UPS Begins Delivering COVID-19 Vaccines with Drones in North Carolina

August 27th, 2021   •   Comments Off on UPS Begins Delivering COVID-19 Vaccines with Drones in North Carolina   
UPS Begins Delivering COVID-19 Vaccines with Drones in North Carolina

UPS is using Matternet drones to deliver COVID vaccines in North Carolina. (UPS)

UPS and its subsidiary UPS Flight Forward have begun delivering COVID-19 vaccines using drones in a new partnership with Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist located in North Carolina, according to an Aug. 24 press release. 

“The delivery of COVID-19 vaccines by drone is an exciting and important step for UPS as we continue our near-perfect vaccine service delivery throughout the U.S. and around the world,” Dan Gagnon, vice president of UPS Healthcare, said in a statement. “We’re providing greater flexibility in how customers, and ultimately patients, receive temperature-controlled pharmaceuticals, which will continue to provide long-term value within the health care industry.”

The vaccines are being transported by a Matternet M2 drone that has been outfitted with a specialized cargo box with a temperature-sensitive packaging mixture, a PCM Gel solution supplied by Cold Chain Technologies. The gel solution keeps the vaccines between 2 and 8 degrees Celsius, and the cargo box also includes a temperature monitoring device to make sure the vaccine stays within the correct temperature range. 

A close up of the specialized cargo box featured on the UPS drones. (UPS)

“Distributing and protecting the integrity of the COVID-19 vaccine is our top priority and we’ve successfully completed multiple test flights to ensure that the vaccine remains at the appropriate temperature throughout transit,” Jennifer Tryon, chief pharmacy officer at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, said in a statement. “The ability to use a temperature monitoring device for our COVID-19 vaccine drone delivery program also opens the door for us to transport additional items which require maintenance of the cold chain.”

The drones used in this project will fly autonomously from Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center to medical practices located at Piedmont Plaza, according to the release. UPS Flight Forward operators will be monitoring the autonomous flight, inspecting the Matternet M2 drones before takeoff, and watching for conflicting air traffic. 

UPS Drone delivers COVID vaccine to Piedmont Plaza. Natalie Russell, PharmD

“The WHO estimates that up to 50 percent of vaccines are wasted globally every year, largely due to temperature control failure,” Andreas Raptopoulos, CEO of Matternet, told Aviation Today in a statement. “The Matternet M2 drone’s speed and ability to maintain cold chain is especially important at a time of intense Covid-19 vaccine demand and more global approvals of cell and gene therapies and biologics requiring refrigerated and frozen storage than ever before.” 

Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist and the practices receiving vaccines are operated through IQ Healthtech Labs. 

The post UPS Begins Delivering COVID-19 Vaccines with Drones in North Carolina appeared first on Aviation Today.

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Air Taxi Companies Ramp Up Infrastructure Plans as Aircraft Certification Looms

August 26th, 2021   •   Comments Off on Air Taxi Companies Ramp Up Infrastructure Plans as Aircraft Certification Looms   
Air Taxi Companies Ramp Up Infrastructure Plans as Aircraft Certification Looms

Lilium’s eVTOL jet will be able to travel 186 miles on a one-hour charge. (Lilium)

Electric air taxis are aiming to fill a gap in the current mobility network with flexibility similar to cars combined with the time savings of air travel. However, unlike a car, air taxis won’t be able to depart and arrive from just anywhere, and unlike traditional aircraft, only using traditional airports will hamstring air taxi capabilities. 

For these reasons, electric air taxi companies are starting to develop plans and partnerships to create infrastructure for the unique needs of electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL). While the necessity of eVTOL infrastructure is not a point of contention, the locations and operational uses are still up for debate. 

A 2021 report on urban air mobility (UAM) from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) found that infrastructure was cited as the biggest challenge for UAM. This infrastructure—most commonly referred to as vertiports in the industry—will be required for initial operations of UAM passenger transport. According to EASA, the most important aspects of vertiports will be their accessibility and electricity infrastructure connection. 

“Dedicated infrastructure is required for the initial operation of UAM passenger transport,” the report states. “‘Vertiports’ that enable takeoff and landing of air taxis, will probably appear in different sizes and numbers in different cities, depending on expected traffic volumes. Two important factors for determining vertiport locations will be ease of access, as well as electricity and infrastructure connection.” 

Varon Vehicles is looking at urban air mobility as an answer to mobility infrastructure problems. (Varon Vehicles)

Varon Vehicles has decided to look at UAM as mobility infrastructure instead of designing its own aircraft, Felipe Varon, founder and CEO of Varon Vehicles, told Aviation Today

“Our approach is not to see UAM as aviation – we use (nextgen) aviation, but our focus is on mobility infrastructure…We see the entire UAM operation as a new form of mobility infrastructure, comparable to roads, train systems, metro systems, cable cars, etc., but with a potential for disruption because we will have no cost-per-mile, so we can approach customers and governments in an entirely different way to generate connections, to serve different markets in pressing need for connection,” Varon said. 

The location of vertiports will be an important consideration for air taxis to be an effective part of a city’s mobility infrastructure. Varon said his company is using requirements from customers to predict vertiport locations. For example, vertiports to service tourists could be centrally located near a hotel. Although this seems self-explanatory, Varon said it has been the most challenging aspect. 

“The biggest challenge in creating vertiports is matching the idea of a vertiport with a real, down to earth, business operation,” Varon said. “That is absolutely not trivial and we’ve taken years to reach this point. Vertiport placement is complex, land allocation is not simple or cheap, we have to consider the mobility interconnection aspect of it and the airspace side of it. And then match this to an operating business case. Not an easy task.” 

The exact location of the vertiports will be tied to customers’ requirements but these vertiports will also be connected to form a network. Lilium, the eVTOL company developing the 7-Seater Jet, has already announced that it intends to create a regional network in Florida that would provide 1,200 miles of connectivity. 

“We are planning on developing our first US regional network in Florida, in partnership with Tavistock and Ferrovial, who share our vision of fast, sustainable travel,” a Lilium spokesperson told Aviation Today. “We have a planned network of 14 vertiports across Florida and project approximately 1,200 miles of connectivity…We’ve been working on a lean, modular design that will help make vertiports accessible to developers large and small.” 

Archer, the developer of Maker, created a data-tracking technology to pinpoint advantageous locations for its vertiports. 

