All together for a better world, we say.”
The plastics-free test flight is just the latest move by Hi Fly to make its entire fleet ‘plastics free’ by the end of 2019.
Among the scores of single-use plastic items that have been replaced are: cups, spoons, salt and pepper shakers, sick bags, packaging for bedding, dishes, individual butter pots, soft drink bottles and toothbrushes.
And among the many innovations presented to passengers on the flight, by the Hi Fly environmental experts, will be bamboo cutlery, an array of paper packaging, and containers that, once used, can be readily composted.
On Thursday Avinor, the Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries and Zero are organizing the conference “Emission-free aviation in 2040?”
“Aviation is of key importance for Norway and the industry must take its share of responsibility to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Sustainable jet biofuel will play an important role and we are facing the electrification of aviation. We want to bring together the communities working on these issues, with an aim of sharing expertise and insights for the road forward,” says CEO of Avinor, Dag Falk-Petersen.
Must develop the market for jet biofuel
Studies show that 30 per cent of all aviation fuel at Avinor’s airports can become sustainable by 2030. The fuel can be produced from forestry waste and pulpwood from Norwegian forests. At Avinor Oslo airport and Bergen Airport, Flesland, jet biofuel is available, but it is difficult to source enough.
In 2016 1.25 million litres of sustainable jet biofuel were uplifted in Norway. This corresponded to 0.1 per cent of all jet fuel sold in Norway that year. In August 2017 the scheme was also extended to include Flesland. However, there was very limited availability of jet biofuel on the market in 2017, resulting in the drop in of only 125,000 litres of jet biofuel during the year in total for the two airports.
“Currently very little sustainable jet biofuel is produced globally, and what little there is has a price that is not competitive. To achieve the target of a 30 per cent drop in and corresponding emission reductions, there will therefore be a need for public instruments,” says Torbjørn Lothe, Managing Director of the Federation of Norwegian Aviation Industries (NHO Luftfart).
Electric aircraft are on the way
There is considerable interest in and a good deal of activity surrounding the development of electric aircraft. A number of stakeholders, including Boeing, Airbus, Siemens, Rolls Royce, and NASA, are working with and can see the commercial potential of electric and hybrid-electric aircraft. In Norway, Avinor is playing an active role in these efforts. Together with the Norwegian Association of Air Sports (NLF), Avinor has established a long-term project for the introduction of electric aircraft in Norwegian aviation. The project is supported by the government, and the project partners are Widerøe, SAS, and the climate foundation ZERO.
“Just a short time ago electric aircraft were unimaginable. Now a number of major players are claiming that in only a few years they will be able to provide aircraft with electric solutions for domestic scheduled traffic in Norway. In order to bring up the volume of emission reductions from aviation, we also need to see a quick phasing in of sustainable jet biofuel. This will allow Norway to lead the way and show how we can realign aviation,” says Marius Holm, head of ZERO.
Detailed programme and registration here: https://avinor.no/en/corporate/emission-free-aviation-in-2040/Source: Avinor
Fast-forwarding to the future of on-demand, urban air transportation
Imagine traveling from San Francisco’s Marina to work in downtown San Jose — a drive that would normally occupy the better part of two hours — in only 15 minutes. What if you could save nearly four hours round-trip between São Paulo’s city center and the suburbs in Campinas? Or imagine reducing your 90-plus minute stop-and-go commute from Gurgaon to your office in central New Delhi to a mere six minutes.
Every day, millions of hours are wasted on the road worldwide. Last year, the average San Francisco resident spent 230 hours commuting between work and home—that’s half a million hours of productivity lost every single day. In Los Angeles and Sydney, residents spend seven whole working weeks each year commuting, two of which are wasted unproductively stuck in gridlock. In many global megacities, the problem is more severe: the average commute in Mumbai exceeds a staggering 90 minutes. For all of us, that’s less time with family, less time at work growing our economies, more money spent on fuel — and a marked increase in our stress levels: a study in the American Journal of Preventative Medicine, for example, found that those who commute more than 10 miles were at increased odds of elevated blood pressure.
