JMB Aircraft is proud to announce that the very first ultralight aircraft equipped with a TurboTech turbine engine flew in France on Monday 4th April 2022. As the next step in the development of the VL3 Turbine, Jean-Baptiste Guisset, CEO of JMB Aviation, had the honour of being the test pilot for this first flight. The event took place on Valenciennes airfield under the supervision of the designers of the French turbine and the designer of the VL3 evolution, Vanessa Air. “The first tests are very promising indeed! We are continuing the tests to validate the performance, but the advantages are already visible: no vibration and a TBO multiplied by two.
Moreover, VL3 turbine is easier to fly than a traditional piston aircraft, thanks to the electronic management of the FADEC and its unique lever. We also noticed a major consumption gain, in comparison to the traditional turboprops, thanks to the heat exchanger. Kerosene price is also a good advantage compared to the fuel normally used.” reports Jean-Marie Guisset, CEO of JMB Aircraft. After 6 months of development, JMB Aircraft is proud to announce that more than 50 hours of ground tests have been performed, including 30 hours of full power testing. In the last 8 days, we successfully carried out more than 20 flight hours and simulated all possible failures. This was completed without any technical issues! We already have two aircraft equipped with the turbine, the 2nd one will start its first test flights within 2 weeks. We have elaborated an advanced flight program for the coming months in order to test all the flight domains of the turbine. Source: ‘JMB Aircraft‘. Video.
Die zweisitzige “Elektra Trainer” soll Flüge von bis zu drei Stunden ermöglichen. Entwickelt wurde das Elektroflugzeug für Sportflieger und Fluglehrer. Ein kleines Elektroflugzeug mit einer Akkukapazität für Flüge von bis zu drei Stunden ist in der Flugwerft Schleißheim bei München vorgestellt worden. “Das schafft bisher kein anderes Elektroflugzeug”, sagte der Ingenieur Uwe Nordmann am Freitag in Oberschleißheim. Die zweisitzige “Elektra Trainer” soll für Sportflieger und Fluglehrer eine klimafreundliche Alternative sein. Das von dem Unternehmen ELEKTRA SOLAR GmbH entwickelte Flugzeug hat nach Angaben der Firma eine Spannweite von 14 Metern. Es soll wegen seiner Aerodynamik kaum Verbrauch im Reiseverkehr haben. Auf der Luftfahrtmesse “Aero 2022” soll die “Elektra Trainer” zum ersten Mal abheben.
Elektra Solar One überquerte 2015 die Alpen Hersteller weltweit arbeiten an Elektroflugzeugen – darunter auch die slowenische Firma Pipistrel. Mit einer angegebenen Reichweite von bis zu 1000 Kilometer stellte das Unternehmen bereits 2012 die Elektra Solar One vor. 2015 überquerte ein Testpilot mit der Elektra One Solar als erstes rein elektrobetriebenes Flugzeug erfolgreich die Alpen. Quelle: ‘Heise.de‘.
Daher unveiled the latest high-end version of its TBM pressurized single turboprop aircraft family – the TBM 960 – which incorporates Pratt & Whitney Canada’s advanced PT6E-66XT engine and a fully digital e-throttle, along with a digitally-controlled cabin that incorporates an all-new environmental control system, LED ambience lighting and electrically-dimmable windows.
The TBM 960 retains the rapid speed of Daher’s TBM family while enabling lower fuel consumption. At Daher’s recommended cruise setting of 308 kts., the fuel consumption is only 57 U.S. gallons per hour, which is a 10% fuel economy compared to the maximum cruise setting for more sustainability. At the heart of this latest TBM version is the intelligent PT6E-66XT powerplant and Hartzell Propeller’s five-blade Raptor™ composite propeller, both of which are linked to the dual-channel digital Engine and Propeller Electronic Control System (EPECS).