“We’re using Prime Radiant, Archer’s data tracking technology, to determine optimal takeoff and landing locations and routes that we can put into action as soon as our UAM networks launch,” Brett Adcock, Archer’s co-founder, told Aviation Today. “Prime Radiant was developed to work in real-time in response to conditions and demand on the ground by tracking ground traffic and congestion relative to vertiport locations, allowing Archer’s eVTOL aircraft to hone in on those areas and meet demand where it’s most prevalent.” 

Deciding on the location of eVTOL infrastructure will also have to take into account if companies want to repurpose existing infrastructure or build a completely new structure. Wisk, the maker of Cora, is focusing on the development of its aircraft which it will launch using existing infrastructure. 

“eVTOL infrastructure is currently in the exploratory phase of development,” a spokesperson from Wisk told Aviation Today. “While some companies have shown initial vertiport concepts, many OEMs, including Wisk, are focused on the certification of their aircraft. Specifically, at Wisk, we intend to focus on existing infrastructure for our initial launch of services. We believe this is a more efficient and environmentally conscious approach.” 

Other companies, like Lilium, are looking towards a combination of new and existing infrastructure. Besides its operations in Flordia, Lilium will also be conducting operations at airports in Germany. 

“We have also announced our intention to set up future hubs with a number of German airports, including Cologne/Bonn, Düsseldorf, Munich and Nuremberg,” Lilium’s spokesperson said. 

Existing infrastructure can be locations like airports, however, eVTOLs will also be able to utilize existing buildings by converting their rooftops to vertiports. Archer announced a new partnership with REEF Technologies on Aug. 24 to do just that. 

“Our partnership with REEF Technologies to further expand our plans for urban takeoff and landing sites is emblematic of these overall efforts,” Adcock said. “Broadly, we’re open to utilizing all existing infrastructure — from parking garages, to hotels, to high-rise rooftops, and beyond — that can be retrofitted to support our vehicles for takeoff and landing, so as to minimize the amount of new construction required to support a robust UAM network.” 

REEF has a network of over 4,800 parking garages that cover 70 percent of North America’s urban population, according to the release. Archer will use its Prime Radiant technology to determine optimal locations within REEFs existing network. 

Lilium is planning to develop an eVTOL network in Florida. (slide from Lilium’s Analyst Presentation)

The infrastructure for eVTOLs will have requirements that fit into two categories: consumer needs and aircraft needs. The consumers will need places to park. The aircraft will require charging infrastructure and air traffic control technology. 

“Whether a Vertiport is designed to facilitate 20 flights per day or 20 flights per hour, it will have three common ingredients: a take-off area, parking stands and a terminal,” the Lilium spokesperson said. “It will also need high-power charging equipment, air traffic control technology for high throughput operations and digital check-in tools, but we’re working with system suppliers and industry committees to bundle this equipment into standardized ‘plug-and-play’ solutions allowing the sector to scale more rapidly.” 

There is also a possibility for vertiports to become becomes hubs. Varon’s operations will include the vertiports themselves, an airspace architecture linking the vertiports, and the eVTOL fleets operating from the vertiports. While the vertiports will provide takeoff and landing infrastructure for aircraft, the company also imagines them eventually functioning as a large mobility hub. 

“We are starting in Colombia and have chosen the city of Cartagena for first implementation, with rapid expansion plans to other regions of Colombia and Latin America,” Varon said. “Our Vertiports are quite advanced in conceptualization and general design. But initial Vertiports will not be huge mobility hubs, we will get there eventually, more towards the second half or end of this decade.” 

Vertiports can be mobility hubs by allowing access to other transportation services, however, they can also be strategically placed for other purposes. 

“Vertiports can be placed at an existing transport terminal, next to a shopping center, on top of a busy car park or alongside a suburban residential development,” Lilium’s spokesperson said. 

Currently, there are no eVTOL aircraft that have been given certification from the FAA or EASA and while companies are working on finalizing those certifications, it appears they are in the planning phase. Lilium is working on its concept of operations. 

“The concept of traffic corridors is something that has been included in a couple of future Concept of Operations (ConOps) studies – the majority of which are focused on urban air mobility and connecting landing sites within densely populated cities,” the Lilium spokesperson said. “Eventually, we will need to work out how to transition from the traditional services when flying en-route to any new system/destination located within a city.  It will be important to have a seamless and coordinated transition between any two future systems.”

Varon Vehicles is also working on planning, however, they are also looking at factors outside of technology development like public acceptance. 

“We are running plans for implementation of our first operation at this moment, start of operation is not dependent on technology but rather on other factors like public acceptance and also the pandemic situation and the Tourism market’s pickup,” Varon said. 

Companies like Wisk are hoping that public acceptance be tied to the value eVTOLs could add to local communities. Wisk is looking at the development of infrastructure from a multifaceted approach. 

“The development of infrastructure to support future eVTOL air taxi services is multifaceted and includes both the repurposing of existing infrastructure, as well as the development of new, bespoke “vertiports.” Both of these approaches present similar opportunities in several key areas from community engagement and social acceptance (zoning and permitting), to airspace integration (procedures and coordination), to energy grid and storage solutions,” Wisk’s spokesperson said. “Much like the development of eVTOL aircraft, the development of eVTOL infrastructure – if done responsibly – will add value while seamlessly integrating into local communities.” 

While eVTOL companies are already planning and developing future infrastructure, they won’t be able to complete this task alone. 

“However, it is important to recognize that to achieve scale, regulatory bodies (like the FAA, city and municipal governments, and others) must begin to take an active role in the development and repurposing of infrastructure,” Wisk’s spokesperson said. “This will ensure that new and existing infrastructure aligns with industry-wide standards, resulting in future air taxi services that are equitable and accessible for all.” 

On this issue, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it will be adjusting existing rules to meet the bespoke needs of eVTOLs. 

“The flexibility in the FAA’s regulatory framework enables us to tailor existing rules to determine certification requirements for various aspects of eVTOLs,” the FAA told Aviation Today in a statement. “In some cases, the agency could issue special conditions or additional airworthiness criteria, depending on the type of project.” 

Most of these companies say their infrastructure will launch when their aircraft do, which for some could be as early as 2024. 

The post Air Taxi Companies Ramp Up Infrastructure Plans as Aircraft Certification Looms appeared first on Aviation Today.

