The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

Business Aircraft Operator Backs Vaeridion's Plans for Electric Microliner Aircraft

Business aviation charter and management group ASL has agreed to cooperate with start-up Vaeridion’s plans to bring a nine-passenger electric aircraft to market by 2030. The European companies announced their collaboration on Thursday, saying that ASL will provide input on operational aspects of the program, as well as network connections and knowledge of the private aviation sector.

Munich-based Vaeridion has released few details about the all-electric aircraft it refers to as the Microliner. Early images show a design that looks like a high-wing version of the Pilatus PC-12 single turboprop, with the company indicating that a glider-inspired 24-meter (79-foot) wingspan will support a battery-powered range of up to 500 kilometers (272 nm).

Vaeridion sees the Microliner as being part of the emerging regional air mobility sector in which smaller, lower- or zero-carbon aircraft will be deployed to connect smaller cities. The company pointed out that 80 percent of Germans live within 20 kilometers of an airfield.

According to co-founder and CEO Ivor van Dartel, Vaeridion is currently working on the conceptual design and ground tests of a technology demonstrator. The company intends to build a certification-conforming prototype in 2026 and start flight testing that year as it works to words airworthiness approval under EASA's CS-23 Level 3 rules and SC-19 special conditions for electric propulsion. With around 50 people working on the project internally and externally, it is now fundraising to support the project.

ASL Already Plans To Deploy Lilium's eVTOL Aircraft

In May 2023, ASL converted an earlier memorandum of understanding by placing deposits for six of the four-passenger Pioneer Edition of Lilium’s eVTOL aircraft. In 2020, the Belgium-based company launched a program called the Responsible Initiative for Sustainable Environment, through which it intends to reduce the carbon footprint of a fleet that currently consists of jet and turboprop aircraft. The company is already using Pipistrel’s Velis Electro training aircraft.

“Today’s business aviation sector is under pressure to become more sustainable but has also always been an early adopter of new technology,” said Vaeridion co-founder and CEO Ivor van Dartel. “We believe that business aviation will be among the first to adopt electric flight. Joining forces with one of Europe’s leading business aviation operators—ASL Group—will enable us to bring the Microliner design forward, leveraging ASL’s operational know-how and understanding of the passengers' needs.”

Earlier this year, Vaeridion signed partnership agreements with several prospective suppliers, including Saluqi (electric drives), Cylib (battery recycling), Customcells (battery cells), and Industrial Design Studio Hamburg (cabin design). In June, it reached an agreement to work with Aircraft Design Certification, a German company that holds the EASA design organization approval required by companies looking to certify new aircraft.

ASL has not yet indicated whether it plans to order the Microliner itself.