With the EPECS, the PT6E-66XT’s startup is fully automated after a single-switch activation. The cockpit’s power lever is an e-throttle, using a single forward position from takeoff to landing – with the EPECS optimizing powerplant performance throughout the flight envelope while reducing pilot workload by integrating all functions and protecting the engine’s life. Analysis of engine parameters is driven by 100-plus smart data inputs. The Raptor™ propeller is fully integrated into the propulsion system. It is specifically designed to reduce overall weight and improve the TBM 960’s takeoff distance, climb and cruise speed. Turning at 1,925 rpm during maximum power output, the Raptor contributes to limiting noise and vibration. Its sound level during takeoff is just 76.4 decibels, meeting the most stringent international noise standards.
With its G3000® integrated flight deck, the TBM 960 retains Daher’s e-copilot® concentration of technological innovation and safety systems in the TBM, which can be compared to an “electronic copilot.” This includes an icing protection system, flight envelope monitoring through the Electronic Stability and Protection (ESP) and the Under-speed Protection (USP) systems, the Emergency Descent Mode (EDM) function, as well as the game-changing HomeSafe™ emergency autoland system. New to the TBM 960 is the Garmin GWX™ 8000 doppler weather radar with advanced surveillance features such as lightning and hail prediction, turbulence detection, zero blind range for close-in returns, and ground clutter suppression. The TBM 960 also is the first application of Garmin’s GDL® 60 next-generation data transmitter for automatic database upload and interconnection with mobile devices.
The TBM 960’s Prestige cabin extends Daher’s use of digital power inside the aircraft, featuring an all-new environmental control system, LED ambience strip lighting integrated into both sides of the overhead ceiling panel, and electronically-dimmable windows – all controlled by a Passenger Comfort Display (PCD). Enhancements in the cabin’s style and comfort also include new ergonomically enhanced seats, USB-A and USB-C power plugs, individual cupholders and headset hangers for each occupant. For the TBM 960, a fifth TBM paint scheme – called Sirocco, based on the creativity of French designer Alexandre Echasseriau – has been added to the aircraft’s style customization possibilities. The TBM 960 has been certified by EASA (the European Union Aviation Safety Agency); with certification by the U.S. FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) currently underway. Deliveries will begin in the first half of 2022. Source: ‘Daher.com‘.
Found on the website of Netjets: At NetJets, we know that sustainability is not a trend for private aviation, but it’s future. In continued support of our sustainability goals, we are proud to announce our partnership with Lilium®, a Munich-based manufacturer of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) jets. In this partnership, NetJets has the right to purchase up to 150 Lilium jets for use in our shared ownership program and will provide operations support for Lilium’s upcoming Florida hub. Like NetJets, FlightSafety International is a Berkshire Hathaway company and will also partner to provide Crew training products and services that will support Lilium operations.
A forward-thinking partnership As the eVTOL market grows, regional air mobility and private aviation sustainability are growing in tandem—a true reflection of our industry’s future. NetJets retains an industry-leading position by recognizing and investing in companies such as Lilium, which know the future of air travel must be sustainable to become commonplace. That is why our partnership includes operations support for Lilium in Florida because decisions at NetJets—the owner and operator of the world’s largest, most diverse private fleet—have a ripple effect, and our adoption speaks volumes.
Zero-emission travel to nearby destinations Fly to a nearby getaway, visit a relative a few cities over, or make the most of your next day trip. Travelling on a Lilium jet means considerably less carbon impact than taking a gas-fueled car to the same destination, thanks to 100% electric power. And with eVTOL technology, helipad infrastructure becomes available, expanding access to departure and takeoff locations. Travel to your NetJets aircraft with ease, depart from and arrive in more convenient fixed-base operators (FBOs), and enjoy more time savings on short legs, all while reducing your environmental impact. Source: ‘Netjets’.
On February 24th, the delivery of two DA62 MPPs to North Sea Aviation Services (NSAS) from Belgium has been completed. The aircraft is configured in a maritime surveillance fit and feature the latest technology of electro-optical and infrared cameras (EO/IR), maritime radar as well as an AIS (Automatic Identification System for ships). NSAS already operates the DA42 MPP and identified the benefits of the larger DA62 MPP as key motives to upgrade their fleet with the DA62 MPP. Especially the increased cabin size, which significantly improves crew comfort during long missions, was key in the decision-making process.