On-demand aviation has the potential to radically improve urban mobility, giving people back time lost in their daily commutes. Uber is close to the commute pain that citizens in cities around the world feel. We view helping to solve this problem as core to our mission and our commitment to our rider base. Just as skyscrapers allowed cities to use limited land more efficiently, urban air transportation will use three-dimensional airspace to alleviate transportation congestion on the ground. A network of small, electric aircraft that take off and land vertically (called VTOL aircraft for Vertical Take-off and Landing, and pronounced vee-tol), will enable rapid, reliable transportation between suburbs and cities and, ultimately, within cities.
The development of infrastructure to support an urban VTOL network will likely have significant cost advantages over heavy-infrastructure approaches such as roads, rail, bridges and tunnels. It has been proposed that the repurposed tops of parking garages, existing helipads, and even unused land surrounding highway interchanges could form the basis of an extensive, distributed network of “vertiports” (VTOL hubs with multiple takeoff and landing pads, as well as charging infrastructure) or single-aircraft “vertistops” (a single VTOL pad with minimal infrastructure). As costs for traditional infrastructure options continue to increase, the lower cost and increased flexibility provided by these new approaches may provide compelling options for cities and states around the world.
Furthermore, VTOLs do not need to follow fixed routes. Trains, buses, and cars all funnel people from A to B along a limited number of dedicated routes, exposing travelers to serious delays in the event of a single interruption. VTOLs, by contrast, can travel toward their destination independently of any specific path, making route-based congestion less prevalent.
Recently, technology advances have made it practical to build this new class of VTOL aircraft. Over a dozen companies, with as many different design approaches, are passionately working to make VTOLs a reality. The closest equivalent technology in use today is the helicopter, but helicopters are too noisy, inefficient, polluting, and expensive for mass-scale use. VTOL aircraft will make use of electric propulsion so they have zero operational emissions and will likely be quiet enough to operate in cities without disturbing the neighbors. At flying altitude, noise from advanced electric vehicles will be barely audible. Even during take-off and landing, the noise will be comparable to existing background noise. These VTOL designs will also be markedly safer than today’s helicopters because VTOLs will not need to be dependent on any single part to stay airborne and will ultimately use autonomy technology to significantly reduce operator error.
We expect that daily long-distance commutes in heavily congested urban and suburban areas and routes under-served by existing infrastructure will be the first use cases for urban VTOLs. This is due to two factors. First, the amount of time and money saved increases with the trip length, so VTOLs will have greatest appeal for those traveling longer distances and durations. Second, even though building a high density of landing site infrastructure in urban cores (e.g. on rooftops and parking structures) will take some time, a small number of vertiports could absorb a large share of demand from long-distance commuters since the “last mile” ground transportation component will be small relative to the much longer commute distance.
We also believe that in the long-term, VTOLs will be an affordable form of daily transportation for the masses, even less expensive than owning a car. Normally, people think of flying as an expensive and infrequent form of travel, but that is largely due to the low production volume manufacturing of today’s aircraft. Even though small aircraft and helicopters are of similar size, weight, and complexity to a car, they cost about 20 times more.
Ultimately, if VTOLs can serve the on-demand urban transit case well — quiet, fast, clean, efficient, and safe — there is a path to high production volume manufacturing (at least thousands of a specific model type built per year) which will enable VTOLs to achieve a dramatically lower per-vehicle cost. The economics of manufacturing VTOLs will become more akin to automobiles than aircraft. Initially, of course, VTOL vehicles are likely to be very expensive, but because the ridesharing model amortizes the vehicle cost efficiently over paid trips, the high cost should not end up being prohibitive to getting started. And once the ridesharing service commences, a positive feedback loop should ensue that ultimately reduces costs and thus prices for all users, i.e. as the total number of users increases, the utilization of the aircraft increases. Logically, this continues with the pooling of trips to achieve higher load factors, and the lower price feeds back to drive more demand. This increases the volume of aircraft required, which in turn drives manufacturing costs down. Except for the manufacturing learning curve improvements (which aren’t relevant to ridesharing being applied to automobiles), this is very much the pattern exhibited during Uber’s growth in ground transportation, fueled by the transition from the higher-cost UberBLACK product to the lower-cost and therefore more utilized uberX and uberPOOL products.