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Delta Air Lines Expands Fleet with New Airbus A321neo Order

August 25th, 2021   •   Comments Off on Delta Air Lines Expands Fleet with New Airbus A321neo Order   
Delta Air Lines Expands Fleet with New Airbus A321neo Order

A computer-generated rendering of Delta’s Airbus A321neo. (Airbus)

Delta is continuing its 2021 fleet modernization strategy with a new agreement that will add 30 Airbus A321neo aircraft to its fleet.

The aircraft are being converted from purchase rights into firm orders under an existing A321neo agreement Delta has with Airbus. This marks the latest order conversion activity between Delta and the French airframe manufacturer, following a similar transaction in April when Delta and Airbus converted 25 A321neo purchase rights into firm orders and added 25 incremental A321neo options, according to an Aug. 24 press release.

“Adding these aircraft strengthens Delta’s commitment to replacing older fleets with more sustainable, fuel-efficient jets, and offers the best customer experience in the industry,” said Mahendra Nair, Delta’s S.V.P. – Fleet and TechOps Supply Chain. “Delta appreciates the extensive partnership with the Airbus team in support of our strategic growth plans, and we look forward to continuing to work together throughout the recovery and in the years ahead.”

There is currently 121 total of the A321ceo family and the newly announced purchase commitments bring the total firm orders to 155 A321neo aircraft. Powered by the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G turbofan engines, Airbus claims that the A321neo has 12 percent greater fuel efficiency on a per-seat basis than A321ceo aircraft.

Delta revealed its new design for A321neo premium seats last year. (Delta Air Lines)

Interior seating accommodates up to 194 passengers, with 20 in First Class, 42 in “Delta Comfort+” and the final 132 in the main cabin. In May, Delta agreed to a deal with Viasat that will deploy the company’s in-flight connectivity (IFC) on more than 230 aircraft, including select aircraft from the A321neo fleet.

“As the industry looks to emerge from the pandemic, Delta is showing responsible leadership and casting a strong vote of confidence now in the A321neo,” Christian Scherer, Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International said in a statement. “With orders for 30 more of an aircraft that is in very high demand around the globe, our partners at Delta are underscoring the strategic role they see for the A321neo with its outstanding environmental performance for the airline’s renowned customer service and reliability for years into the future.”

Delta has purchase rights for an additional 70 A321neos. The airline expects to take delivery of its first A321neo in the first half of 2022, with deliveries of these aircraft continuing through 2027.

The post Delta Air Lines Expands Fleet with New Airbus A321neo Order appeared first on Aviation Today.

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FAA Funds $20.4M in Grants to Lower Airport Emissions, Invest in Electric Vehicles, and Charging Infrastructure

August 25th, 2021   •   Comments Off on FAA Funds $20.4M in Grants to Lower Airport Emissions, Invest in Electric Vehicles, and Charging Infrastructure   
FAA Funds $20.4M in Grants to Lower Airport Emissions, Invest in Electric Vehicles, and Charging Infrastructure

FAA headquarters in Washington DC. (U.S. Department of Transportation)

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is making a push to lower airport emissions with $20.4 million in new grants to improve air quality at airports, purchase zero-emissions vehicles, and create electric charging infrastructure, the agency announced on Aug. 24. 

The FAA’s Zero-Emissions Vehicle program and President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act will provide $5.9 million in grants to four airports for zero-emissions vehicles. The airports—California’s John Wayne/Orange County Airport, Indiana’s Indianapolis International Airport, North Carolina’s Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, and Ohio’s Springfield-Beckley Municipal Airport—will receive varying amounts of money that will go towards electric subtle buses and charging stations. 

Funds from the FAA’s Voluntary Airport Low Emission Program and the American Rescue Plan Act will provide $14.5 million to reduce airport and ramp equipment emissions at nine airports including Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma Airport, San Diego International Airport, Boise Air Terminal/Gowen Field, Fort Wayne International Airport, St. Louis Lambert International Airport, Philadelphia International Airport, Pittsburgh International Airport, Washington Dulles International Airport, and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. These airports will purchase mobile ground power units, charging stations, per-conditioned air units, and electric multi-use vehicles. 

“Transportation might be the biggest emitter of CO2, but that means we have the opportunity to be a big part of the solution,” FAA Administrator Steve Dickson said in a statement. “These grants put us on the right path to build a more sustainable aviation system.”

The FAA also announced that the White House and multiple federal agencies such as the Energy Department, Agriculture Department, the FAA, and NASA would be holding a roundtable with public and private sector leaders to discuss the decarbonization of the aviation sector. 

The post FAA Funds $20.4M in Grants to Lower Airport Emissions, Invest in Electric Vehicles, and Charging Infrastructure appeared first on Aviation Today.

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Navy Awards PteroDynamics Contract for VTOL Drone

August 25th, 2021   •   Comments Off on Navy Awards PteroDynamics Contract for VTOL Drone   
Navy Awards PteroDynamics Contract for VTOL Drone

PteroDynamics’ drone can fold its wings to fly like a fixed-wing aircraft in forward flight. (PteroDynamics)

The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) has awarded PteroDynamics a contract to supply three of its vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) drones for its Blue Water Maritime Logistics UAS program, the company announced in an Aug. 23 press release. 

In Nov. 2020, NAWCAD acquired a drone for long-range naval ship-to-ship and ship-to-shore cargo transport nicknamed the Blue Water Maritime Logistics UAS.  This project was started in 2019 when an analysis found that 90 percent of critical repair cargo delivered by helicopters at sea weighed less than 50 pounds. 

“Using unmanned, autonomous aircraft for delivery of these critical payloads is an important capability for the Navy to have,” Blue Water’s project lead Bill Macchione said in a statement. “The innovative design of PteroDynamics offers significant potential for both military and civilian missions.”

The drone PteroDynamics will be supplying the Navy with has a Transwing design with wings that fold when the aircraft transitions from lift to forward flight. This allows the aircraft to function as a rotorcraft and fixed-wing aircraft. In the Nov. 2020 release from the Navy, Macchione said they were exploring the possibility of aircraft with folding wings. 

The drone will use common off-the-shelf batteries and is able to carry 15 pounds of payload for at least 50 nm, Kayla Jones, special projects analyst at PteroDynamics, told Aviation Today via email. 

PteroDynamics’ drone uses VTOL capabilities when its wings are unfolded. (PteroDynamics)

“This is an exciting milestone for our distinctive VTOL aircraft,” Val Petrov, PteroDynamics’ founder and CTO, said in a statement. “Our design is well suited for operations on ships where windy conditions and tight spaces challenge other VTOL aircraft during takeoffs and landings.”