Equipped with the Multi-Purpose Nose which carries the EO/IR turret, the BR700 belly radome that houses the maritime radar and the single seats including a centre console with integrated radio and control devices for the operators in the rear make the aircraft the most advanced and versatile surveillance platform in its class. Mario Spiegel, Sales Manager, Special Mission Aircraft Division at Diamond Aircraft Austria, says,” Maritime surveillance is often still conducted by large and expensive aircraft, sometimes even with less advanced sensors or vintage equipment such as binoculars. Where the data collected by larger and smaller aircraft are the same, when equipped with equivalent role equipment, there is one factor getting more and more fundamental, environment-friendliness. With the modern piston engines, utilizing up-to-date automotive technology, burning as less as 10 US gal of Jet Fuel per hour (in loiter) it is needless to say that the DA62 MPP is by far the greenest surveillance aircraft on the market.”
Markus Fischer, Director, Special Mission Aircraft Division at Diamond Aircraft Austria, says, “After so many years in our business it is still inspiring to see our new developments deploying in real operation, in specific to new friends and business partner like NSAS. NSAS has great plans and we will do our best to support them wherever it is necessary and looking forward to their feedback to push the MPP to an even more capable airborne asset.” Jef de Kinder, Founder and CEO of NSAS, commented, “Due to its great fuel efficiency, flexible platform, advanced aircraft design and many other features, NSAS quickly preferred the DA62 MPP. The low operating cost combined with the high mission standard delivers extraordinary results, leaving the competition behind and creating a class of its own. Diamond Aircraft Industries, therefore, has excelled thanks to their constant innovation.” Source: ‘Diamond Aircraft‘.
Tradewind Aviation hat einen Kaufvertrag über 20 PC-12 NGX unterzeichnet. Das Unternehmen erweitert seine Flotte auf 38 Flugzeuge und wird damit zu einem der grössten PC-12 Betreiber weltweit. Die erste einmotorige Turboprop-Maschine der neusten Generation wird im dritten Quartal 2022 ausgeliefert. Über die kommenden fünf Jahre werden dann drei bis vier PC-12 NGX jährlich übergeben. Das US-Unternehmen Tradewind Aviation macht seit 2001 private Charter- als auch Linienflüge in den USA und in der Karibik. Der Kauf der PC-12 NGX stärkt nicht nur die langjährige Beziehung zwischen Tradewind und Pilatus, sondern ermöglicht es dem privaten Lufttransportunternehmen, seine Pilatus Flotte erheblich zu verbessern, wovon schlussendlich die Passagiere wie auch die Crews profitieren werden.
Eric Zipkin, Mitgründer und Präsident von Tradewind Aviation, sagt: «Wir sind sehr stolz, unsere Pilatus PC-12 Flotte zu erneuern und unsere Partnerschaft mit dem angesehenen Branchenführer Pilatus weiter auszubauen. Wir freuen uns darauf, unseren Kunden mit diesen brandneuen Flugzeugen einen hervorragenden Service zu bieten und unser Wachstum in den kommenden Jahren fortzusetzen.» Thomas Bosshard, CEO der US-Tochtergesellschaft von Pilatus, der Pilatus Business Aircraft Ltd, fügt hinzu: «Unsere Kunden schätzen die Zuverlässigkeit, die Leistung, die Sicherheit und die Innovation, die der PC-12 NGX zu bieten hat. Die Nachfrage auf dem Markt ist ungebrochen hoch, was die Einzigartigkeit des Flugzeuges bestätigt. Wir freuen uns, unsere Partnerschaft mit Tradewind auszubauen und wir sind dankbar, Teil ihres zukünftigen Erfolges zu sein.» Tradewind verzeichnet eine jährlich stetig steigende Nachfrage nach privaten Charterflügen. Die Airline plant, neue Flugrouten in ihr Netz aufzunehmen und zusätzliche Serviceoptionen anzubieten. Quelle: ‘Pilatus‘.
