Electric-converted Sling Airplane Made the First Public Flight

On 30 September 2022 an electric airplane called e-Sling designed and produced by students at ETH Zurich made another test flight which for the first time media were on site.

The airplane is converted from a Sling TSI four-seat kitplane. About 20 students participated in the project to equip the airplane with an electric motor and modular battery packs in the wings.

An electric motor with maximum power of 110 kW and a continuous output of 75 kW is similar in power to the 104 kW Rotax 915 iS that it replaces.The Rotax variant can reach speeds of up to 148 knots and has a range of around 800 nautical miles. For the e-Sling a cruise speed of 90 knots and a range of 110 nautical miles are projected.

The e-Sling took off from Dübendorf Airport for the first time on September 19th. The flight test program is a joint effort by the Experimental Aviation of Switzerland (EAS) and, because of the electric drive, also by the Federal Office for Civil Aviation (FOCA).

The project website: https://e-sling.com/

Wisk Unveiled Four-seat eVTOL Intended for Type Certificate

On 3 Oct. 2022 Wisk, the joint-venture between Boeing and Kitty Hawk founded by Google founder Larry Page, unveiled their latest eVTOL design which, according to the company, is their 6th generation eVTOL design.

The model, which is for now simpled called “generation 6”, is four-seat, fully electric powered, has tilt-rotor configuration with total of 12 propellors 6 of which on the leading edge can tilt for both vertical takeoff and landing as well as cruise while the other 6 propellors on the trailing edge are in fixed position for lift purpose only. The configuration is obviously a divert from their current Cora two-seat demonstrator which has lift+cruise configuration.

An important feature of the design is that it continues the autonomous flight control principle of all Kitty Hakw/Wisk designs. That means that all four seats are for passengers and there will be no pilot nor operator on board.

Wisk plans to apply for type certificate for Generation 6.

The specification of the Wisk’s Generation 6:

  • Cruising Altitude: 2500 – 4000 feet above ground level
  • Dimensions: <50 foot wingspan
  • Range: 90 miles (with reserves) / 144 kilometers
  • Cruising Speed: 110-120 knots
  • Charge Time: 15 minutes

For an illustration of the operation concept of Generation 6, Wisk presents this video:

Autoflight Applied Type Certificate for Large Cargo eVTOL

Shanghai-headquartered eVTOL startup Autoflight annouced today that the Chinese regulator CAAC accepted the type certificate application of its V2000CG “Carryall” eVTOL cargo drone.

The model has 2 metric ton maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) with 500kg cargo payload, is fully electrically powered, making its the largest cargo eVTOL applying for type certificate in China.

The model has the lift+cruise configuration with 8 lifting propellor and 1 cruising propellor. The model is a cargo conversion of Autoflight’s “Prosperity” 4-seat passenger-carrying eVTOL design which has 1.5 metric ton MTOW.

According to the trial regulation of special-class UAV operation in the form of Advisory Circular (AC) published by CAAC in 2021, UAV with MTOW over 25kg requires airworthness certification with the exemption of spraying drones for argriculatural use (flying altitude limited to 30 meters).

Eviation’s “Alice” 11-seat Prototype Made First Flight

On 27 September 2022 “Alice” electric commuter prototype designed and produced by Eviation, the electric commuter airplane startup, tooke off for the first time from Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake, Washington, USA. The first flight happened in early morning and lasted about 8 minutes at 3700 feet.

Alice is designed to carry 9 passengers and two pilots in short-haul commuter configuration, 6 passengers in VIP executive cabine configuration and can carry up to 1.1 ton in cargo configuration with 7.5 ton gross weight. Eviation says that Alice will reach 500 miles (800 kilometers) at 400km per hour.

Alice prototype’s maiden flight. photo courtesy: Eviation

Eviation first unveiled Alice full-size mockup at Paris Airshow in 2019, but the company changed the design and revealed the new design in Jule 2021. Eviation expects to receive Part 23 certificate from FAA in 2025 and begins delivery to customers which have piled up over 130 orders with different configurations.

Kittyhawk is to wind down

Kittyhawk, the eVTOL startup company that Google founder Larry Page founded in 2011, announced on its social media that it will “wind down.” Though it is a vague message, this post was soon interpreted that Kittyhawk is shutting down.

On one hand, the message does indicate that Kittyhawk will cease operation. Over the years, Kittyhawk has certainly established its status as the pioneer and leading player in the eVTOL and electric aviation community by designing and test flying six generations of eVTOL demonstrators which, by conventional wisdom of aviation, is a very impressive outcome.

