China’s COMAC unveil eVTOL prototype

Today the Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China (COMAC, ARJ21 & C919 jet manufacturer)’s Beijing Research Center unveiled the fuel cell-powered eVTOL prototype. Official press release not yet published. Will update when new information come out. A 50% sub-scale model has flown for a while.

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The above is the 50% sub-scale model

Lilium CEO’s latest interview

Lilium’s founder and CEO Daniel Wiegand recently had an interview with a German newspaper “Frankfurter Allgemeine”. Daniel revealed quite some interesting information in this interview such as their product development plan and fund raising situation and IPO plan. The link is in German but you can use google translate to read it:

https://zeitung.faz.net/faz/unternehmen/2021-01-05/5c6d3053508b808dcce6e4f024fd7fc6/?GEPC=s3

New design from BetaTechnologies called Alia

The startup from South Burlington, Vermont, USA
(www.beta.team) presented this prototype earlier this month. The aircraft looks a bit like a cross bread between a conventional helicopter, a fixed wing aircraft and some other existing lift and cruise designs.

They did fly their first eVTOL Prototype in 2018 based on a modified Fixed Wing Aircraft.

More info at https://www.wired.com/story/new-air-taxi-design-cues-far-flying-bird/ and at the e-flight-forum.com -China 2020- with Presenters from the leading companies and authorities world wide like Pipistrel, Volocopter, Joby and Rolls Royce.

www.e-flight-forum.com

Uber Elevate Published New Whitepaper

Four years after Uber published the first Elevate whitepaper in October 2016 which literally launched eVTOL and UAM market, now Uber Elevate published a new whitepaper named “Uber Air: Designing for the Community”. As several eVTOL companies including both Uber Elevate partners and non-partners have been in the process of certification, it should be no surprise that Uber Elevate now shift its focus to ecosystem and community build up to prepare for the initial operation in the near future.

This whitepaper PDF file is available for downloading at:

https://d1nyezh1ys8wfo.cloudfront.net/static/Uber+Air_Designing+for+the+Community.pdf

Airbus Reveals Hydrogen Aviation roadmap and three conceptual designs

On 21 September 2020, Airbus presented three ZEROe airplane concepts which are all hydrogen hybrid aircraft. They are powered by hydrogen combustion through modified gas-turbine engines. Liquid hydrogen is used as fuel for combustion with oxygen. Airbus plans to to develop the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft by 2035.

ZEROe is an Airbus concept aircraft. In the turbofan configuration, two hybrid hydrogen turbofan engines provide thrust. The liquid hydrogen storage and distribution system is located behind the rear pressure bulkhead
Turfan concept: Two hybrid hydrogen turbofan engines provide thrust. The liquid hydrogen storage and distribution system is located behind the rear pressure bulkhead.
ZEROe is an Airbus concept aircraft. In the turboprop configuration, two hybrid hydrogen turboprop engines provide thrust. The liquid hydrogen storage and distribution system is located behind the rear pressure bulkhead.

Turboprop concept: Two hybrid hydrogen turboprop engines, which drive the six bladed propellers, provide thrust. The liquid hydrogen storage and distribution system is located behind the rear pressure bulkhead.

ZEROe is an Airbus concept aircraft. In the blended-wing body configuration, two hybrid hydrogen turbofan engines provide thrust. The liquid hydrogen storage tanks are stored underneath the wings.

The exceptionally wide interior opens up multiple options for hydrogen storage and distribution. Here, the liquid hydrogen storage tanks are stored underneath the wings. Two hybrid hydrogen turbofan engines provide thrust.

For the full presentation, please refer to: https://www.airbus.com/innovation/zero-emission/hydrogen/zeroe.html

MagniX developing megawatt-level motor for hydrogen-powered Dash-8

On 15 September 2020 MagniX annouced that it was selected as the motor suppler for the hydrogen-powered Dash-8 airplane project of Universal Hydrogen which was recently founded by the former UTC CTO Paul Eremenko.

Universal Hydrogen is developing a retrofit kit for the De Havilland Canada DHC8-Q300, aka “Dash-8”,to a hydrogen fuel cell electric powertrain.

MagniX will develop and supply two megawatt-class electric propulsion system to be installed on each wing of Dash-8.

Magni X Universal Hydrogen

“There is a clear need for a step change in emissions reduction in commercial aviation, and hydrogen-based, carbon-free power is the future of the industry,” said Paul Eremenko, co-founder and CEO of Universal Hydrogen. “When looking for our propulsion partner, magniX stood out as a clear, proven leader with a track-record of delivering the best in aerospace-grade electric propulsion. We look forward to watching the successful flights of our fully carbon-free Dash 8.”

“Universal Hydrogen, through its hydrogen transport and distribution infrastructure solution, is on a path to change the way regional flight is achieved, and transform it from decades-old, expensive, polluting technology to low-cost clean solutions,” said Roei Ganzarski, CEO of magniX. “The magniX team is inspired by the synergies between our mission and that of Universal Hydrogen. Together, we will bring scalable, proven technology to the next level of electric aviation.”

Autoflight unveiled V400 eVTOL large cargo drone

On September 13 2020 at the 2020 World UAV Conference held in Shenzhen, China, Autoflight Aviation Technology Co., Ltd. unveiled V400 “Albatross” electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for logistics for the global market, as well as announced its eVTOL product development roadmap.

V400 has two models with full electric and hybrid power respectively. Both models have 400kg maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) and 100kg payload capacity. V400 is the first eVTOL in China specifically designed for logistics application and with over 100kg payload. With full payload the V400 electric model has 300km range while the V400 hybrid model has up to 1000km range, making V400 the logistics eVTOL with the longest range and the highest payload in China as of today. Autoflight have completed the construction of V400 prototype and plan to make the maiden flight by the year end.

Autoflight plan to develop eVTOL products for both logistics use and passenger carrying use such as urban air mobility (UAM), and pursue flight permit and airworthiness certification in China when relevant category and certification specification are established.