Jones said PteroDynamics will continue testing with the Navy in June 2022 after the three aircraft are delivered. 

“PteroDynamics hopes to move forward with the Navy after this project to a larger, hybrid-electric variant of this Transwing cargo VTOL design that would have a max MTOW of 320 lb (145 kg) able to carry payloads up to 50 lb (23 kg) over significantly longer ranges,” Jones said.

The post Navy Awards PteroDynamics Contract for VTOL Drone appeared first on Aviation Today.

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Civil Reserve Air Fleet Activated to Assist in Evacuations from Afghanistan

August 24th, 2021   •   Comments Off on Civil Reserve Air Fleet Activated to Assist in Evacuations from Afghanistan   
Civil Reserve Air Fleet Activated to Assist in Evacuations from Afghanistan

American Airlines Airbus A321. Photo, courtesy of Glenn Beltz / CC BY 2.0.

The post-World War II Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) has been activated for the third time as the Department of Defense conducts evacuations of Afghanistan after the fall of the government and Taliban takeover. 

CRAF allows the Department of Defense to use commercial aircraft; in this case, the aircraft are being used to evacuate U.S. citizens and personnel, Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants, and other at-risk individuals from Afghanistan. The Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin ordered the activation in an Aug. 22 press release from the Defense Department. 

The Stage I activation will include 18 aircraft from six different airlines. American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines, and Omni Air will all provide three aircraft, Hawaiian Airlines will provide two aircraft and United Airlines will provide four aircraft. According to the release, the Defense Department does not expect CRAF to cause major impacts to commercial flights. 

In a statement released on Aug. 22, Delta said it had been in contact with the DoD for days prior to the announcement and that flights would begin Monday morning. Delta said it will use available spare aircraft for the mission as to not interrupt commercial operations. 

“For decades, Delta has actively played a role in supporting the US Military and our troops,” John Laughter, Delta E.V.P. and Chief of Operations, said in the statement. “And we are again proud to pledge Delta people and our aircraft in support our country’s relief efforts.”

In a release from Atlas Air, the company said it was standing by with additional capacity if the Defense Department should need it. 

“As the largest supplier of airlift to the U.S. military, we are proud to provide this essential passenger service in the region at this critical time,” the company said in a statement. “Atlas is a company that cares for the world we carry, and our team feels a tremendous sense of responsibility in serving the needs of the U.S. military and our nation.”

The flights provided by commercial airliners will not be flying into Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, the Defense Department stressed. These aircraft will be used to transport passengers from temporary safe havens and interim staging bases. 

“Activating CRAF increases passenger movement beyond organic capability and allows military aircraft to focus on operations in and out of in Kabul,” the DoD said in a statement. “CRAF is a National Emergency Preparedness Program designed to augment the Department’s airlift capability and is a core component of USTRANSCOM’s ability to meet national security interests and contingency requirements.  Under CRAF, the commercial carriers retain their Civil Status under FAA regulations while USTRANSCOM exercises mission control via its air component, Air Mobility Command.” 

CRAF was created following the Berlin Airlift and has been activated twice before, first to support Operations Desert Shield/Storm in 1990 and 1991 and again for Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2002 and 2003. 

All of the airlines included in CRAF have announced statements in support of the activation. 

“We have been called to duty under the Civil Reserve Air Fleet to support the emergency evacuation of Kabul, Afghanistan,” Hawaiian Airlines posted on Twitter. “We are proud to join the U.S. DoD & our fellow air carriers in the humanitarian effort to bring to the U.S. our citizens & the Afghans who supported them.” 

The post Civil Reserve Air Fleet Activated to Assist in Evacuations from Afghanistan appeared first on Aviation Today.

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What’s Trending in Aerospace – August 22, 2021

August 23rd, 2021   •   Comments Off on What’s Trending in Aerospace – August 22, 2021   
What’s Trending in Aerospace – August 22, 2021

Check out the Aug. 22 edition of What’s Trending in Aerospace, where editors and contributors for Avionics International bring you some of the latest headlines and updates happening across the global aerospace industry.

Commercial 

Ethiopian Airlines to Establish Boeing 767 Conversion Site in Addis Ababa

From right to left: Ethiopian Airlines Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, IAI’s Executive VP and General Manager of Aviation Group, Yossi Melamed (Alon Ron, IAI)

Ethiopian Airlines has signed a new agreement with Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Aviation Group to establish a conversion site for Boeing 767-300 passenger aircraft at the company’s maintenance center in Addis Ababa, according to an Aug. 19 press release.

The new site will become “the largest and most advanced in Africa,” according to the release. The conversion site is to provide solutions in the field of converting passenger aircraft to cargo configuration, aircraft maintenance and overhaul, staff training and guidance, as well as assistance in acquiring certification and licenses.

“In line with our Diversified Aviation Business Model of Vision 2025, we have been increasing our cargo capacity in fleet, ground service infrastructure and cargo connectivity network. Accordingly, we are partnering with IAI, one of the global technology leaders in the aerospace industry, in building a cargo conversion center in our MRO facilities in Addis Ababa Airport,” Ethiopian Airlines Group Chief Executive Officer, Tewolde Gebre Mariam said in the release. “The cargo conversion center will commence its first business with three Ethiopian Airlines owned B-767-300 aircraft. The cargo conversion center in ADD HUB airport will expand its services to all airlines in Africa and the wider region. We are very happy that we are able to collaborate with IAI to enable us to expand our cargo and logistics services, which is already the largest and leading cargo network in Africa. The capacity building will also help us expand our MRO services with cutting edge technology and knowledge transfer.”

Korean Air Focused on Cargo Operations as Passenger Demand Remains Low

Korean Air published its second quarter results on Aug. 13, with profits up 16 percent to KRW 1.9508 trillion ($1.7 million) from the same period a year ago.

The cargo business achieved a revenue of KRW 1.5108 trillion, the highest number in the airline’s history. Its strong performance can be attributed to the increase in company restocking demands in preparation for the economy’s recovery and rise in emergency supply shipments due a capacity shortage in the shipping industry,” the airline said in an Aug. 13 press release.

Check out Korean Air’s full results here

 

 

Alaska Airlines Exercises Options on 12 Additional Boeing 737s

Alaska Airlines is accelerating its fleet growth by exercising options early on 12 Boeing 737-9 aircraft, according to an Aug. 16 press release. The option aircraft are now firm commitments for 2023 and 2024. This additional commitment brings Alaska’s total firm 737-9 order to 93 aircraft, five of which are currently in service.