Heaviside tilt-rotor eVTOL demonstrator is currently the only project of Kittyhawk

On another hand,it may make good sense from business perspective for Kittyhawk to concentrate resources on Cora, the eVTOL project which was spun off in 2019 from Kittyhawk to form a joint venture called Wisk with Boeing which invested in $450 millions this year.After all Wisk has publicly announced that it will unveil the four-seat Cora new design in October which will apply for certification and finally be intended for commercial operation. Compared with Cora, Kittyhawk has canceled the Part 103 ultralight category Flyer single-seat eVTOL in 2020 and currently only has Heaviside single-seat eVTOL demonstrator in hand which the company does not specify a clear goal of development.  

Wisk, the joint venture between Kittyhawk and Boeing, is currently test flying a two-seat lift and cruise eVTOL demonstrator Cora and is going to unveil a four-seat new design intended for certification in October

Regardless of the final fate of Kittyhawk, there is no doubt that it has left a deep dent in eVTOL history with its efforts and aircraft and will see its legency carried on in Wisk.

Pie Aeronefs- The Magpie on approach for AERO 2023

Willi Tacke editor of e-flight-Journal together with Pie Aeronefs ceo Marc Umbricht.

Yesterday Willi Tacke,the Founder of e-flight-Journal, visited Pie Aeronefs in the little Village La Sarraz in French Switzerland near Lausanne. The company founded by Marc Umbricht in 2019 is about to develop several electric aircraft from the scratch.

Electric Raceplane UR-1

The First will be the UR 1 a single seated electric aircraft supposed to be flying in the Air Race E.

“This Aircraft will be our Proof of concept for many details and – if all goes well, it will also be our first product sold as Kit, “stated Marc in the interview. It is planned to show the prototype at the AERO 2023.

  • The second aircraft that the company will release is the UG-2 Bullfinch which is supposed to take off in 2024. The UG-2 Bouvreuil is a 2 seat Kitplane which promises performance like a cessna 152 with a range up to 500 NM purely on battery power.

Read more in the next E-Flight-Journal PDF edition.

Boeing and Wisk Unveil Concept of Operations for Urban Air Mobility

ARLINGTON, Va. – Boeing and its joint venture partner Wisk today released a roadmap for transitioning to a future where automated and uncrewed aircraft can safely carry passengers and cargo in urban and suburban areas. The concept of operations lays out the technology, regulatory and social recommendations needed to deploy Urban Air Mobility (UAM) in the United States and integrate it into the national airspace system.

“We’re working to enable a future of aerospace that is safe, sustainable and at scale. Uncrewed operations will be fundamental to realizing that vision, and we have to exceed the current safety standards for the air transportation system,” said Brian Yutko, Boeing Vice President .

More at: https://wisk.aero/news/press-release/uam-conops/

Elerctrifly-In Bern 2022 Success & perhaps new ambitions for record-setting pilots

Record-setting pilot Bertrand Piccrad in the Cockpit of the eMagic at the electrifly-in- Bern on 11.09.2022 “I would really like to fly it ASAP. ” he said
And Piccrad (right) together with the eMagic developer Michael Kügelgen and the German record-setting pilot Klaus Ohlmann (sitting) who holds more than 20 world records of gliders and electric Aircraft

The 6th Swiss Electrifly-In – which for the first time took place at the airport Bern– was a full success. Interesting electric aircraft, new electric and e-flight-projects and very interested visitors. The organizers around Sandra Dubach have done a great work with an easy access for the public and with the symposium, and the organisation of the Challenge.

So the exhibitors who came were satisfied and hope that in the show in upcoming years there will be even more projects from Europe and specially from Swiss as even some well known swiss projects did not find their way to this great event in the swiss capital.

“Some interesting Meetings and efficient networking options,” said Tobias Bretzel, Head of the AERO Fair Friedrichshafen who, like Flying Pages, is one of the partners of the swiss event.

One of the Meetings between record-setting pilot Klaus Ohlman the “around the word flyer” Bertrand Piccrad and the German eVTOL Designer Michael Kügelgen. Bothe wanted to know when they can fly around the world with the single seater eVTOL, and if there is a chance for record flights in the new eVTOL class. Both altready tried out the cockpit.

Klaus Ohlmann trying out the eMagic cockpit.

More Info. of some of the projects here on e-flight-Journal in the next days.

Chinese eVTOL Startup Volant Unveiled Full-scale Prototype

The Chinese eVTOL startup Volant Aerotech today revealed the full-scale prototype of their five-seat (one pilot and four passengers) eVTOL VE25 X1 which has “lift+cruise” configuration with four lift propellors and two pusher propellors for cruise.

Volant Aerotech was founded in Shanghai in mid-2021 by a group of aviation veterans from COMAC (the Chinese equivalent of Boeing and Airbus) and another Chinese eVTOL startup Autoflight as well as the Chinese subsidiaries of Airbus, GE, Honeywell and Collins. The company test flew a 1/3 sub-scale demonstrator in September 2021. The company raised seed fund in “millions” USD and closed pre-A series fundraising in June this year over 100 millions RMB (15 millions USD).

Geely Unveiled 5-seat eVTOL Prototype

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.