The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

Matt Thurber

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Rolls-Royce Exhibit Shows Off the Scale of Aircraft Engine Maker's Electric Ambitions

Rolls-Royce Electrical's exhibit at the Aero Friedrichshafen show in Germany included the Spirit of Innovation electric aircraft, which recently smashed world speed records.
Rolls-Royce is best known for building large turbofan engines for airliners, but lately, its relatively new Electrical division has been revealing ambitious plans to provide net-zero carbon electric propulsion for a variety of new aircraft. The company is a key partner for eVTOL aircraft developers Vertical Aerospace and Eve and is also working on plans for electric, fixed-wing commuter aircraft.
Rolls-Royce Spirit of Innovation aircraft.

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Safran to Power Diamond's Electric DA40 Light Aircraft

The French aircraft engine manufacturer is increasing its involvement in the burgeoning electric aviation sector by supplying its EngineUs family of motors to multiple aircraft manufacturers.
Diamond Aircraft aims to certify its new electric-powered DA40 light aircraft as soon as the end of 2023,. This week it selected Safran Electrical & Power to provide the electric motor system for what it will designate as the eD40.
Diamond Aircraft's eDA40 electric-powered light aircraft.

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Eve Prepares to Fly Full-Scale eVTOL Prototype As Order Book Swells

Operators in Australia this week made agreements with the manufacturer that could lead to 90 more of its eVTOL aircraft entering service from 2026.
During this week's Singapore Airshow, Eve opened up about progress on the development of its four-passenger eVTOL aircraft, reporting that it is now ground testing a full-scale proof-of-concept prototype that could be ready to start flying in a few months from now. Meanwhile, Australian companies Microflight, Aviair and HeliSpirit signed agreements that could lead to 90 more sales of the all-electric aircraft.
Eve's eVTOL aircraft will fly in city centers.

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Heart's Electric Regional Airliner Will Use Garmin Flight Deck

The U.S. avionics manufacturer's G3000 integrated flight deck is gaining traction in the advanced air mobility sector, having now been selected by electric aircraft manufacturers Heart Aerospace and Joby Aviation.
Heart Aerospace's all-electric 19-seat ES-19 regional airliner is expected to enter commercial service in 2026, equipped with Garmin's G3000 integrated flight deck. The U.S. avionics manufacturer is targetting new electric aircraft, and its system, which has also been selected for Joby's eVTOL aircraft, includes high-resolution flight displays and touchscreen controllers.
Heart Aerospace ES-19 electric regional airliner

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Taking the Controls of Joby's eVTOL Aircraft Simulator

Matt Thurber, editor-in-chief of FutureFlight sister publication AIN, has flown multiple aircraft types over the years, and he jumped at the chance to check out Joby's eVTOL vehicle in the company's simulator.
Joby has installed a fixed-based flight simulator for its four-passenger eVTOL aircraft to give advanced air mobility stakeholders a firsthand opportunity to understand how it will operate. Matt Thurber, editor-in-chief of FutureFlight sister publication AIN, took the controls to see for himself. He was impressed by how the new technology greatly reduces the workload for pilots, allowing them to focus on core flight safety tasks.
Joby simulator

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Autonomous Aircraft Could Expand the Aviation Ecosystem

Reliable Robotics is making steady progress toward certification of its autonomous technology for the Cessna Caravan single-engine turboprop.
Reliable Robotics recently raised $100 million in a funding round that gives a significant boost to the Mountain View, California company’s efforts to develop automatic systems that will make flying safer and eventually remove pilots from the flight deck. Pilots will still be involved in the operation of the aircraft, initially Cessna Caravan single-engine turboprops, but they will be based on the ground and will simply be available to assist when needed.
Reliable Robotics remote pilot

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UP.Partners Closes $230 Million Future Mobility Fund

UP.Partners has closed its venture capital fund with $230 million raised to invest in start-ups in various areas of mobility, including aerial, maritime, and ground vehicles and technologies.
UP.Partners has closed its venture capital fund with $230 million raised to invest in start-ups developing future methods of mobility. Among the companies supported by the group are early-stage start-ups with no revenues and late-stage product-focused companies that are growing revenues rapidly. Its investments include eVTOL aircraft developer Beta Technologies.
Beta Alia

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Honeywell and InfiniDome to Offer GPS Signal Protection For Urban Air Mobility Use

The companies are looking to help eVTOL aircraft and drone operators overcome the problem of GPS signals getting jammed by features such as tall buildings.
InfiniDome's GPS resilience technology mitigates the impact of GPS signals getting jammed, and this capability will now be combined with navigation sensors that avionics group Honeywell is providing for eVTOL aircraft and unmanned aircraft systems. The new capability could be available on the market during the first half of 2022.
InfiniDome

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How Ampaire Is Building Its Hybrid-electric Aircraft Strategy

The ambitious plans for California-based Ampaire include fielding a fleet of hybrid-electric-converted Cessna Grand Caravan utility aircraft.
Ampaire, which is being acquired by Surf Air Mobility, will soon submit an application to the FAA for a supplemental type certificate to replace the Cessna Caravan's turbine engines with a hybrid-electric powertrain. The goal is to create an airplane that can transport passengers on short city-pair routes much more efficiently than the unmodified version.
Ampaire

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Opener's BlackFly Makes Rare Appearance During Oshkosh Show

Hardly anyone has seen the production version of Opener's BlackFly single-seat eVTOL personal aerial vehicle since it first surfaced in 2018.
According to Opener, it has now built 30 full-size versions of its BlackFly single-seat eVTOL personal aerial vehicle, which it says falls under FAA’s Part 103 regulations for ultralight aircraft. While the secretive company is not yet taking orders, it is developing a pilot training program. BlackFly made a brief public flight this week during the EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
Opener Blackfly