Alaska announced a restructured agreement with Boeing in December 2020 to acquire 68 total 737-9 aircraft through 2024, with options for another 52 deliveries between 2023 and 2026, according to the release. This year, the airline has exercised 25 of the options, including 13 planes in May.

“We are excited to accelerate Alaska’s growth, building on our solid financial foundation that enabled us to weather the pandemic,” Nat Pieper, Alaska Airlines senior vice president of fleet, finance and alliances said in the release. “These aircraft are a prudent, long-term investment in our business that we can make while simultaneously maintaining our strong balance sheet.”

 

 

 

 

Europe Seeing Rebound in Domestic Airline Traffic to Pre-Pandemic Levels

Eurocontrol’s Director General shared the latest airline passenger traffic numbers in Europe on Monday Aug. 16.

According to the latest passenger traffic shared via Twitter by Eurocontrol Director General Eamonn Brennan, airline flight operations in European airspace were well above the the level of operations during the same week in 2019, prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Week 32 saw traffic at 70.5% of 2019 0.3% on the previous week; Friday was the busiest day this year at 25,934 flightsBased on airline schedules, we’re expecting numbers to head again more strongly in the last 2 weeks of Aug,” Brennan said on Twitter.

 

Military 

US Struggles with Afghanistan Airlift Operation as Chaos Ensues at Kabul Airport 

A pictured tweeted by the U.S. Air Mobility Command, shows Gen. Frank McKenzie, CENTCOM Commander, greeting American servicemembers and Afghan civilians on board a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster.

The United States military continues to struggle with a chaotic situation at Kabul International Airport, where they continue trying to airlift and evacuate Afghan workers and citizens while dealing with challenges presented by Taliban controlled checkpoints and paperwork.

During several press briefings held between Aug. 17 and Aug. 19, DoD press secretary John Kirby and top defense officials have explained how they’re trying to secure the airport, while executing airlift evacuation of U.S. citizens and more than 18,000 Afghan applicants for special immigrant visas to be granted for those Afghans’ aid to the U.S. and NATO as translators and in other jobs.

In an Aug. 18 press briefing, Kirby also commented on the status of U.S. weapons and equipment in Afghanistan.

“When it comes to U.S.-provided equipment that is still in Afghanistan and may not be in the hands of [Afghan National Security Forces] ANSF, there are several options that we have at our disposal to try to deal with that problem set. We don’t obviously want to see our equipment in the hands of those who would act against our interest or the interest of the Afghan people, and increase violence and insecurity inside Afghanistan. There are numerous policy choices that can be made, up to and including destruction, and what I would tell you at this point is those decisions about disposition of that level of equipment in Afghanistan haven’t been made yet,” Kirby said.

Check out some of the latest reporting from The Associated Press on the ongoing situation in Afghanistan here.

 

 

Department of Defense Activates Civil Reserve Air Fleet to Assist With Afghanistan Efforts

The U.S. Department of Defense is activating “Stage 1” of its Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF) to support the Department of State in the evacuation of “U.S. citizens and personnel, Special Immigrant Visa applicants, and other at-risk individuals from Afghanistan,” according to an Aug. 22 press release.

This marks just the third CRAF activation in the history of the program, with the first occurring in support of Operations Desert Shield/Storm in Aug. 1990 and the second for Operation Iraqi Freedom in Feb. 2002.

“The current activation is for 18 aircraft: three each from American Airlines, Atlas Air, Delta Air Lines and Omni Air; two from Hawaiian Airlines; and four from United Airlines. The Department does not anticipate a major impact to commercial flights from this activation,” the agency said in the release.

The CRAF aircraft will not fly into Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, instead they will be used for the onward movement of passengers from the “temporary safe havens” where they’re currently stationed.

 

 

 

US Navy Awards $18 Million Contract for C-UAS HELWS

The U.S. Navy has awarded MZA Associates Corp. with an $18.6 million contract for a counter unmanned aerial system (C-UAS) High Energy Laser Weapon System (HELWS), the Pentagon said on Wednesday.

The system will need to be portable, compact, and low cost. It will also need to use available commercial components. MZA will design, develop, deliver, integrate, and test this system as part of the contract. This system is expected to be delivered by Aug. 17 2023 but work could extend through 2025. MZA will receive over $9 million at the time of the award for development, testing, and evaluation for fiscal 2020 research.

MZA operates out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and specializes in the development of advanced optical and control systems for HELWS, according to the company’s website.

 

 

North Warning System Modernization May Include Detection of Bombers, Cruise Missiles and Small UAS

A North American Aerospace Defense Command F-22 Raptor flies next to a Russian Tu-95 bomber during an intercept in the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone on June 16, 2020. (NORAD)

The modernization of the U.S.-Canadian North Warning System (NWS) should include the ability to detect bombers, low-flying cruise missiles and small drones, U.S. Air Force General Glen VanHerck, the commander of U.S. Northern Command (NORTHCOM) and North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), said on Aug. 17.

A successor to the 1950s Distant Early Warning (DEW) line, NWS, first fielded in the late 1980s, consists of 25 Lockheed Martin [LMT] AN/FPS-117 long-range radars and 36 short-range AN/FPS-124 radars. NWS provides early warning of possible incursions into U.S. airspace and covers nearly 3,000 miles across North America from the Aleutian Islands in southwestern Alaska to Baffin Island in northeastern Canada.

NWS was designed to detect “bombers flying at 36,000 feet that had to fly over the homeland to drop a gravity weapon,” VanHerck said on Aug. 17 during a discussion at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

“Ideally, we would like to go to an advanced system–over-the-horizon radar,” VanHerck said of NWS modernization. “The North Warning System is limited in its distance…which doesn’t allow us to see far enough out away from the homeland. There’s proven technology today that would give us domain awareness. I think it’s crucial, as we create new systems, that we don’t make them singularly focused. Any new systems that we create must be able to not only detect bombers, but cruise missiles and even small UAS, to be affordable and usable.”

 

 

 

Honeywell and InfiniDome Partner for GPS Protected Signals System 

Honeywell and InfiniDome have signed an agreement to develop a system to protect GPS signals for defense and commercial applications like commercial aircraft, urban air mobility vehicles, and unmanned aerial systems, the companies announced in an Aug. 16 press release. 