⋅ Lukasz Gadowski and the Daimler AG are amongst investors ⋅ Increased investment flows into the launch of the Volocopter
Bruchsal / Germany, 1. August 2017 – The objective of making flying possible for everyone has drawn closer: In July 2017 the aviation start-up Volocopter agreed a finance deal over 25 million Euros with the automobile firm Daimler from Stuttgart, the technology investor Lukasz Gadowski from Berlin and further investors. Using this fresh capital Volocopter will further expand upon the leading technology in its purely electrically driven VTOLs, (eVTOL), speed up the introduction process of the Volocopter serial model and conquer the market for flying air taxis. The safe, quiet and environmentally friendly aircraft, suitable for transporting two passengers, will revolutionize mobility in metropolises. In order to realize this vision Volocopter also invests in its team and plans to continuously develop it further.
Flying Air Taxis
Volocopter is up for a soaring start not just because of the successful round of funding: As early as in June the young enterprise already won top place in the international run for the world’s first pilot project involving air taxis in urban spaces. In the fourth quarter of 2017 Volocopter, together with the state transport authority „Roads and Transport Authority“ (RTA) in Dubai, will conduct initial demonstrations of an autonomous air taxi. By 2030 Dubai aims to carry out 25% of its passenger transportation with the help of autonomous means of transport.
“The strong financial commitment of our new investors is a signal as well as proof of the growing confidence in the newly emerging market for electrically driven VTOLs put to use as personal air taxis“ Florian Reuter, managing director of Volocopter, is pleased to point out. “We deliberately sought a mix of investors with strategic and entrepreneurial backgrounds and were able to implement this perfectly with Daimler und Lukasz Gadowski”.
Automobile companies specifically are intensely interested in the mobility of the future – in autonomous driving or electrical mobility for example. Daimler is therefore a very valuable strategic partner for Volocopter. “We are world leaders in the development of electrical VTOL aircraft” says Reuter, “and for it to stay that way in the future we are very pleased with the participation of the worldwide leader in automobiles”.
The investor Lukasz Gadowski on the other hand, can support the aviation start-up in very different ways: He has already successfully founded and financed numerous enterprises. Gadowski has enormous experience in the fast and global scaling of tech start-ups. This will be of great value to Volocopter in asserting itself on the global market. “I have been interested in flying cars and following their development for a while. When I saw the Volocopter I got it: The “flying car” has no wheels! What is exciting at Volocopter is not just the magnificent vision but also that which has already been tangibly implemented. Huge ambition with both feet on the ground – a unique combination! In the coming years we can expect a revolution in manned aviation. We at Volocopter will significantly contribute to shaping it!”
Together with its partners, Volocopter will be using the new funding to further expand upon technical innovations and its pioneering role within the emerging industry. The plan is to further the development of the Volocopter up to production maturity and commercial licensing through aviation authorities worldwide. Amongst other things, extensive test flight programs are envisaged for this purpose. In order to speed up progress, the employment of additional engineers specialized in the development of flight systems, software and electric propulsion as well as the development of commercial function is envisaged.
To introduce the Volocopter serial model to the market with full impact the company will also apply the investment to developing brand awareness. The prelude to this will be the new website which is launched today. In addition a professional communications team all around marketing and PR will be installed in order to be optimally equipped for planned events and demonstrations of the Volocopter in the coming months. This will create additional interest and customers for the Volocopter – besides RTA in Dubai.
Volocopter GmbH is the global leader in the development of vertically launching, fully electrical multicopters for the transport of people and of heavy lifting cargo drones. The technical platform is extremely flexible and permits piloted, remote controlled and fully autonomous flight. In addition, the unique design offers a huge degree of safety based on the high redundancy of all critical components. The company’s stated objective is to make every human’s dream of flying come true and to help modern cities resolve their increasing mobility issues. As early as 2011 the company earned its entry into the history of aviation through the manned flight of the world’s first purely electrical multicopter. Since then the young enterprise has set new milestones: In 2016 Volocopter was granted provisional licensing for a two seater Volocopter by the German aviation authority and in 2017 the aviation start-up entered into an agreement with RTA Dubai over the global premiere of an autonomously flying air taxi. The first licensed Volocopter should be on the market next year. In the meantime, the founders Stephan Wolf and Alexander Zosel have gathered an excellentteam of experienced managers like CEO Florian Reuter (formerly of Siemens) and CTO Jan-Hendrik Boelens (formerly of Airbus Helicopters). This paved the way for the further expansion of the company.