February 23rd, 2019 by Nicolas Zart
Volocopter is testing its autonomous air taxi later this year, the ASX MOBi-One aircraft plans to use VerdeGo Aero’s IDEP systems, Eviation will use Siemens electric motors for the Alice 9-seat electric plane, Honeywell is developing flight-control & detect-and-avoid systems for urban air mobility (UAM) vehicles, Lilium says it will launch “much sooner” than 2025, and In-Flight Data snatches 3 Guinness World Records for BVLOS UAS flights. That’s the short summary. Read on for more.
Volocopter, one of the earliest electric vertical take-off & landing (eVTOL) players, announced it will start the test of its multirotor in Singapore in the second half of the year.
The public demo flights will show that Volocopter’s 18 rotors can fly for up to 30 kilometers (18.6 miles), and the company wants to reassure people that its 18 multirotor design can safely handle micro turbulence. This means Volocopter thinks its eVTOL is safe enough to fly near skyscrapers without a bumpy ride.
VerdeGo & ASX
ASX (formerly AirspaceX), the company that wants to connect cities, airports, and suburbs for the cost of an UberX Ride, will use VerdeGo’s Integrated Distributed Electric Propulsion (IDEP) systems as propulsion for its upcoming VTOL aircraft, the MOBi-ONE.
This means VerdeGo’s transition to a development and electric propulsion production company is well underway, with the ASX collaboration adding to partnerships with Transcend Air and IAI.
Also on board: Bob Lutz. Renowned for his love of airplanes, Lutz is on the board of ASX.
Stay tuned for a more in-depth interview of Eric Bartsch, VerdeGo Aero’s Chief Operating Officer.
Our friends at Eviation say the company will use Siemens electric motors for the “Alice,” a 9-seat electric airplane that is in the works. Eviation is planning Alice’s first flight for the US later this year. In the meantime, you can see the Alice live at the Paris Air Show in June.
Stay tuned for another interview with Omer Bar-Yohay, Eviation’s CEO, in coming weeks here on CleanTechnica.
Honeywell & Pipistrel
Mike Ingram, vice president of Honeywell’s integrated cockpit systems division, says its new eVTOL avionics supplier partnership with Pipistrel means providing cockpit safety systems that will initially be used by pilots and eventually for autonomous operations.
This signals the components more hidden race whereThis is another interesting instance of startups partnering with established aviation leaders for development of our UAM future. For example, Honeywell’s news follows Bell’s use of Garmin and Thales for its Nexus eVTOL.
Stay tuned for our interviews of Scott Drennan, Bell’s VP of Innovation, and Ivo Boscarol, founder and general manager of Pipistrel Group.
Our friends at Lilium said they will fly much sooner than the original 2025 date. Frank Stephenson, who heads Liluim’s product design, said the app-based service won’t be a VIP one, but a more affordable, on-demand taxi service.
Last, but not least, In-Flight Data tested the longest cumulative beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) battery-powered unmanned aircraft system (UAS) in the small class (up to 25 kilograms). It flew 414 km (257.25 miles). This means it officially entered the Guinness World Records.
Stay tuned as we continue to cover more UAM stories now that battery density is beginning to show the potential of sustaining eVTOL and more traditional electric airplane flights.
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