“Intentional GPS jamming and spoofing incidents are on the rise, and this partnership will enable a rapid solution to this critical industry need,” Matt Picchetti, vice president and general manager of Navigation & Sensors at Honeywell Aerospace, said in a statement. “This partnership will create world-class solutions that will help accelerate the future of flight, especially in urban areas.”

The system will be designed as a navigation platform that can handle GPS denied environments and will allow customers to increase their payloads by eliminating existing equipment meant to handle lost signals, according to the release.

“In combining Honeywell’s best-in-class navigation sensors with leading-edge GPS resilience technology from InfiniDome, we’re working to develop a first-of-its-kind holistic solution built on tightly integrated layers of protection for all uses of navigation for unmanned air and ground vehicles,” Omer Sharar, CEO of InfiniDome, said in the release. “InfiniDome is proud to be working collaboratively with Honeywell to bring about the next generation of GPS protection technology.”

The companies predict the solution will be commercially available in 2022. 

 

 

 

Navy and Boeing Conduct MQ-25 Test Refueling E-2D 

The MQ-25 completed a successful refueling of the command and control aircraft E-2D Hawkeye, Boeing announced in an Aug. 19 press release. 

The Navy and Boeing conducted the test on Aug. 18 with pilots from the Navy’s Air Test and Evaluation Squadron VX-20, according to the release. 

“Once operational the MQ-25 will refuel every receiver-capable platform, including E-2,” Capt. Chad Reed, the Navy’s Unmanned Carrier Aviation program manager, said in a statement. “This flight keeps us on a fast track to getting the Stingray out to the fleet where its refueling capability will greatly increase the range and operational flexibility of the carrier air wing and strike group.”

This is the second refueling test the MQ-25 has completed. In June, the aircraft refueled a Navy Super Hornet. 

“It was another great flight showing that our MQ-25 design is performing to plan,” Dave Bujold, Boeing’s MQ-25 program director, said in a statement. “These historic refueling flights provide an incredible amount of data we feed back into the MQ-25 digital models to ensure the aircraft we’re producing will be the Navy’s game-changer for the carrier air wing.”

 

Japan’s KC-46A Tanker Completes First Refueling Flight

Boeing completed a test refueling flight of the KC-46A tanker built for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) marking the first KC-46A for a non-U.S. customer refueling with another KC-46A, according to an Aug. 16 press release. 

“Refueling with the first Japan KC-46A is an important milestone for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force,” Jamie Burgess, KC-46 program manager, said in a statement. “KC-46A is the world’s most advanced air refueling aircraft and has already transferred more than 42 million gallons of fuel to other aircraft globally through its boom and drogue systems.”

Japan will be receiving its first KC-46A later this year, according to the release.  

 

 

 

Business & GA

Columbia Helicopters Gets Firefighting Contract in Turkey

Columbia Helicopter was awarded a contract from CMC Savunma Sanayi A.S. for two of its 234 Multi-Mission Chinooks for firefighting operations in Turkey, the company announced in an Aug. 17 press release. 

“This contract marks a significant milestone for Columbia Helicopters – our first time operating in Turkey and hopefully the beginning of a long-term partnership,” Olivia Wolfgram-Rubio, business development and marketing manager at Columbia Helicopters, said in a statement. “The 234 Multi-Mission Chinook delivers significant support in protecting life and property. We know it will be extremely successful in helping battle wildfires and protecting Turkish citizens now, and we hope, well into the future.”

The aircraft from this contract will use a 2,600 gallon Bambi Bucket for precision water and retardant drops, according to the release. Because the aircraft is certified under the civilian transport category standards, it can also carry internal cargo and passengers. 

 

 

 

 

 

eVTOLs

Airflow Exceeds $600M in Orders for eSTOL Aircraft 

In January, Airflow announced that they would be moving from sub-scale model testing to a new testing phase using a remodeled Cessna 210. (Airflow)

The aerospace company Airflow has received 11 orders for its electric short takeoff and landing (eSTOL) aircraft totaling over $600 million in orders, the company announced on Aug. 17.

Airflow has two eSTOL aircraft variations, a Model 100 and Model 200. Airflow’s Model 100 is able to carry four passengers or 800 lbs of cargo, only needs 150 feet to take off, and has a 250-mile range. The company’s Model 200 has a nine-passenger or 2,000 lb cargo payload, needs 250 feet to take off, and has a 500-mile range. Both of these aircraft are 100 percent carbon neutral.

 

Unmanned

ModalAI to Manufacture Qualcomm 5G Drone 

ModalAI will be manufacturing and distributing Qualcomm Technologies 5G AI-enabled drone platform, according to an Aug. 17 press release. 

Qualcomm’s drone platform, the Qualcomm Flight RB5 5G Platform, is a developer platform that can be used to build drone and flight applications, according to the release. The platform allows for autonomous flight using 5G cellular technology. 

“Autonomous flight on the 5G network is here now – extending the flight path of drones to increase the value of a broad set of inspection capabilities,” Chad Sweet, CEO of ModalAI, said in a statement. “Better yet, the platform is open to everyone. Together, ModalAI and Qualcomm Technologies are advancing the adoption and commercialization of drone technology.” 

 

 

 

 

Space

Virgin Orbit Subsidiary Vox Space Names Mark Baird as President 

Retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Mark Baird has been named president of Vox Space, Virgin Orbit subsidiary that provides launch services to the national security community.

Baird has held national security space positions including deputy director of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO); the director of Space Acquisition for the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force; and vice commander of the Air Force’s Space and Missile Systems Center. After retiring from the military, Baird served as Lockheed Martin’s principal director of strategy for its space and special programs. He spearheaded development of a roughly $50 billion mission architecture for a classified customer.

 

 

The post What’s Trending in Aerospace – August 22, 2021 appeared first on Aviation Today.

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Is the Electric Air Taxi Market Big Enough for eSTOLs and eVTOLs?

August 20th, 2021   •   Comments Off on Is the Electric Air Taxi Market Big Enough for eSTOLs and eVTOLs?   
Is the Electric Air Taxi Market Big Enough for eSTOLs and eVTOLs?

Jaunt Air Mobility is opening design and manufacturing operations in Canada. (Jaunt Air Mobility)

In the electric air taxi world, there are two aircraft designs that are emerging: electric ultra-short takeoff and landing (eSTOL) aircraft and electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. The differences between these two aircraft center around takeoff however the technologies that enable their unique takeoff styles give each aircraft design different advantages and disadvantages in their flight characteristics. 

Experts in the industry say there is enough space in the industry for both eSTOL and eVTOL aircraft designs to be successful; different mission capabilities will decide if these aircraft are complementary or competitors.

