The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

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Leonardo Backs Rome's Plans for Vertiports with Air Traffic Management Expertise

In addition to building and equipping vertiports in Rome's city center and airports, the partners have plans for ground infrastructure in Venice and in France's Cote d'Azur region.
Italian aerospace group Leonardo has joined a consortium led by Aeroporti di Roma that aims to develop networks of vertiports, starting in Rome in 2024. Leonardo, which has expertise in uncrewed air traffic management, is working on its own new hybrid-electric light helicopter and is helping Vertical Aerospace to build its VX-4 eVTOL vehicle.
Aeroporti di Roma and Leonardo are working to develop vertiports.

Rolls-Royce Invests in Electrolyzer To Produce Hydrogen Aviation Fuel

The aircraft engine maker says it sees hydrogen as "the fuel of the future" and wants to be involved in its production as part of longer-term plans to move aviation away from fossil-fuel dependence.
Aviation propulsion group Rolls-Royce wants to have the capability to produce hydrogen for use in fuel cells and engines, so it is buying a majority stake in electrolysis specialist Hoeller Electrolyzer. Electrolyzers use electricity to break down water into its two components—hydrogen and oxygen—and Rolls-Royce views this as a key part of plans to reduce air transport's dependence on fossil fuels.
Rolls-Royce Power Systems executives have agreed to buy a majority stake in electrolysis specialist Hoeller Electrolyzer.

Astronics Will Provide Power Distribution Systems for Lilium Jet

Lilium's selection of power, lighting, and connectivity specialist Astronics is the latest in a string of key supplier announcements for the company's new eVTOL aircraft.
Astronics is supplying both the secondary and charging power distribution units for the seven-seat Lilium Jet eVTOL model. The systems will ensure a reliable supply of power from the batteries to the aircraft's critical systems, while also providing protection against safety risks associated with the conversion and distribution of high-voltage to low-voltage power.
The Lilium Jet eVTOL aircraft.

China's Agricultural Bank Backs EHang with $149 Million Credit Line

The Agricultural Bank of China is the country's third-largest lender and one the world's 10 largest commercial banks.
EHang has secured a $149 million line of credit to support its research and development efforts for its family of eVTOL aircraft and the launch of full-scale manufacturing and commercial operations. The Chinese company, which is listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange, aims to achieve type certification for its two-seat EH-216 aircraft this year.
EHang's eVTOL aircraft manufacturing facility in Yunfu, China.

Ultralight eVTOL Aircraft Prepares for Multiple Agricultural and Rural Support Roles

Ryse says its $150,000 Recon eVTOL aircraft will offer a carbon-neutral, time-saving alternative to all-terrain vehicles currently used for multiple roles on farms and vineyards and at parks.
Ryse Aerospace Technologies expects to have its Recon single-seat eVTOL aircraft in production during the first quarter of 2023. The vehicle can be operated under the FAA's Part 103 rules for ultralight aircraft, which require no formal flight training for operators such as ranchers, winemakers, and park rangers.
Ryse's Recon single-seat eVTOL vehicle.

Amazon Makes Second Investment in Beta, Following Alia eVTOL Test Flight

Beta Technologies has been conducting multiple test flights with its Alia 250 eVTOL aircraft, which can carry passengers or freight.
Amazon won't say how much it has now invested in Beta Technologies from its $2 billion Climate Pledge Fund or whether it will add the company's Alia 250 eVTOL aircraft to its fleet. The retail group has, however, seen the Alia fly between two of its Air Hub facilities in Ohio as part of a busy flight test program.
Beta Technologies flew its Alia 250 eVTOL aircraft between two of Amazon's Air Hubs in Ohio.

Munich Airport and Airbus To Help Cities Establish eVTOL Aircraft Operations

Airbus is developing both an eVTOL aircraft called CityAirbus NextGen and its ZeroE family of hydrogen-powered airliners.
Munich Airport and Airbus this week expanded their Advanced Air Mobility Initiative to offer support services to other cities and regions wanting to establish eVTOL aircraft operations. The companies will assist with infrastructure requirements and other aspects of the ecosystem needed for the new mode of public transportation. Airbus is also working with gas supplier Linde to develop hydrogen fuel infrastructure at airports worldwide.
Airbus's CityAirbus NextGen eVTOL aircraft could operate from Munich Airport in Germany.

H2 Clipper Completes Simulated Wind Tunnel Tests for Airship Freighter

The U.S. company's current timeline calls for the start of test flights with a subscale prototype in 2025, followed by a full-sized airship in 2028. Both dates are a year later than the company projected in 2021.
Simulated wind tunnel testing using computational fluid dynamics will help H2 Clipper's engineering team to complete design work on the long-range, high-capacity airship it now intends to have flying in 2028. The company says that compared with trucks and ships, the airship will be able to move cargo, such as renewable fuels, between 7 and 10 times faster.
H2 Clipper is developing a large, long-range airship called the "Pipeline-In-The-Sky"