United Aviate Academy orders 25 new Cirrus TRAC SR20 aircraft – with the option to add 50 more – in response to the surge in flight school applications with more than 12,000 received so far. United Aviate Academy today announced that it aims to potentially quadruple the size of its fleet of training aircraft, in response to the surge of applications to the country’s only flight school owned by a major airline. The Academy will add 25 new, state-of-the-art Cirrus TRAC SR20 training aircraft to its current fleet of 25, with the option to purchase up to 50 more.
United Aviate Academy has already received more than 12,000 applications since announcing the school in April 2021. The school officially opened in January and welcomed a historic inaugural class of future pilots, part of the airline’s effort to train at least 5,000 new pilots at the school by 2030, with the goal of at least half women or people of colour.
United Aviate Academy also recently purchased seven state-of-the-art FRASCA simulators, including some with 220-degree wraparound displays, with the first of these brand-new flight simulators arriving in April. These high-quality flight simulators feature hardware and software that operates exactly like the aircraft, for maximum effectiveness for students.
“We’re investing in-flight education as we train the next generation of United Airlines pilots, who are the future of our airline,” said Bryan Quigley, United’s Senior Vice President for Flight Operations for United Airlines. “These student pilots are receiving world-class flight training at United Aviate Academy and I’m looking forward to the day when they join our current United pilots on the flight deck.”
United Aviate Academy, whose corporate name is Westwind School of Aeronautics Phoenix, LLC, already has a fleet of 25 late-model Cirrus TRAC SR20 series single-engine aircraft, which feature advanced safety characteristics. This new order will add at least 25 brand-new TRAC SR20 aircraft beginning in May with options and purchase rights for up to 50 more. The SR20 features impressive capabilities that complement its stable flight characteristics. Its integrated Garmin® Perspective+ flight deck includes features found on advanced airliners such as two large flight displays, a Flight Management System keypad controller, an Electronic Stability and Protection system as well as integrated engine indication and crew alerting/warning systems.
Its durable all-composite airframe with the signature Cirrus Airframe Parachute System® makes the TRAC Series one of the safest and most versatile training airplanes available today. United Aviate Academy is also the launch partner for a significant expansion of CirrusIQ™, which allows for monitoring of flight data, enabling United Aviate Academy students and instructors to do enhanced debriefings after each lesson.
United Aviate Academy is breaking down barriers to introduce new pilots to rewarding careers. Last summer, United unveiled United Next, which will revolutionize the United flying experience and add more than 500 new aircraft. United plans to hire at least 10,000 new pilots by 2030 to meet this need. United will find those pilots through targeted recruiting, strategic partnerships and scholarship and financial aid solutions.
United Aviate Academy’s year-long training program sets up students for a career that reflects United’s high standard of professionalism and deep commitment to delivering a safe, caring, dependable and efficient travel experience. After completing their training at the academy, students can build flight and leadership experience while working within the Aviate pilot development ecosystem at partner universities, professional flight training organizations and United Express® carriers on their way to becoming United pilots. United currently has about 12,000 pilots, and Captains of United’s Boeing 787s and 777s can earn more than $350,000 per year. In addition, United pilots receive one of the highest 401(k) matches in the nation – 16% of base pay. Source: ‘PR_Newswire‘.
January 11th, Cirrus Aircraft revealed its 2022 G6 SR Series featuring a refined aircraft design with reduced drag for increased fuel efficiency, Cirrus IQ™ mobile app updates and the freedom to pair premium Xi aesthetic options. The 2022 G6 SR reaches all-new levels of sophistication, performance and customer convenience. “The model year 2022 G6 SR is refreshed to seamlessly sync with your life – taking you further, keeping you connected and distinguishing your style in the air and on the ramp. This latest update to the G6 embodies our passion for continued innovation and commitment to design,” said Ivy McIver, Director of the SR Series Product Line. “We are excited to continue introducing more people to personal aviation and empowering their Cirrus Life story.” Now in its sixth generation with over 8,000 aircraft delivered, the SR-Series leads the market as the best-selling, high-performance, single-engine piston aircraft for 20 years in a row and provides seamless luxury, exceptional performance, intelligent connectivity and unparalleled safety features.
