On 4 April 2022 Pipistrel and Lobo Leasing Limited, a global vertical lift leasing platform, signed a letter of intent with deposits for the acquisition of 15 Nuuva V300 autonomous VTOL cargo drone develoiped by Pipistrel.
As part of the agreement, Lobo leasing and Pipistrel will collaborate to build and connect a base of operators and investors, and by using Lobo’s existing global platform, deliver customer-driven bespoke leasing solutions to enhance the deployment of the Nuuva V300 aircraft in different types of missions globally.
The NUUVA V300 is a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) UAV for middle mile logistics with a 3 cubic meter capacity, and under favorable flight conditions, the vehicle can carry 460kg up to 400km. It is designed to operate 10x more economically than today’s helicopters, it requires no runways, and it brings enhanced safety and reliability using Pipistrel’s already type-certified electric engines.
Aviation Safety Resources (ASR) announced the acquisition of Pioneer Aerospace, a specialist of whole airframe emergency parachute recovery systems. ASR plans to rebrand Pioneer Aerospace to ASR-Pioneer. Pioneer Aerospace’s product line includes payload delivery deceleration equipment, recvery systems, and kits to support specialized programs ranging from aviation to space projects.
ASR hopes that the new company ASR-Pioneer will capture the growing eVTOL market and new light airplane models. In August 2020 Bye Aerospace, the developer of eFlyer series electric airplanes, signed up ASR for the deveopment of the whole aircraft parachute recovery systems.
A new effort to foster sustainable sevelopment of the UAM ecosystem in Europe called “European Urban Air Mobility Projects & Initiatives Community” was launched during the Amterdam Drone Week.
The newly launched community consolidates the efforts of 18 relevant projects across Europe run by both EU and individual European countries and aims to establish a Pan-European collaborative platform to facilitate knowledge sharing across UAM projects and initiatives in Europe.
Urban Air Mobility (UAM) projects and initiatives across Europe are increasingly on the rise. Whether they are projects funded, or practical initiatives supported, by the European Union (EU), Member States or Local Authorities, they all have an impact on cities and regions across Europe. The EU UAM Projects & Initiatives Community aims to set the stage for Urban Air Mobility by establishing a collaborative and exchange platform linked to the European Green Deal and Digital Agenda, in which each project is contributing with its own focus and expertise.
On March 24, 2022 the European Union Aviation Safety Agency published the world’s first guidance for the design of vertiports, the ground infrastructure needed for the safe operation of Urban Air Mobility services such as air taxis in locations across Europe, including in urban areas.
The Prototype Technical Design Specifications for Vertiports offers guidance to urban planners and local decision-makers as well as industry to enable the safe design of vertiports that will serve these new types of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft, which are already at an advanced stage of development.
“Urban air mobility is a completely new field of aviation and we therefore have a unique opportunity to develop a set of infrastructure requirements from scratch,” Patrick Ky, Executive Director of EASA said. “With the world’s first guidance for safe vertiport operations, EASA’s ambition is to provide our stakeholders with the ‘gold standard’ when it comes to safe vertiport design and operational frameworks. By harmonising design and operational standards for vertiports we will support European industry, who are already starting to embark on exciting projects in Europe and around the world to make new urban air mobility a reality.”
One notable innovation is the concept of a funnel-shaped area above the vertiport, designated as an “obstacle free volume”. This concept is tailored to the operational capabilities of the new VTOL aircraft, which can perform landing and take-off with a significant vertical segment. Depending on the urban environment and on the performance of certain VTOL-capable aircraft, omnidirectional trajectories to vertiports will be also possible. Such approaches can more easily take account of environmental and noise restrictions and are more suitable for an urban environment than conventional heliport operations, which are constrained in the approaches that can be safely applied.
Elektra Trainer, the latest Aircraft from the German Company Elektra Solar, had the world debut for Media on April 1st in the “Flugwerft Oberschleißheim” – the aviation department of the Deutsche Museum in Munich which is the leading technical Museum in Germany. The two-seat electric trainer is designed by the Elektra Solar Founder Calin Gologan. “ We think due to its aerodynamic efficiency and low energy consumption the Elektra Trainer is the ideal trainer for basic aviation training as even with the existing Battery technology which is not strong enough up to now to give an converted basic trainer, the necessary endurance we can fly is up to 2.5 Hours + reserve inside the maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of the 600 kg MTOW allowed in the German UL-Class in which the first Version of the aircraft will be certified. Later a Part 22 certified motor glider and a Part 23 version are planned”, stated Gologan in the presentation at the unveiling event where the Bavarian Government and many supporters of the Project were present.
