Embraer’s Energia Family

Dean Sigler Announcements, Electric Powerplants, Fuel Cells, Hybrid Aircraft, Hydrogen Fuel, Sustainable Aviation Leave a Comment

Coming up with a new airplane is a daunting task – but Embraer announced four new designs this week.  Ranging from nine to fifty passengers, Embraer’s Energia family are all electric or clean fuel redefinitions of regional air travel.  Luis Carlos Alfonso, Senior VP of Engineering, Technology Development and Corporate Strategy presented them in front of a socially-distanced crowd in Brazil. The presentation, which sent virtual representations of the four craft flying out into the crowd, took place to coincide with COP26 (the Congress of Parties) being held in Glasgow, Scotland.  Its choices of pure electric, hybrid-electric, hydrogen-electric, and in its 50-passenger model, hydrogen or SAF (Sustainable Aviation Fuel) driving turbine engines are all moving toward a “net-zero” goal. Two …

Landing in the Baobab Trees with eHang

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

eHang, expanding its horizons with its two-passenger EH216 autonomous aerial vehicles (AAVs), has announced a partnership with Italian architecture firm Giancarlo Zema Design Group (GZDG).  GZDG’s eco-sustainable, Baobab tree-mimicking vertiport will act as a landing zone for eHang’s electric Vertical Take Off and Landing (eVTOL) craft. Basing its design on the Baobab tree, native to Madagascar, Africa, and Australia, GZDG’s structure will fit into urban and rural environments equally well.  The 30-meter (98.4-feet) tower, built of laminated wood and steel emulating the shape of the “Tree of Life,” the vertiport will be topped with a multi-purpose landing deck.  The structure will incorporate a waiting room, café, a 200-square-meter (2,153-square-foot) panoramic restaurant and connecting lift.  Non-slip photovoltaic panels will generate over …

End the Year on a Volocopter Note

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

Volocopter has an exciting way to end 2020, leaving the old year with a ticket for your future flight in a VoloCity VC 2-1 aircraft (the “Aircraft”).  Fine print, spelled out in the eight-page General Terms & Conditions for the Volocopter World Premiere Ticket Program, might cause the hesitant to pause. The more adventurous among us will start planning an overseas trip two or three years from now. Here’s the Deal “Berlin, 16 September 2020 — At Greentech Festival in Berlin today, Volocopter, the pioneer of Urban Air Mobility (UAM), announced that the world’s first public sale for electrical air taxi flight reservations has started. Effective immediately, Volocopter fans world-wide can reserve their tickets online and be amongst the very …

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 …

EHang 216 Flies a Small Crowd in Vienna

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

Well, 17 passengers, anyway.  Remember that EHang flew its entire board of directors and executive team on demonstration outings in February 2018.  In a more recent flight, EHang CEO HU Huazhi “commuted” via an EHang 216 (2 passengers, 16 motors and propellers). In April this year, EHang flew apparently happy participants at Vienna’s Generali Arena as part of the 4GameChangers Festival, an international festival of – you guessed it – game changers.  This year’s theme, “Europe Meets Asia,” seemed a mild precursor to the full frontal assault by EHang.  For those not lucky enough to get first-hand experience in the air, displays in the Festival offered virtual and augmented reality demonstrations and ample digitally-based thrills.  Aviation Week reported, “An autonomous, …