Archer Aviation Gets Fiat Chrysler Backing

Dean Sigler Electric Powerplants, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Another eVTOL?  Among the many battery- and solar-powered entries at this year’s (virtual) Consumer Electronics Show, Archer Aviation has entered the electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (EVTOL) market with Fiat Chrysler backing.  It’s being discreet about it, however, and reveals little detail. The company willingly shares its mission statement, though.  “To fix traffic and create a fully renewable transportation solution, we’re designing, manufacturing, and operating advanced electric aircraft that can travel 60 miles at 150 mph, all with today’s technology.” They present only one picture of their design, a head-on shot on a black backdrop.  We can see the six large rotors blanketing the leading edge of the wing, but wonder how and where the six vertical lift rotors are …

Joby “Unicorn” Gains Private, Military Backing

Dean Sigler Announcements, Batteries, Electric Powerplants, Fuel Cells, Hydrogen Fuel, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Joby Aviation is one of few “unicorns” in the electric Vertical Take Off and Landing (eVTOL) market, a billion-dollar enterprise.  With funding coming from Toyota, several venture capital investors, Uber and the U. S. Army, Joby seems poised to demonstrate Urban Air Mobility (UAM) in a serious way. In 2011 JoeBen Bevirt, founder of Joby Energy, Joby Aviation, and creator of those knobby-looking tripods you see everywhere, invited Patrick McLaughlin to visit his design studio.  Your editor got to tag along.  On Woodpecker Ridge, north of Santa Cruz, JoeBen’s barn-like studio housed about a dozen engineers and designers all working on electricity-generating kites.  He wore a T-shirt reading, “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much …

Honeywell’s New UAM Business Unit

Dean Sigler Announcements, Sky Taxis, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Honeywell, long involved in avionics and other aviation-related instrumentation and equipment, has created an entire, new business unit devoted to unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and urban air mobility (UAM).  If any indication is necessary to show that urban air is not a passing fad, it’s the investments being made by major entities – from Toyota to Honeywell, from NASA to Mercedes. Honeywell’s contributions to future UAM flight include avionics – devices that combine aviation with electronics.  Honeywell’s portfolio includes a miniaturized fly-by-wire system, electromechanical actuators to take the place of traditional control cables and pushrods, and systems to help integrate the UAM into existing and future air traffic control systems. These systems will work for electric Vertical Take Off and …