“I’d like to say that in aircraft today and with electric aircraft in the future, there will be many types of aircraft, there will be many winners, and so I think there’s plenty of room in this market moving forward for both eVTOL and eSTOL,” Marc Ausman, CEO and co-founder of Airflow.Aero, said during a panel at AIAA’s Propulsion Energy Forum. “There’s areas where they overlap, and there’s areas where they’ll have different missions that they’ll each be successful in.”

While Ausman says he is a fan of both aircraft designs, he is a bigger fan of eSTOL. Airflow has is developing two eSTOL aircraft variations that will have ranges between 250 miles and 500 miles with payload capacities up to 2,000 lbs. These aircraft will only need between 150 and 250 feet to takeoff and land. 

Shown here, Electra’s ultra-short takeoff and landing aircraft can deliver nearly triple the payload capacity, an order of magnitude longer ranges, and less than half the operating costs. Electra is the most sustainable choice for advancing urban and regional air mobility. (Electra)

Electra.aero is also developing an eSTOL aircraft that uses a technique called blown lift. Electra’s eSTOL aircraft will be able to carry seven passengers and a pilot and will have a range of 500 miles. 

“Blown lift achieves the short takeoff and landing through highly controlled slow speed flight,” John Langford,” founder and CEO of Electra.aero, said during the panel. “It’s really the combination of the distributed electric propulsion, and the blown lift that we think is transformational in this…One of the big things that we have to kind of get our heads around is the idea that these are airplanes that have wings but don’t necessarily use runways. Sure they can use runways, but they’re not required to use runways.” 

The benefit to the eSTOL designs is they do not require the same amount of energy that vertical takeoffs allowing them to have greater range and payload capacity. 

“eVTOLs use electric propulsion to take off and land vertically – many of these concepts then transition from vertical flight to forward flight with a wing providing the lift once in cruise,” Ben Marchionna, director of technology and innovation at Electra.aero, told Aviation Today in June. “Vertical flight requires significantly more power, resulting in an enormous payload, range, and cost penalty. eSTOLs use electric propulsion and an aerodynamic technique called blown lift to takeoff over distances as short as 100 feet. This provides eSTOL aircraft access to many of the same urban air mobility markets.”

Ausman also said that the blown lift technique makes eSTOL aircraft highly maneuverable and allows for very powerful control movements. 

“I don’t know where this idea that you can’t maneuver eSTOL airplanes comes from,” Ausman said. “They are very highly maneuverable, and in fact, the blown lift works to your advantage in that…you get very powerful control moments, both from blowing the aerodynamic surfaces and also from thrust vectoring. You have a number of propellers and you can control the thrust from each so you get both the lift augmentation and the control.”

On the other side of the debate, eVTOLs take off vertically like a helicopter versus the short airplane-like takeoff of eSTOL aircraft. While eSTOL aircraft are able to take off from very short runways, eVTOLs only need enough space for the length of the aircraft, such as a helipad. 

Mark Moore, who co-founded Uber Elevate and is now the CEO of Whisper Aero, said he spent many years during his time at NASA designing eSTOL concepts. However, he now believes that the eVTOL design concept is the better route. 

“For years at NASA, I was pushing for eSTOL to make sense, and I came up with all sorts of crazy concepts and they’re crazy because it’s such a difficult design problem if you’re targeting 100-foot ground roll,” Moore said during the panel. “My opinion is, it’s way, way harder to achieve that with an eSTOL than it is to develop an eVTOL.” 

Moore said one of the issues he finds with eSTOL aircraft is the ability to create enough drag to hit really small runway targets. He also says the aircraft has to have an abort capability. 

“There’s not just a design problem, there’s huge operational challenges as well,” Moore said. “…You have to have an abort capability all the way until the wheels touchdown, and you’ve got to make sure that you don’t end up on the backside of the power curve as you reaccelerate to get out.” 

In January, Airflow announced that they would be moving from sub-scale model testing to a new testing phase using a remodeled Cessna 210. (Airflow)

While Ausman argued that eSTOLs do not have challenges with tight maneuvers, Moore disagreed. 

“You’ve got to worry about eSTOL, they don’t want to be doing tight turns,” Moore said. “You don’t want to be doing turns when you’re coming in really low and slow…eVTOL can do that all day because it’s pure powered lift, it’s not the dependent on the wing lift.” 

Wind could also cause issues with eSTOLs as they are attempting landings, Moore said. 

“The biggest problem is dealing with winds, right,” Moore said. “If you’re coming in at 30 miles per hour and you’ve got a tailwind, you just lost almost 50 percent of your lift, and so that’s a real challenge.” 

The eVTOL aircraft design could also provide for fewer noise emissions which will be important in urban environments. Moore said the propellers on eSTOL that are designed for high induced velocities to generate the extra lift for takeoff and landing usually have small diameter propellers that create noise that human ears are most adapted to hearing. This means that eVTOL can actually make more noise but at a different frequency that is less bothersome to the human ear. 

“Even though the eVTOL is making 10 times more thrust, it’s eight DB quieter, but because of the frequency that it’s making the noise because of the small diameter props, it sounds like it’s 20 to 30 DB,” Moore said. “…If you’re trying to get quiet, those mid-frequency to higher frequency noise are really bad where it’s like you’re paralyzed on the order of 20 DB. So you really don’t want to be making noise in that vocal range…because the human ear is optimized to hear those frequencies the best.” 

Jaunt Air Mobility is developing an eVTOL aircraft. Martin Peryea, CEO of Jaunt Air Mobility, said his team reconfigured their aircraft design to compare the capabilities of eVTOL versus eSTOL. 

“I had our team kind of look at reconfiguring this particular aircraft, the Jaunt Journey, into a short takeoff and landing aircraft,” Peryea said. “I think everybody realizes you can certainly get some performance benefit of running down a runway and taking off, especially with a main rotor system.”

They found that there were some added capabilities with eSTOL aircraft which made him believe that both of these aircraft designs have a place in the current market. 

“So you get about twice the capability out of an eSTOL aircraft, which is not surprising,” Peryea said. “You can trade some of that way, you know, for additional battery capability…We used a fairly short takeoff distance, we looked at a couple of different takeoff distances here, it doesn’t really move the needle, a whole lot in terms of the capability from the payload range perspective, I think, I think we also left it off at 75 feet in this particular case…So, there is a market, actually, in my opinion for both types of these aircraft here.” 

