Aerofugia, the aviation subsidiary of Geely Auto unveiled their TF-2 eVTOL full size prototype which has 5-seat and tilt rotor configuration.
it appears that the four rear rotor/props are in fixed position for lift and two of the four front rotor/props are tilt for lift and cruise and there’s another pusher prop in the rear dedicated for cruise. Aerofugia plans to make the first flight by the year end.
Geely is the owner of Terrafugia and an equity investor of Volocopter and formed a joint-venture in China with Volocopter in Sep. 2021.
At this years Airventure Oshkosh eVTOL was not the focus but the Opener Blackfly made its first flight in front of a big crowd at the Wednesday night Airshow and several other new designs were shown in different stages.
More images and background info from Oshkosh 2022 later and in the next issue of e-flight-journal – the magazin.
Today at Sunward Aircraft’s factory in Hunan province, China, Volkswagen China’s CEO Dr.Stephan Wöllenstein unveiled the full-size mockup of their eVTOL design named “V.Mo”.
According to VW China, the design will build on existing autonomous driving solutions and battery technology to create zero-emission mobility. The prototype is a lift+cruise configuration with a length of 11.2 meters and a wingspan of 10.6 meters, eight propellors dedicated to vertical take-off and landing and two propellers for horizontal propulsion.
VW China developed the design together with Sunward Aircraft which is the largest producer of light sport airplane (LSA) in China with over 100 sales per year and is also producing small helicopter and multicopter unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV)
VW China intends to further optimize the design, and plans to test fly a demonstrator in the second half of this year, and to test fly the improved prototype at the end of summer 2023. This pure electric, fully autonomous flying eVTOL aircraft will eventually be able to carry four passengers and luggage for up to 200 kilometers range.
On 27 July 2022 Volkswagen’s Chinese subsidiary will unveil their eVTOL design. VW China released a short teaser video today for the event.
VW China has been studying eVTOL project for a while. According to the teaser video, it seems that the design is a lift+cruise configuration with a canard. It is said in the Chinese eVTOL community that VW China partners with a Chinese light airplane manufactuer for this eVTOL development. What’s VW China’s plan for this eVTOL? We will keep you updated when more details are available.
The 16th Electric Aircraft Symposium (EAS) , hosted by the Vertical Flight Society again for this year, returns to an in-person format at Oshkosh, Wisconsin on July 23-24, 2022, the weekend before EAA AirVenture. EAS 2022 will be a hybrid event at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (at the Culver Family Welcome Center) and online. So if you can’t come in person, you can have the option to join online, but coming to Oshkosh maybe just for Airventure, the largest general aviation airshow and fly-in, is certianly recommended!
As the world’s longest-running electric aviation meeting, EAS 2022 presenters will discuss the latest in electric aircraft, propulsion systems, energy sources, certification, regional and urban use cases, and the current market opportunities — for electric vertical / short / conventional takeoff and landing (eVTOL / eSTOL / eCTOL) aircraft. Each moderated panel session will include a Q&A discussion with presenters and attendees. The program will run from 8:00 am to 5:30 pm CDT on Saturday and Sunday with seven sessions a day. So prepare for a packed schedule.
The cost of the two-day symposium is $175 for on-site or virtual attendees. There is also a special virtual-only option for VFS student members of only $25. Details on the agenda, registration and sponsorships are posted at: www.vtol.org/eas.
The digital version of the latest “e-Flight-Journal” is available for download now at: https://pdf.e-flight-journal.com The printed version will be distributed at EAA Airventure next week. So pick up a hard copy while they last if you come to Oshkosh yourself or read the PDF version here. Choice are all yours!
If you have missed the trade show recently, no problem! In this issue, you’ll find many show reports including the 11th e-Flight-Expo at AERO Friedrichshafen, ILA Berlin Airshow as well as the Greentech Festival in Berlin. There is a full spectrum of electric aviation development in these shows from hydrogen, electric motor, to eVTOL and fixed wing.