Faster, More Fuel Efficient, Better Range The 2022 model year G6 SR is the fastest to date featuring sleeker wing and tail surfaces and redesigned wheel pants, resulting in true airspeeds of up to 9 knots faster. The new model’s ice panel transition seams are smoothed and wheel pant tolerances tightened to reduce drag. These aerodynamic refinements contribute to both reduced fuel consumption and faster flight segments.
Added Pilot and Passenger Convenience Luggage compartment access becomes easier with the new remote unlock capability and keyless entry. Lock and unlock the baggage door with the key fob, then the door can be easily opened with the push of a button. The door opens past 90 degrees, stays open during loading and has been redesigned to feature a deeper pocket that can easily accommodate two quarts of oil. With safety in mind, the G6 SR features Cirrus Aircraft Spectra™ illuminated steps offering better step and ground visibility for a more secure entry and exit during dark or low light conditions. The Cirrus ‘puddle light’ logo projected onto the ramp adds an extra touch of style. Additionally, a new, multi-functional USB panel features both USB-A and USB-C ports keeping mobile devices such as phones or laptops charged throughout the trip.
Advanced Aircraft Insight with Cirrus IQ™ New for 2022, Cirrus IQ enhances aircraft connectivity providing increased insight. The Cirrus IQ status screen is redesigned to include aircraft model designation along with a new navigation bar featuring aircraft status, inspection intervals and warranty expiration. Maintenance Minder tracks approaching inspections and sends notifications when they are due. When flying, the flight hour meter automatically updates the inspection cards by providing a progress bar and countdown to the upcoming inspection event. My Trips module automatically logs every flight and curates key trip statistics and achievements earned while flying. My Trips will be released in February 2022. The Warranty section references the date and flight hour limits of coverage for Spinner-to-Tail warranty, and CMX coverage, if applicable.
Reimagined Exterior and Interior Aesthetics Cirrus Aircraft introduced eight new exterior paint colours to elevate its signature ramp appeal. The Cirrus Xi Design team, in partnership with Sherwin Williams Aerospace, developed a new paint formulation process unlocking incredible potential and enhancing colour definition and flexibility. Source: ‘Cirrus Aircraft‘.
A recent Kitplanes article included a chart illustrating light aircraft accident fatalities vs. cruise speed. The Sportsman (and the Sportsman predecessor, Glastar) tracks well below the trendline. Our airplane’s uniquely broad speed multiple of 3.6x (low stall speed to high cruise speed) is automatically advantageous in a comparison like this one. Still, the Sportsman delivers a wealth of engineering innovations, robust materials, construction techniques, and features that contribute to the operational safety of the aircraft. The Sportsman is not only the most versatile four-seat airplane available but possibly the safest as well. Here’s why.
Low Stall Speed The Sportsman’s generous control surfaces deliver tactile authority to pilots right down to the airframe’s low 42 KTS stall speed. Two Delta Vortex Generators on each wing contribute to low-speed stability. The airplane’s stall characteristics are benign and predictable. Sportsman owners refer to a “mush” rather than “break” when the Sportsman approaches a stall, power-on, and power-off. Most importantly, the low stall speed and inherent lightweight of the Sportsman guarantee very low “Crash Energy” or “Impact Energy” to dissipate, which experts agree is the single most significant factor in crash survivability. Crash force is directly proportional to the speed and mass of the aircraft, so the Sportsman measures particularly well in this regard.
The Safety Cage The Safety Cage in the Sportsman is the structural centre of the aircraft and is constructed with varying diameters of Chromoly steel tubing. The robust structure surrounds passengers, providing protection that mimics desert rally cars. Sportsman owners know that the Safety Cage saves lives because we pay attention to the NTSB accident reports. Only a short time before the date of this writing, a 2018 Sportsman suffered an unfortunate accident in Arkansas. The pilot and passenger came to rest upside-down in a forest near Huntsville Municipal Airport. Despite substantial damage to the airframe, both were unhurt. The pilot only managed to give his head a hefty bump after he released his restraint since, immediately after the event, he didn’t realize he was inverted. The use of varied materials in the Sportsman is clever, maximizing the strengths of each type of proven aerospace structure. But the Safety Cage is quite exceptional on its own. It affords superb impact protection, enveloping the passengers from all sides with redundant load paths.