Peryea said he believes eVTOL aircraft will be better in low-speed and high wind conditions. However, the aircraft configuration will also play a big role. 

“From my perspective, in my opinion, the eVTOL aircraft, we’re gonna have better handling quality characteristics at low speed and high gust wind conditions than your short takeoff aircraft,” Peryea said. “You’ll have sufficient, you know, control power available to you, and it certainly is going to be dependent on the configuration of the aircraft.”  

The post Is the Electric Air Taxi Market Big Enough for eSTOLs and eVTOLs? appeared first on Aviation Today.

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How Could Drones and Air Taxis Help with Weather Predictions?

August 19th, 2021   •   Comments Off on How Could Drones and Air Taxis Help with Weather Predictions?   
How Could Drones and Air Taxis Help with Weather Predictions?

The University of Oklahoma is part of a team of universities to receive $5.2 million over four years to improve real-time weather forecasting of low-level winds and turbulence in rural and urban environments. (NASA)

While the development of advanced air mobility (AAM) aircraft like drones and air taxis is being pitched as an advancement of logistical support to move cargo and people, a project from university researchers and NASA could allow these aircraft to create more accurate weather predictions. 

The University of Oklahoma is part of a team of universities to receive $5.2 million over four years to improve real-time weather forecasting of low-level winds and turbulence in rural and urban environments. 

“The real focus here is that in an urban environment, you can think about microclimates particularly when it relates to wind,” Dr. Jamey Jacob, director of Oklahoma State University’s Unmanned Systems Research Institute, told Avionics International

This would essentially create PIREPs or Pilot Reports for drones, Jacob said. 

The aircraft would carry sensors to take measurements of the surrounding conditions and then report them back to a traffic management system to provide drone and air taxi operators with weather data. This data could also be reported into a forecasting system to provide micro weather forecasts so that even parts of the population who are not using AAM vehicles can take advantage of it. 

“As drones are flying, they’re able to take measurements of these conditions and report them back to the unmanned traffic management network,” Jacob said. “But simultaneously, they can take this data and then report it back to a real-time forecasting system, and that real-time forecasting system can provide micro weather forecasts and updates about what you would expect to see for both urban air taxis and for drones flying in urban environments.” 

The thermodynamic sensors on the aircraft would measure pressure, temperature, and humidity. 

“Those are the three important things for the weather forecasting piece and then other sensors that measure wind,” Jacob said. “Those can be integrated sensors in the vehicle or those can actually be derived from the inertial measurement unit that you have onboard the aircraft as well.” 

This kind of weather forecasting would be helpful because current modeling is two-dimensional and not much weather forecasting is happening in these areas. 

“Our weather observations right now are very 2D,” Jacob said. “We take measurements on the ground, we fly weather balloons but they’re very limited in terms of what they see and how often they fly, and do we have radars that look down kind of projected on a plane. So we don’t really do three-dimensional weather observations, and both drones and urban air taxis really really open that up for us.” 

Using drones and air taxis like this further increases their use for the broader community and not just people directing using them. 

“It has broad societal impact, right, even if you don’t have deliveries by drones that you don’t fly in an urban air taxi, your weather forecasts will be improved and your weather alert system will be enhanced greatly by this will protect potentially saving life and property,” Jacob said. 

Jacob said he hopes that this capability could also improve severe weather forecasting. 

“Eventually we hope to be able to take the same type of system to improve severe weather forecasting, as well, which is going to become more important as we continue to have extreme weather events that end up having very very micro impacts on certain areas, whether it’s flash floods or icing conditions,” Jacob said. 

The team is still in the first year of the four-year project. They have completed pilot tests of the system with the National Weather Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

The post How Could Drones and Air Taxis Help with Weather Predictions? appeared first on Aviation Today.

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Airflow Exceeds $600M in Orders for eSTOL Aircraft

August 19th, 2021   •   Comments Off on Airflow Exceeds $600M in Orders for eSTOL Aircraft   
Airflow Exceeds $600M in Orders for eSTOL Aircraft

In January, Airflow announced that they would be moving from sub-scale model testing to a new testing phase using a remodeled Cessna 210. (Airflow)

The aerospace company Airflow has received 11 orders for its electric short takeoff and landing (eSTOL) aircraft totaling over $600 million in orders, the company announced on Aug. 17. 

Airflow has two eSTOL aircraft variations, a Model 100 and Model 200. Airflow’s Model 100 is able to carry four passengers or 800 lbs of cargo, only needs 150 feet to take off, and has a 250-mile range. The company’s Model 200 has a nine-passenger or 2,000 lb cargo payload, needs 250 feet to take off, and has a 500-mile range. Both of these aircraft are 100 percent carbon neutral. 

Airflow also named former Embraer CEO Paulo Cesar Silva to its advisory board, according to the release. Silva will advise Airflow on financing, manufacturing, and a commercial launch strategy. 

“The future of aviation not only demands net-zero carbon emissions but also the ability to bring to market a much lower operating cost aircraft while meeting the needs of both passengers and operators,” Silva said in a statement. “The Airflow team has the right experience to effectively seize the opportunity of eSTOLs thereby changing the face of sub-regional transportation. I’m excited to work alongside Marc and the team and inform, through my own experience, a focus on customer needs and a compelling value proposition.”

Airflow’s eSTOL aircraft is predicted to enter service in 2025 and according to the company’s website, it will require no new infrastructure and fit within existing regulatory frameworks. 

“The interest that we’re seeing from airlines worldwide for realistic eSTOL capabilities is incredible. This means we’re able to offer cargo and passengers operators value from day one by using today’s infrastructure, regulations, and use cases. In fact, customers will be able to expand their existing networks using our next-gen aircraft,” Marc Ausman, Co-founder and CEO of Airflow, said in a statement. “With Paulo advising Airflow he will aid us in continuing to focus on our North Star which is a commitment to solving real-world customer needs.” 

The company’s eSTOL aircraft is able to land on short runways by using distributed electric propulsion providing control at slower airspeeds and a precision landing pilot assistance system, according to the company’s website. Airflow also uses an aerial operating system to manage aircraft in real-time. 

In January, Airflow announced that they would be moving from sub-scale model testing to a new testing phase using a remodeled Cessna 210. The Cessna aircraft will be transformed into an eSTOL aircraft with distributed electric propulsion. 

The post Airflow Exceeds $600M in Orders for eSTOL Aircraft appeared first on Aviation Today.

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