You’ll see the report of several maiden flights of different types of electric aircraft including the first transition flight of the Prosperity eVTOL of Autoflight, as well as the Elektra Trainer two-seat 600kg electric ultralight from Elektra Solar.
If you are a tech nerd, you will find a very interesting exclusive interview with the Chinese eVTOL startup Pantuo Aviation who has designed a futuristic looking ducted-fan eVTOL,test flew a sub-scale demonstrator in short time, and won a design award in Germany. Their engineering team explained many technological details of their eVTOL design.
While waiting for the next issue, please enjoy reading this current issue!
On 29 June 2022, a two-seater full electric aircraft Elektra Trainer from Elektra Solar GmbH (a spin-off of the DLR Institute for Robotics and Mechatronics) took off from Memmingen International Airport in Germany for its maiden flight. The test pilot Uwe Northmann was at control.
The flight lasted about 20 minutes. Elektra Trainer took off in less than 100 meters with very little sound and no emissions. According to Uwe, the airplane has an impressive climb rate over 8 m/s. At cruising speed, Elektra Trainer consumes only around 10 kW of power.
This aircraft accumulates the company’s decades of experience in the development of solar and electric-powered aircraft. Elektra Trainer is primarily based on the proven technology of Elektra One, the single-seat electric ultralight aircraft from Elektra Solar, which was certified in the German ultralight class last year.
Elektra Trainer was designed for flight schools and flight clubs use. The company expects the 0perating costs to be are less than 60 EUR/hour which is about half the cost of an ultralight aircraft with a combustion engine and to justify the higher acquisition price compared with regular ultralight airplanes. In fact, the company will begin flight tests for German ultralight certification and plans to complete the UL certification process by the end of this year. The company has already started preparing for series production.
What is more interesting is that Elektra Solar GmbH puts a cloud infrastructure into operation for automatic system diagnostics and preventive maintenance (digital aircraft platform) for Elektra Trainer. The flight status data is uploaded to a cloud-based server and automatically analyzed using AI methods. The errors and deviations from the normal state are reported to the owner and/or a maintenance company. The company expects this technology and method to increase the safety of the operation and to reduce the maintenance effort.
Elektra Solar GmbH, founded by the electric aviation veteran Calin Gologan, plans to expand its Elektra electric aircraft family up to a 10-seat regional commuter electric aircraft with more than 500km range in 10 years.
Some key specifications of Elektra Trainer:
2.5 hours flight duration
Dual redundant electric drive system
1.25 m wide cockpit for 2 m tall pilots
Assembly time from transport trailer to ready to fly: approx. 30 minutes.
12 kW portable charging station (in the luggage compartment)
Variable pitch propeller
Electric retractable undercarriage
Digital cockpit instrumentation
Digital aircraft platform for automatic system diagnostics and preventive maintenance
The German eVTOL startup Lilium is developing and is to produce electric motor with Honeywell and DENSO for its 7-seat tilt ducted fan eVTOL.
Honeywell is already developing the Lilium Jet’s avionics and flight control systems and invested in Lilium in 2021. Honeywell also has an alliance with DENSO to develop aerospace electric propulsion solutions. Through this collaboration, Lilium’s e-motor will benefit from Honeywell’s aerospace expertise as well as DENSO’s experience in high-quality volume production.
According to Lilium, the dedicated e-motor will be a proprietary, high-performance system, on which Lilium, DENSO and Honeywell teams have been working for nearly two years. It is expected to bring exceptional performance and reliability with zero operating emissions. The e-motor will be an air-cooled design which offers structural simplicity and ease of maintenance compared with traditional liquid cooling systems, and therefore has the potential to significantly reduce aircraft operating costs. The e-motor has its rotor and stator in a centrifugal or ‘radial’ configuration, compared to traditional axial designs. This lowers the component’s weight, manufacturing costs and susceptibility to foreign object damage. It also boasts industry-leading power density, with the first prototypes designed to extract over 100kW of power from a system weighing just over 4kg.