The ceremony was hosted by Prof. Dr. W. M. Heckl, the director general of the “Deutsches Museum”. Afterwards Gologan and his partners in the company Prof. Gerd Hirzinger (former Head of the DLR ( German National aviation Research center) Institute of Robotics and Mechatronics) and his Co-CEO Konstantin Kondak reported on the founding and development of the company and its products and then unveiled the small yellow aircraft next to historical Airplanes like the Dornier D 31 VTOL airplane, the Do 24 Seaplane and under the wings of another famous electric airplane from Germany the Solair 1 from the Munich designer Günter Rochelt which hangs under the roof of the principal hangar of the German Museum in the permanent exhibition. More info about the event in the next PDF edition of the e-flight-Journal, more about the Elektra Trainer here. or in the New Flügel Magazin (online and at the German News stand on April 15th)
If you want to see the aircraft yourself , come to the first appearance of the airplane at the show at the next e-flight-Expo @AERO which will take place in Friedrichshafen from April 27-30th 2022
The German car manufacturer Porsche has been evaluating the VTOL field for more than 4 years. Up until now Porsche Engineering Group, located near company headquarters in Stuttgart, has been leading the program. During this time there was a cooperation with the US Company Boeing, which appears to have since been discontinued. Until now only a few design studies have been published. Everything else has happened under the radar.
Now the Porsche Group is taking the next step. On March 28, 2022, the automotive company formally founded the P3X Management GmbH (limited Corporation) in Munich under the registration number: HRB 274681. CEOs of the new company are Guan Chew Ph.D. and Philip Kastel. Chew was Head of Technical Research at the Porsche Engineering Group. It’s rumored that the company may be planing to start developing its vehicles at the research airport Oberpfaffenhofen just west of Munich.
There are some images circulating on the Chinese social media which are claimed to be the patent application of HT Aero for a roadable eVTOL flying car, i.e. a vehicle with both driving and flying functions.
The design in the images appears to be a tilt-rotor configuration with wings. There is no further detail about the folding mechanism.
HT Aero is an eVTOL startup based in Guangzhou, China. HT Aero was acquired by the Chinese electric car company Xpeng in 2020 and revealed a design concept of a roadable eVTOL flying car last year as shown below. HT Aero plans to begin sale of this flying car in 2024 for a projected price tag of one million RMB (157,000 USD or 143,000 euro)
On 22 March 2021 the Japanese eVTOL startup SkyDrive and Suzuki Motor Corporation jointly announced a partnership for the commercialization of the eVTOL developed by SkyDrive.
SkyDrive and Suzuki will start consideration to collaborate in areas of business and technology that include technology R&D, planning of manufacturing and mass-production systems, development of overseas markets with an initial focus on India which is the major market for Suzuki Motor, and promotion of efforts to attain carbon neutrality.
SkyDrive was founded in 2018. The companay has been test flying its SD-03 single-seat multicopter eVTOL prototype since at least 2020 and aims to begin air taxi service during the 2025 World Exposition in Osaka, Japan, as well as to initiate service in other regions of Japan.
In Japan, the Public-Private Council for Air Mobility Revolution was established in 2018 with meetings held since then. The project is expected to lead to taxi services in urban areas, new means of transportation for remote islands and mountainous areas, and emergency transportation in times of disaster. A roadmap has been formulated by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) and the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport, and Tourism (MLIT) for the start of business in 2023 and full-scale deployment in 2030.
PROVIDENCE USA – AJDOVŠČINA SLOVENIA. — Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT), home to the Cessna, Beechcraft, and Bell aviation brands, today announced it has entered into an agreement to purchase Pipistrel, an award-winning pioneer and global leader in electrically powered aircraft. “Pipistrel puts Textron in a uniquely strong position to develop technologies for the sustainable aviation market and develop a variety of new aircraft to meet a wide range of customer missions,” said Textron Chairman and CEO Scott Donnelly. “Today’s announcement supports Textron’s long-term strategy to offer a family of sustainable aircraft for urban air mobility, general aviation, cargo and special mission roles.”
Pipistrel founder and CEO Ivo Boscarol will remain a minority shareholder as well as Chairman Emeritus, consulting on future product plans and strategies for a two-year period. “Under my 30-year leadership, Pipistrel’s team has achieved a unique prime position in personal, affordable, environmentally friendly and electric aviation. The trend and foundation for future projects has clearly been set,” said Boscarol. “To drive Pipistrel’s ambitious goals and to continue its story of success, the joining of Textron and Pipistrel provides deep expertise and resources which would otherwise be inaccessible to Pipistrel alone. “
H2FLY the company of Hydrogen aviation pioneer Prof. Dr.-Ing. Josef Kallo started a new area with its Hy4 Aircraft as a new milestone in aviation for the first time passengers will be flown in a fuel cell Aircraft. #H2FLY started a test campaign from March to May 2022 using emission free hydrogen electric passenger aircraft integrated in daily operations at the international Airport of Stuttgart. First evaluation shows full operation flexibility on ground and with ATC and low noise flight operation.