Schlagwort-Archive: electric aircraft

1st Pulitzer Electric Aircraft Race

The NAA is planning a cross-country air race for electric propulsion aircraft!  The electric aircraft industry has been rapidly expanding in terms of technological readiness and the number of potential race contestants.  The air race will be a resumption of the Pulitzer air races first held in the early 1920s. The race winner will be awarded the Pulitzer Trophy (on display at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC) at a suitable NAA awards event. 

The first Pulitzer Electric Aircraft Race, planned for May 2023, will be a four-day, 1,000 nm cross-country event beginning in Omaha, NE and ending near Kitty Hawk, NC. The race will be open to piloted aerodynes of all types using zero-emission electric propulsion (e.g., fixed-wing aeroplanes, helicopters, or multi-rotor eVTOL Advanced Air Mobility [AAM] vehicles). Because many potential competitors may be in a research and development phase and using experimental aircraft, the race will be a day-only, Visual Flight Rules (VFR) event. The race winner will be the pilot/crew with the fastest speed calculated from the cumulative flight time, not including time on the ground for maintenance, charging, or overnight stays. The NAA Pulitzer Race Committee developed the specific race rules available here.

The cross-country format, rather than a closed-circuit speed event, was selected to emphasize electric aircraft range and reliability and speed in a realistic operating environment.  A cross-country race will require careful logistical planning from the race teams and highlight different electric propulsion technology choices and operational strategies such as rapid battery charging, whole battery changes, and solar power augmentation to extend range. As a long-distance, multi-day cross-country event open to all classes and types of electric aircraft, we have designed the Pulitzer Electric Aircraft Race to provide an open canvas for design innovations and be a flying expo for the electric aviation industry. 

The Pulitzer STEM Challenge!  The NAA will partner with nationally recognized Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) providers to leverage the Pulitzer Electric Aircraft Race as a STEM educational outreach opportunity.  Fifth and sixth-grade school science classes will explore electrical power systems and their application to aeronautical engineering in the semester leading up to the race. Students will follow their favourite competitors in real time along with the rest of the world via publicly available internet flight tracking on and here on the NAA Pulitzer Electric Aircraft Race website. 

Make History and Be Part of the Action!  With the help of our sponsors, partners, and contestants, the Pulitzer Electric Aircraft Race can become the premier venue and showcase for the advancement of practical electric propulsion aircraft in terms of speed, distance, and reliability, much like the National Air Races of the 1920s and 1930s helped promote technological advances of internal combustion airplanes at the beginning of aviation. Source: ‚National Aeronautic Association (USA). ‚Rules‚.

X-Plane 12 brings eVTOL

The newest iteration of the X-Plane flight simulator has arrived with real-world weather, new airport effects, and the opportunity to fly the Alia-250 eVTOL. The X-Plane series, from Laminar Research, allows users to fly a suite of pre-loaded, well-known aircraft but also allows users to load their designs to see how they would perform in the real world. „You can input the design of any aircraft, and then the simulator will predict how that airplane will fly,“ Austin Meyer, founder of Laminar Research, told AOPA. „So, you can fly X-Plane in real-time, just like any other flight simulator. The difference is X-Plane is pretty realistic in how the aircraft performance is modelled, and that includes airplanes that have never flown before. If you have your idea for an incredible airplane, you can put that in X-Plane and then fly it in the simulator and see how the real airplane will fly.“ Five years ago, Kyle Clark, founder and CEO of Beta Technologies, approached Meyer with the idea of building an aircraft that doesn’t require fuel or a runway. Clark enlisted X-Plane’s help in testing Beta Technologies‘ eVTOL designs, and eventually, the Alia eVTOL came to be.

The piloted Alia-250 is still in development; however, one prototype without the vertical-lift motors has successfully flown in a „conventional“ fixed-wing configuration from Burlington, Vermont, to Bentonville, Arkansas, with multiple stops to charge the batteries. The prototype with vertical lift motors has achieved vertical flight and is being prepared to make the horizontal flight transition. X-Plane can try their hand at flying Alia now on X-Plane 12. A spokesperson from Beta Technologies said that Beta uses X-Plane along with its in-house simulation software to power the company’s simulators and is excited to share some of the simulations its engineers and test pilots use to build and fly their aircraft with the X-Plane community. Realistic real-world weather is another new addition to X-Plane 12. With X-Plane’s proprietary algorithms, users can now experience wake turbulence; microbursts; thermals; and snow, rain, and ice accumulation. Airports look more realistic as well, with new ground textures, towers, pavement effects, and moving jetways at more than 17,000 pre-loaded airports from around the world.

