Schlagwort-Archive: Aircraft

‘Spirit of Innovation’ takes to the skies for the first time

We are pleased to announce the completion of the first flight of our all-electric ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft. At 14:56 (BST) the plane took to the skies propelled by its powerful 400kW (500+hp) electric powertrain with the most power-dense battery pack ever assembled for an aircraft. This is another step towards the plane’s world-record attempt and another milestone on the aviation industry’s journey towards decarbonisation.

Warren East, CEO, Rolls-Royce, said: “The first flight of the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ is a great achievement for the ACCEL team and Rolls-Royce. We are focused on producing the technology breakthroughs society needs to decarbonise transport across air, land and sea, and capture the economic opportunity of the transition to net zero. This is not only about breaking a world record; the advanced battery and propulsion technology developed for this programme has exciting applications for the Urban Air Mobility market and can help make ‘jet zero’ a reality.”

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “The first flight of Rolls-Royce’s revolutionary Spirit of Innovation aircraft signals a huge step forward in the global transition to cleaner forms of flight. This achievement, and the records we hope will follow, shows the UK remains right at the forefront of aerospace innovation. “By backing projects like this one, the Government is helping to drive forward the boundary pushing technologies that will leverage investment and unlock the cleaner, greener aircraft required to end our contribution to climate change.”

The aircraft took off from the UK Ministry of Defence’s Boscombe Down site, which is managed by QinetiQ and flew for approximately 15 minutes. The site has a long heritage of experimental flights and the first flight marks the beginning of an intense flight-testing phase in which we will be collecting valuable performance data on the aircraft’s electrical power and propulsion system. The ACCEL programme, short for ‘Accelerating the Electrification of Flight’ includes key partners YASA, the electric motor and controller manufacturer, and aviation start-up Electroflight. The ACCEL team have continued to innovate while adhering to the UK Government’s social distancing and other health guidelines.

Half of the project’s funding is provided by the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI), in partnership with the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and Innovate UK. In the run up to COP26, the ACCEL programme is further evidence of the UK’s position at the forefront of the zero-emission aircraft revolution.

“The first flight of the Spirit of Innovation demonstrates how innovative technology can provide solutions to some of the world’s biggest challenges,” said Gary Elliott, CEO, Aerospace Technology Institute. “The ATI is funding projects like ACCEL to help UK develop new capabilities and secure a lead in the technologies that will decarbonise aviation. We congratulate everyone who has worked on the ACCEL project to make the first flight a reality and look forward to the world speed record attempt which will capture the imagination of the public in the year that the UK hosts COP26.”

Rolls-Royce is offering our customers a complete electric propulsion system for their platform, whether that is an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) or commuter aircraft. We will be using the technology from the ACCEL project and applying it to products for these exciting new markets. The characteristics that ‘air-taxis’ require from batteries are very similar to what is being developed for the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ so that it can reach speeds of 300+ MPH (480+ KMH) – which we are targeting in our world record attempt. In addition, Rolls-Royce and airframer Tecnam are currently working with Widerøe, the largest regional airline in Scandinavia, to deliver an all-electric passenger aircraft for the commuter market, which is planned to be ready for revenue service in 2026.

In June, we announced our pathway to net zero carbon emissions – a year on from joining the UN Race to Zero campaign – and the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ is one way in which we are helping decarbonise the critical parts of the global economy in which we operate. We are committed to ensuring our new products will be compatible with net zero operation by 2030 and all our products will be compatible with net zero by 2050. Source: “Rolls Royce“.

Mooney Aircraft reopens after shutdown

After a two-week surprise shutdown from 11 November reported in the January edition of Pilot magazine, Mooney Aircraft has reopened its Kerrville, Texas main manufacturing facility, but it is not clear if the entire workforce has been reinstated or just the production line workers. It appears the company may be seeking – or may have already secured – additional financing to resume production work. Kerrville’s Daily Times newspaper quoted company representative Devan Burns as saying negotiations are underway with an additional investor. The Mooney International Corporation was started in 1929, and founder Al Mooney moved production to Kerrville in 1953, since when the company has had eleven owners (and three bankruptcies), the latest being Chinese investment company Soaring America Aircraft, headquartered in California, who bought Mooney Aircraft in 2013. The company’s fortunes have waned of late. GAMA sales records show that Mooney sold two M20s in each of the first three quarters and four in the third, total sales value $6.48m, after selling fourteen aircraft at a value of $10.7 million in 2018. To put this in context, Cirrus sold 310 aircraft in the first nine months of 2019. Quelle: ‘Pilotweb‘.

Mooney Aircraft am Ende – Entlassungen

Zwei Wochen vor Thanksgiving hat das in Kerrville, Texas, ansässige Unternehmen Mooney Aircraft Berichten zufolge seinen Betrieb eingestellt und sein gesamtes Personal entlassen, berichtet die Kerrville Daily Times. Das Voicemail-System von Mooney meldet: “Zu diesem Zeitpunkt wurden alle Mooney-Mitarbeiter entlassen und wir können deshalb Ihren Anruf nicht entgegennehmen.” Wir konnten keinen der Mitarbeiter oder das Management von Mooney erreichen und wir verstehen. Für jene, welche die Verkaufszahlen von Mooney in der ersten Jahreshälfte dieses Jahres verfolgen, ist der Stillstand keine große Überraschung. Laut GAMA-Verkaufsprotokollen verkaufte Mooney in den ersten beiden Quartalen jeweils zwei Acclaim Ultras, nachdem sie 2018 14 Flugzeuge im Wert von 10,7 Millionen US-Dollar verkauft hatte. Verglichen damit verkaufte Cirrus in der ersten Jahreshälfte 2019 203 Flugzeuge, während Mooney’s Produktion hinter Extra, Pipistrel und Quest’s zurückblieb. Bei AirVenture 2018 sagte Mooney, dass es beabsichtigt, in diesem Jahr 20 Flugzeuge zu bauen, dass die Verkaufszahlen 2019 aber auf 40 ansteigen und ab 2020 50 Flugzeuge pro Jahr produziert würden. Die Arbeiter von Mooney wurden 2017 beurlaubt, vier Jahre, nachdem sie die Produktion unter dem neuen Besitzer Soaring America Aircraft wieder aufgenommen hatten. Mooney hatte zuvor fast fünf Jahre lang keine neuen Flugzeuge mehr produziert. Die letzten Acclaim Ultras, welche die Hallen in Kerrville verliessen, wurden mit jeweils fast 850.000 Dollar bewertet.