The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

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Neuron and Hedera Step Up Plans To Digitize Airspace Management with Blockchain Data Distribution

The partners are working on ways to safely digitize air traffic management by gathering data from sensors in all aircraft types, and securely storing and distributing it via blockchain-based shared ledgers.
Following breakthroughs in trials involving beyond-visual-line-of-sight drone operations, autonomous flight technology group Neuron and blockchain specialist Hedera say they have a plan for digitizing all categories of airspace. The partners claim this approach could help to deliver a long-overdue modernization of air traffic management and would be especially valuable in enabling a rapid scale-up in eVTOL aircraft commercial services.
FAA UAM Conops

Overair Starts Ground Tests with Butterfly eVTOL's Propulsion System

The company is running a full-scale example of the electric aircraft's propulsion system on a truck-based test bed to evaluate its large-scale tilting propellers and other components.
The stand-out design feature of Overair's planned Butterfly eVTOL aircraft is its patented Optimum Speed Propulsion system, based on four large tiliting propellers that spin more slowly than other designs to reduce noise and consume less energy than those used by comparable vehicles. The company has now started ground testing the propulsion system and is in the early stages of building a full-scale prototype of the five-seater model that could fly in 2023.
Overair Butterfly

Skyports Buys London's Falcon Heliport for eVTOL Operations

The advanced air mobility ground infrastructure group will use the facility in the heart of the UK capital to develop operating procedures and technologies for eVTOL vertiports.
Advanced air mobility ground infrastructure group Skyports has bought one of only two public heliports in London for its planned vertiport network for eVTOL aircraft operations. The company has plans for other vertiport developments in the UK and several other countries and will continue to welcome helicopters at the facility.
Skyports vertiport

Japanese Flight Booking Platform To Add EHang's Autonomous eVTOLs to Network

AirX—which offers charter and sightseeing flights in helicopters flown by commercial aircraft operators in Japan—expects to provide eVTOL flights by 2025.
AirX has agreed to add EHang's EH216 autonomous eVTOL aircraft to its flight booking platform in Japan, placing preorders for 50 of the electric two-seaters. The Chinese manufacturer says the agreement is its largest yet with a Japanese customer, as it continues to build an order backlog ahead of type certification by Chinese authorities.
EHang 216

Lockheed Martin Backs Hybrid-electric eSTOL Aircraft Developer Electra

The U.S. defense and aerospace group has not disclosed how much it invested in the start-up during a Series A funding round.
Fresh funding from Lockheed Martin Ventures will support Electra's efforts to start flight testing a full-scale technology demonstrator of its planned eSTOL aircraft during 2022. The hybrid-electric aircraft is expected to be able to carry seven to nine passengers, or a 1,800-pound freight payload, up to 500 miles.
Electra eSTOL aircraft

Blainjett Says Its Variable Pitch System Gives eVTOL Developers New Propulsion Options

The Delaware-based start-up's Dynamic Variable Pitch technology is being evaluated for Horizon Aeronautics' Hoverbike and for a drone being developed by Praxis Aerospace Concepts.
Propulsion technology start-up Blainjett Aviation claims that its patented Dynamic Variable Pitch technology gives eVTOL aircraft developers a compelling alternative to tilt-rotor and ducted fan systems. Company founder Cary Zachary says that the concept avoids the need to change the angle of attack of an aircraft’s rotors to support the forward thrust required for cruise flight and can be configured for various aircraft architectures.

China's AutoFlight Establishes European Subsidiary To Advance eVTOL Plans

AutoFlight Europe is based in the southern German city of Augsburg, which has a rich aerospace heritage. The company is to be led by former Airbus executive Mark Henning.
AutoFlight says its newly rebranded Prosperity I eVTOL aircraft will complete EASA type certification by 2025, and to support that objective the China-based group has established a subsidiary company in Germany. The aircraft, which will carry three passengers and a pilot on trips of up to around 155 miles, is expected to step up its flight test program during 2022.
AutoFlight Prosperity I

How Electric Propulsion and Blown-wing Technology Have Liberated Aircraft Design

Distributed electric propulsion can give aircraft designers greater flexibility over configurations that can make performance more efficient, and Airflow believes blown wing technology unlocks this potential.
Airflow considers blown-wing technology—which accelerates the movement of air over the wing to generate more lift at lower airspeeds—a game-changer in efforts to bring to market electric aircraft like its planned eSTOL models. The company has already logged multiple provisional orders and expects to achieve its first deliveries in 2025.
Airflow eSTOL aircraft.

Agreement with Parking Lot Group Offers 400 Australian Vertiport Sites

Skyportz says demand for car parking may not return to pre-pandemic levels, freeing up space for eVTOL air taxi services to use existing infrastructure.
Secure Parking has signed an agreement with advanced air mobility infrastructure group Skyportz to release access to up to 400 parking lots across Australia that could be used as landing sites for eVTOL aircraft. The sites are in city-center and suburban locations and mainly entail the use of parking lot rooftops, once Australian authorities have agreed on all the necessary safety standards and regulations.
Skyportz Brisbane