The Future of Advanced Air Mobility
Charles Alcock

Charles Alcock

Charles Alcock is a senior editor with AIN Publications, having returned to the company in 2019 to launch FutureFlight.aero. He has been an aviation journalist since 1986, and previously worked for AIN from 1990 to 2017, most recently as editor-in-chief. In his new UK-based role, he focuses on covering new aerospace technologies and international news.

Having been raised in the London area, Alcock studied at Manchester University in the northwest of England and earned an honors degree in Politics and Modern History. He speaks English and French, and some German.

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EHang Reworks 216 eVTOL Design For Logistics Operations

The 216L version of the Chinese company's two-seat Autonomous Aerial Vehicle features a cargo pod and can carry a 200 kg payload.
EHang has altered the configuration of the 216 by putting the 16 propellers on eight protruding arms above the 216L's fuselage. It says the new version will be able to serve medium-haul routes but has not yet specified its range.

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SkyGrid Introduces Mission Application to Support Unmanned Aircraft Operations

The app uses artificial intelligence to simplify the multiple tasks involved in planning and executing flights.
Although the new app was initially intended to support operations with smaller drones, SkyGrid says that it could be adapted for use with larger and more complex autonomous aircraft.
SkyGrid Flight Control app

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Bell and Xwing Complete NASA Detect and Avoid Flights with APT 70

Flights were made in unsegregated, busy airspace in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and involved operations in Class B airspace and with air traffic control clearances.
Xwing support for Bell in NASA’s Unmanned Aircraft Systems in the National Airspace System program is part of a wider plan to adapt aircraft such as the Cessna 208B Grand Caravan for autonomous commercial operations using its Autoflight technology.
Bell APT 70 in Xwing NASA Trial

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Sabrewing Signs Launch Order for Rhaegal eVTOL Freighter

Saudi Arabia-based Arabian Development & Marketing Co. has become the distributor for the Rhaegal-B in the GCC states and Africa.
Sabrewing's new Middle East and Africa distributor is set to receive the first of 102 Rhaegal-B autonomous cargo-carrying eVTOL aircraft in the fourth quarter of 2021 under a $600 million deal.
Sabrewing Rhaegal-B

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ZeroAvia Makes First Hydrogen Test Flight With Piper Malibu Technology Demonstrator

The six-seater aircraft took off from ZeroAvia's UK development base with a complete propulsion system including hydrogen fuel cells.
ZeroAvia says it aims to get a 10- to 20-seat aircraft retrofitted with its hydrogen propulsion system and ready to start commercial services in 2023. The program is being supported by the UK government-backed Aerospace Technology Institute.
Zero Avia Piper

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Universal Hydrogen Recruits Fuel Cell Specialist Plug Power for Its Aircraft Retrofit Plan

Plug Power has extensive experience developing hydrogen fuel cell stack technology for ground-based e-mobility applications, including for carmaker BMW.
Universal Hydrogen and its new partner Plug Power will build a ground-based prototype for a two-MW hydrogen-electric propulsion system that they intend to retrofit into regional airlines for service entry starting in 2024.
Universal Hydrogen Dash 8

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Vertical Teams with Warwick University to Develop Supercharger for eVTOL Aircraft

Vertical Aerospace intends to test the unit on its VA-1X eVTOL aircraft, which is due to enter service by the end of 2024.
Nearly $3 million in funding from the UK's Aerospace Technology Institute is supporting work by eVTOL developer Vertical Aerospace and a team from the University of Warwick on a supercharger that could extend the range of electric aircraft.
Vertical Aerospace VA-1X

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Heart Aerospace Advances Plans For ES-19 Electric Regional Airliner

The Sweden-based start-up has developed its own electric propulsion system for a 19-seat aircraft that will initially operate on routes of up to around 250 miles.
Heart Aerospace feels that its native Scandinavian region is an ideal environment to advance the early adoption of electric air transportation because the local population is increasingly insistent that aviation must lower its environmental footprint and because governments are actively supportive of the new technology. Its ES-19 aircraft is expected to enter commercial service during 2026.
Heart Aerospace ES-19 electric regional airliner