High Power Equipped with the energetic, industry-tested Lycoming IO-390 engine (210 HP) and constant-speed propeller, a flick of the throttle will get pilots out of trouble, even at gross weight and high-density altitude. Too often, Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT) is caused by insufficient climb performance, and most departure stalls are due to low-performance margin. The Sportsman’s powerplant/prop combinations assure confidence in otherwise challenging conditions.
Long Endurance Fifty gallons of fuel onboard, fuel injection, electronic ignition, and a slippery airframe assure that almost any charted airport is accessible in the frugal Sportsman. The aircraft not only opens many cross-country flight possibilities but also ekes out those last few miles in an emergency, minimizing fuel exhaustion accidents.
Situational Awareness Glasair’s new instrument panels all include multifunction EFIS displays as standard equipment. The panels present pilots with crucial information, including navigation, terrain, Angle of Attack, synthetic vision, in-cockpit weather, and engine monitoring. While discussing avionics, know that all of Glasair’s new panel upgrades include integrated autopilots. When you encounter sudden IMC, activating the autopilot can dramatically reduce the workload as you find your way out of the weather. Side by side seating allows better cockpit resource management. Even non-pilots can be briefed to aid in spotting traffic or handling other tasks.
Superb Visibility The windshield and side windows in the Sportsman are expansive. Combined with skylights overhead and the pilot’s commanding seat position, occupants share a clear view of their surroundings, even in aggressive banked turns. The engine cowl slopes downward from the windshield, allowing forward vision on the round, even with the tailwheel landing gear.
Tolerant CG The Sportsman’s high useful load provides a considerable margin against overloading the airplane. Our full-fuel payload is impressive. The position of the fuel tanks, plus the rear-facing seats, makes it difficult to load the airplane improperly.
Safety Enhancing Options For maximum peace of mind for both pilots and family, Glasair offers airframe parachutes from BRS and airbag-equipped harnesses from AmSafe that augment the Sportsman’s intrinsic safety. Both parachutes and airbags can be added as aftermarket upgrades as well.
Smaller, but significant design elements contribute to the Sportsman’s System of Safety. Egress from the cockpit is easy due to large doors and high seats. The third aft door eliminates the need for rear passengers to climb through the front doors. The deep foam section of our bottom seat cushions absorbs energy in a crash. Combine sound engineering, rugged materials, innovative construction, and predictable flight behaviour, the result is the Sportsman, a modern aircraft that flies safely by design. There has never been an airframe failure in a Glasair aircraft. In the world of Experimental Amateur-Built airplanes, the Sportsman’s System of Safety should be considered by all prospective airplane buyers. Source: ‘Glasair‘.
In mid-October 2021 the “MAHEPA Panthera”, integrated with the novel, SAF-capable, hybrid-electric powertrain developed during the project, took off from Cerklje airport, in Slovenia, successfully demonstrating the possibility of local zero-emission flights by performing all-electric take-offs. Expectations set by prior ground tests were only confirmed by the powerful, yet quiet performance of the MAHEPA Panthera, which has all the characteristics to become a flying test-bed for future developments in hybrid aviation. With the achievement of this essential milestone, the MAHEPA project is, with its numerous novel technologies developments and exemplary results, again contributing to a cleaner, quieter and more sustainable aviation, making the Europe Green Deal’s goals one step closer to reality. MAHEPA consortium, composed of Pipistrel Vertical Solutions, Compact Dynamics, DLR, H2Fly, Politecnico di Milano, TU Delft, University of Maribor and the University of Ulm is a pioneer project in the development of hybrid-electric technologies which will serve the next generation of greener aircraft. Source: ‘Pipistrel‘.
