The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

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GE Digital Teams with Varon To Develop Urban Air Mobility Plans in Latin America

The industrial software specialist GE Digital this week signed a memorandum of understanding to partner with Varon Vehicles Corporation in its plans to develop urban air mobility infrastructure and services.
Varon Vehicles' plans for urban air mobility are expected to come to fruition first in Colombia, where the company is headquartered. Under a new agreement, it will now receive support from GE Digital in areas such as software analytics needed to develop the capability for airspace efficiency, safety and predictive maintenance for eVTOL aircraft.
Varon Vehicles

MagniX Expands Power Options with 350 kW and 650 kW Electric Propulsion Units

The new Magni350 and Magni650 electric propulsion units provide lower and higher power ratings than the existing 500 kW Magni500.
MagniX says it is on track to complete FAA certification of its family of electric propulsion units under Part 33 rules. In addition to the existing 500 kW Magni500 EPU, which has already flown on electrified versions of the Cessna Grand Caravan and the DHC-2 Beaver, the company also now offers the Magni350 and Magni650 units.

Liebherr-Aerospace Teams With GM to Develop Hydrogen Fuel Cells For Aircraft

Automotive group GM is providing its proven Hydrotec fuel cell technology to join forces with experienced aircraft systems integration specialist Liebherr to bring new hydrogen propulsion technology to the aviation sector.
Teams from Liebherr-Aerospace and U.S. carmaker GM will work together at the European aviation group's laboratory in Toulouse, France, to develop a hydrogen fuel cell technology demonstrator. The partners seek to support plans to convert commercial airliners to hydrogen propulsion, such as those being advanced by Airbus through its Zero E program.
GM Hydrotec fuel cell

Local U.S. Leaders Look to Emerging Technologies for Growth

Local leaders like Mayor Barbara Tolbert of Arlington in Washington state are calling for collaboration to pave the way for emerging technologies.
The Alliance for Aviation Across America. is encouraging local communities and their airports to engage with companies advancing sustainability and emerging technology for the industry as a why to reinvent themselves and stimulate prosperity. Arlington in Washington state is a classic case in point, having recently attracted Eviation to relocate its program to develop a nine-passenger electric aircraft called Alice to the town's general aviation airport.
Eviation Alice

SAE Close to Completing Guidance on Endurance Tests for Electric Aircraft Engines

Industry standards group SAE International will soon publish guidelines advising developers of new electric propulsion systems how they can adequately test them for durability and integrity.
SAE International's E-40 committee on electrified propulsion is working on guidance to help the rapidly developing electric aviation sector to demonstrate the safe operations of new motors under all operational limits and assess the duration of their service life. The ARP8689 document is set to be published by the end of 2021 and will include details on proposed test procedures.
Safran electric motors

Former Airbus CEO Thomas Enders To Chair Lilium after Qell Merger

The board of German eVTOL aircraft developer Lilium will be lead by former Airbus CEO Thomas Enders following its imminent completion of its planned IPO merger with special purpose acquisition company Qell.
Former Airbus CEO and designated Lilium board chairman Thomas Enders told analysts that Honeywell Aerospace, Palantir, Lufthansa Flight Training and Ferrovial will play a critical role in bringing the seven-seat Lilium Jet into commercial service by 2024. The German company is expected to complete its planned merger with special purpose acquisition company Qell by the end of June, raising around $830 million in the process.
Lilium Jet interior

European Ferry Group Commits To Buying Regent Sea Gliders

Brittany Ferries wants to start operating a version of Regent Craft's new electric sea glider that would be able to carry between 50 and 150 passengers on popular routes between France and the UK.
Regent Craft aims to have larger version of its planned electric sea glider ready to enter service with Brittany Ferries from 2028. This would carry between 50 to 150 passengers, which is significantly larger than the 12-seat version it currently has in development. The operator says the sea glider could travel six times faster than a conventional ferry, with speeds of up to 180 mph.
Regent Craft seaglider

New Zealand Coastal Site Now Available for Aerospace Test Facilities

Developers of eVTOL aircraft are among the aerospace companies being invited to establish test and development facilities on coastal land on the Kaitorete Spit near Christchurch on New Zealand's south island.
Through a partnership between the New Zealand government and the Maori communities of Te Taumutu and Wairewa, almost 2,500 acres of land are available for aerospace development work on the Kaitorete Spit. The site, which is an area of ecological importance with protected conservation status, is close to the city of Christchurch on New Zealand's south island. Among aerospace firms being encouraged to consider using the site are eVTOL aircraft developers and space enterprises.
Kaitorete Spit

EHang Deploys eVTOL Aircraft in Chinese Covid Containment Effort

EHang is providing support to officials in China's Guangdong provinces who are trying to reverse a resurgence in Covid-19 infections. Several of its eVTOL aircraft and drones are being operated from a base in Guangzhou.
EHang's EH216 eVTOL aircraft, plus some of its Falcon B drones, are being used for missions such as aerial logistics, emergency transportation, inspections, broadcasting, and deliveries in Covid quarantine and containment zones in China's Guangdong province. The Chinese manufacturer has deployed an operations team to support local officials from the city of Guangzhou.
EHang Covid relief