The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

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Universal Hydrogen Closes $20.5 Million Series A Funding Round

The start-up has now raised $23.5 million to support its plans to convert airliners to hydrogen propulsion by 2025.
Universal Hydrogen announced the close of its Series A funding round on Earth Day, with a claim that its hydrogen propulsion system gives air transport the best shot at meeting its commitments under the Paris Agreement on climate change. New and existing backers of the technology contributed to the round.
Universal Hydrogen

Leonardo Confirms New Plans For a Hybrid-Electric Helicopter

The Italian rotorcraft group is expected to develop a technology demonstrator for an aircraft that could lead to a new model being ready to enter service in the second half of the 2020s.
Leonardo's Swiss-based Kopter subsidiary has been designated as the group's center of excellence for new rotorcraft technology. The prototypes for its new AW09 single-engine helicopter will likely be used as the basis for a technology demonstrator for the proposed hybrid-electric design.
Leonardo AW09

Oxis Is Close to Delivering Higher-energy Lithium-Sulfur Batteries for Electric Aircraft

By the fall of 2021, the UK company expects to be making its solid-state Li-S battery cells available for trial applications in aviation and other sectors.
Initially, the Oxis Quasi Solid-State Li-S cells will have specific energy levels of around 450 Wh/kg and energy density of 550 Wh/L, which is already higher than existing lithium-ion batteries. The company expects to improve this performance by at least one-third by 2026.
Oxis Lithium-sulfur battery

MightyFly Cleared to Start Autonomous Cargo Drone Services

The start-up's hybrid-electric MF-100 aircraft is expected to have a 100-pound payload and a range of up to 600 miles.
MightyFly says that it can operate a fleet of cargo eVTOL aircraft almost completely autonomously, with just a small team of controllers monitoring flights from the ground. Packages will be transferred autonomously between aircraft at dedicated transfer stations located close to its business customers, with trial operations due to start in 2022.

Harbour Air and MagniX Strengthen eBeaver Team With Solar Impulse Battery Expertise

H55, a spin-off venture from the Solar Impulse electric aircraft program, will provide battery packs to support conversion of the Beaver utility aircraft to electric propulsion.
Canadian regional airline Harbour Air plans to convert its fleet of Beaver aircraft to electrical power and, in partnership with MagniX and H55, offer other operators a conversion kit under a supplemental type certificate. The partners are aiming to have the conversion on the market by 2022.
Harbour Air

Lilium Partners With Airports to Build Regional Air Mobility Network in Bavaria

From Nuremberg and Munich airports, Lilium intends to offer flights to cities across the large and economically vibrant German state.
With around 13 million people, Bavaria is Germany's second-most-populous state, after North Rhine-Westphalia, where Lilium already has an agreement in place to launch regional flights in its six-passenger eVTOL aircraft.
Lilium vertiport at Nuremberg

Volocopter Steps Up Chinese Urban Air Mobility Plans Through Geely Joint Venture

Chinese automotive group Geely Technology is among the largest investors in the German eVTOL aircraft developer.
Volocopter's new joint venture with Geely will likely involve the Chinese group's general aviation subsidiary Aerofugia, which is now developing the Transition flying car program started by U.S.-based Terrafugia and has plans for a four-seat eVTOL design called the TF-2A. The partners want to launch air taxi services in several Chinese cities.
Volocopter 2X

EHang Confirms Plans For VT30 Longer-Range, Lift-plus-Cruise eVTOL Aircraft

The Chinese company is also seeking an experimental certificate for a new piloted version of its fully-autonomous EH216 eVTOL aircraft.
Announcing full-year financial results for 2020, EHang's management said that in 2021 the company will transition to a full-service urban air mobility operating model as it steps up efforts to complete type certification of its short-range EH216 aircraft. The Civil Aviation Administration of China has established a team dedicated to handling the type certification application, which was formally accepted in January 2020.

With Astro Acquisition Looming, Horizon Says Investors Still Bullish On eVTOL Air Taxis

Astro says it plans to acquire Horizon Aircraft as it seeks a Nasdaq listing to support plans for a trio of eVTOL designs, the Cavorite X5, the Alta and the Elroy.
Horizon's survey of private equity and venture capital investors supports estimates of at least 160,000 eVTOL air taxis in commercial service by 2050. However, the projected IPO valuation for its prospective new parent company Astro Aerospace seems far less clear with its current OTC stock price well below its target for a transaction that is due to close in the second quarter of 2021.
Horizon Cavorite X5