The new aircraft of Magnus Aircraft Zrt. is a small piece of the world’s, but it is certainly a landmark in Hungarian aviation history, as it will be the first aircraft developed and manufactured entirely in Hungary to obtain a type certificate from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). An important moment in this process was the maiden flight of the prototype at Pécs-Pogányi International Airport. The production of the aircraft designed for pilot training was motivated by two extremely important reasons. Firstly, the take-off weight limit for the UL (Ultralight) category in most European countries is 472.5 kg, which severely limits the options available to aircraft manufacturers (e.g. the equipment of the aircraft can be very limited). Secondly, due to legal restrictions, ultralight aircraft are not suitable for PPL (Private Pilot Licence) training, which is the basis for further training levels. For these reasons, we decided to start the further development of our Fusion 212 ultralight aircraft and its certification in a higher category in 2017. The LSA (light-sport aircraft) is a higher category, with stricter EASA type certification requirements in addition to the 600 kg maximum take-off weight. Source: ‘Magnus Aircraft‘.
Diamond Aircraft is proud to announce the development of an all-electric training aircraft, the eDA40, and has chosen Electric Power Systems’ EPiC battery technology and accompanying Ecosystem. Since 2011 Diamond Aircraft has been researching and developing electric and hybrid-electric platform solutions. At Paris Airshow in 2011, in co-operation with Siemens, Diamond Aircraft introduced the DA36 E-Star, the world’s first aircraft with a serial hybrid electric drive system based on the HK36 motor glider. Two years later, the DA36 E-Star 2, was presented at the Paris Airshow, with improved performance and increased payload. Further research of electric and hybrid solutions led to additional collaboration with Siemens and the introduction of the next milestone, called ‘HEMEP’ – the world’s first hybrid-electric multi-engine with lower fuel consumption (higher efficiency) and decreased noise pollution.
After extensive research and numerous flight test hours on electric and hybrid platforms, Diamond Aircraft is positioned to offer an all-electric solution to the General Aviation market – the eDA40. Diamond Aircraft has decided to partner with the innovative battery technology company, Electric Power Systems, integrating the EPiC Ecosystem into the eDA40, a derivative of the existing and certified DA40 platform. The Electric Power Systems’ Battery Module will be equipped with a DC fast-charging system, capable of turning around a depleted aircraft in under 20 minutes. Batteries will be installed in a custom-designed belly pod and between the engine and the forward bulkhead.
The aircraft will feature the latest Garmin G1000 NXi glass cockpit and will have several avionics add-ons available. Total flight time is expected to be up to 90 minutes as the battery technologies evolve. The eDA40 is expected to reduce operating costs by up to 40% compared to traditional piston aircraft. “The eDA40 will be the first EASA/FAA Part 23 certified electric airplane with DC fast charging and specifically tailored to the flight training market,” says Liqun (Frank) Zhang, CEO of Diamond Aircraft Austria. “Making flying as eco-friendly as possible has always been at the core of Diamond Aircraft with our fuel-efficient jet fuel-powered aircraft producing less CO2 and noise emissions compared to conventional piston aircraft engines. Therefore, we are more than proud to underline this commitment with the all-electric eDA40, a sustainable solution for the General Aviation of tomorrow.”
“We are excited to announce our new partnership with Electric Power Systems,” says Scott McFadzean, Chief Executive Officer of Diamond Aircraft Industries Canada. “The eDA40 with its proven airframe, the quick recharge capability, and the low operating cost will be an excellent aircraft for the flight training market and solidifies Diamond’s position as a global leader in General Aviation.”
“We are thrilled to team with Diamond on this important project for the aviation industry,” says Nathan Millecam, Chief Executive Officer of Electric Power Systems. “Training aircraft set the stage for demonstrating that electric aircraft can meet the demands of high-paced, high-volume operations at a reduced cost basis. Combining EPS’ battery and electric propulsion know-how with a globally recognized leader in advanced general aviation design and manufacturing enables the eDA40 to be one of the most notable Electric Aircraft projects in the world.” The eDA40 is targeted at flight training customers looking for an excellent electric circuit trainer based on the industry’s leading training aircraft DA40. It is the perfect complement to an existing Diamond fleet to keep standardization high. Initial flights of the eDA40 are scheduled for Q2 2022. Certification is expected in 2023. Source: ‘Diamond Aircraft‘.
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“.
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‘.
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.