NASA Flight Trials Evaluate Communications Infrastructure for Advanced Air Mobility
NASA is deploying a Pilatus PC-12 for test flights in the Cleveland area as part of its work to pave the way for the autonomous operations envisaged for the advanced air mobility sector. The flights started on May 18 and will run through June 25, with the agency’s pilots following roadways over Cleveland, Lodi, Mansfield, and Medina in Ohio to test communications technology expected to be used by eVTOLs and other new air vehicles.
The space agency's PC-12 has been fitted with monitors to measure cell tower signal strength at various altitudes in urban, suburban, and rural areas. It will fly no lower than 1,000 feet in populated areas and no lower than 500 feet outside towns.
Electra.aero eSTOL Developers Honored for Aeronautics Breakthroughs
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is recognizing the achievements of two members of hybrid-electric eSTOL aircraft developer Electra.aero. Founder and CEO John Langford is to receive the 2023 AIAA Reed Aeronautics Award, which is the highest honor the association bestows for notable achievements in aeronautics. The Virginia-based company’s senior technical advisor, Mark Drela, has been recognized as a Class of 2023 Honorary Fellow.
Langford and Drela have worked together for 45 years since they first collaborated at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on projects such as the Chrysalis, Monarch, and Daedalus. Most recently, they were partnered at Aurora Flight Sciences, which Langford formed in 1989. Both are members of the National Academy of Engineering and hold doctoral degrees from MIT’s Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
ZeroAvia Announces Another Hydrogen Infrastructure Partner
Hydrogen infrastructure specialist Gen-H2 is partnering with ZeroAvia to prepare to support operators of regional airliners converted to use the ZA600 and ZA2000 powertrains. Under a memorandum of understanding signed on Tuesday, Florida-based GenH2 will explore the use of its liquefaction, storage, and dispensing systems, ranging in capacity from 20 to 5,000 kilograms per day, which could operate on the airside of airports as ground-support refueling units and primary sources of liquid hydrogen fuel for aircraft. ZeroAvia has previously announced similar infrastructure partnerships with companies in Europe.
Moove Offers Software To Assess Time, Cost, and Environmental Benefits of AAM
Moove has introduced an advanced air mobility trip-modeling tool described as a direct sales and passenger platform and a multimodal door-to-door portal offered to future eVTOL aircraft operators and airports. The French tech start-up’s software allows every stakeholder and future passenger to easily visualize flights, their benefits in travel time savings, and reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.
Moove launched its planning portal to offer a glimpse of future suburban and regional travel, and to generate data on factors such as time and productivity benefits. “In the future, with shorter-distance aerial travel, competition with ground transportation will be at the core of passengers' decisions while environmental footprint would need to be demonstrated each time they want to fly,” said Moove founder Arthur Ingles.
Ryse Patents Carbon Fiber Frame for Personal eVTOL Vehicle
Ryse Aero Technologies has filed a patent application for the carbon fiber frame used to manufacture its Recon personal eVTOL vehicle. The manufacturer is replacing the aluminum frames used in earlier prototypes with what it says will be a lighter and more economical approach for series production aircraft.
Ohio-based Ryse said it will be ready to start delivering the first Recons to customers later this year. Because the Recon is an ultralight aircraft covered by the FAA’s Part 103 rules, operators don’t need a license and the vehicle doesn't have to go through the rigorous FAA type certification process that's required for other eVTOL aircraft intended for commercial uses, such as air taxis.
Afwerx High-Speed Vertical Takeoff and Landing Contributors Identified
The U.S. Air Force’s Afwerx program has disclosed the identities of companies that participated in the Phase 1A stage of its High-Speed Vertical Takeoff and Landing (HSVTOL) Concept Challenge. During the Vertical Flight Society’s Forum in West Palm Beach. Florida, last week, it was confirmed that Transcend Air, Bell, Jaunt, Jetoptera, Piasecki, and VerdeGo Aero were down-selected from an earlier list of 11 companies. The first five companies are all developing aircraft, while VerdeGo is developing a hybrid-electric propulsion system. The Air Force and the U.S. Special Operations Command sponsored the engineering project.