X-Plane 12’s air traffic control system has also seen a major revamp to improve realism and immersion. The simulator has replaced its U.S.-based single global control region with a system of global geographic areas, all with their specific standards and messaging. ATC audio quality now varies based on distance from the airport or controllers, altitude, and terrain, and artificial intelligence now reacts to ATC instruction more realistically. New aircraft include the Alia-250 eVTOL, Airbus A330-300, Cessna Citation X, Lancair Evolution, Cirrus SR22, Piper PA–18 Super Cub, Van’s RV–10, Grumman F–14 Tomcat, and Robinson R22 Beta II. Source: ‚‚. Foto: ‚Beta Technologies‚.

VoltAero: TESI as strategic investor

VoltAero announced the completion of the first tranche in its Series B financing, with Italy’s TESI becoming a strategic investor and industrial partner. The new funding round, which includes a €32 million capital raise, will cover the certification and production launch of the first member in its electric-hybrid aircraft family, the Cassio 330.

“TESI’s decision to become both a strategic investor and an industrial partner is a clear sign of VoltAero’s technology and business model credibility as we take this important step closer to reality for the Cassio airplane family with the Series B funding round,” said Jean Botti, VoltAero’s CEO & Chief Technology Officer, who is participating in this week’s Abu Dhabi Air Expo in the United Arab Emirates. The Series B round marks the third funding phase for VoltAero, positioning it for industrialization of the Cassio 330, which entered the certification process with Europe’s EASA airworthiness authority in October 2021 – the first member of its Cassio aircraft family powered by the company’s proprietary electric-hybrid propulsion system.

TESI (Tecnologie E Servizi Innovativi S.r.l.) will produce the airframe for VoltAero’s no. 1 Cassio 330 prototype, which is targeted to make its maiden flight in 2023. Cassio 330 is the five-seat version, with a combined electric-hybrid propulsive power of 330 kilowatts. “We have been impressed by VoltAero’s highly intelligent approach with Cassio, applying its dual-source electric-hybrid propulsion concept for regional aviation that will be both sustainable and operationally safe,” stated Luigi Punzo, the CEO of TESI. The Cassio airframe design is based on a sleek, aerodynamically-optimized fuselage, a forward fixed canard, and an aft-set wing with twin booms that support a high-set horizontal tail.

By integrating VoltAero’s proprietary electric-hybrid propulsion system into the company’s purpose-designed airframe, the Cassio aircraft family will deliver an order of magnitude better performance than the current competition and provide significantly lower operational costs. TESI will build the Cassio 330 certification prototype airframe at its Cicerale facility in the Campania region of southwestern Italy. The company is specialized in the production and integration of metallic structures and assemblies, as well as mechanical parts – with in-house capabilities from machining and forming to assembly, backed by resources for heat and surface treatment.

The VoltAero propulsion concept is unique: Cassio aircraft will utilize electric motors in the aft fuselage-mounted propulsion system for all-electric power during taxi, takeoff, primary flight, and landing. The hybrid feature (with an internal combustion engine) comes into play as a range extender, recharging the batteries while in flight. Additionally, this hybrid element serves as a backup in the event of a problem with the electric propulsion, ensuring true fail-safe functionality.

Since 2020, VoltAero’s electric-hybrid propulsion system has undergone extensive airborne evaluations, with the full-power 600-kilowatt version installed on the company’s Cassio 1 demonstrator airplane, making it the world’s first parallel electric-hybrid powertrain to fly. To date, Cassio 1 has logged some 10,000 kilometres with this electric-hybrid propulsion system in flights across France and to the United Kingdom, which has allowed the company to validate the operational cost assumptions for its future electric-hybrid airplane through the large volume of data accumulated during 135 flight hours.

Production Cassio airplanes will be built in three versions, each sharing a high degree of modularity and commonality. The family will provide a highly capable and reliable product line for regional commercial operators, air taxi/charter companies, private owners, and utility-category service for cargo, postal delivery and medical evacuation (Medevac) applications. First to be certified is the Cassio 330, with five seats and powered by the 330-kilowatt electric-hybrid propulsion system. VoltAero’s follow-on six-seat Cassio 480 will have an electric-hybrid propulsion power of 480 kilowatts, while the Cassio 600 is sized at a 12-seat capacity with electric-hybrid propulsion power of 600 kilowatts. VoltAero is headquartered at the Aérodrome de Royan-Médis in Southwest France. Its Cassio aircraft are to undergo final assembly in a dedicated facility at Rochefort Airport in France’s Nouvelle-Aquitaine region. Source: ‚VoltAero‚.

Pipistrel obtains first electric aircraft type certificate

The Pipistrel Velis Electro is the world’s first fully electric aeroplane ever to receive type certification. The two-seater, intended primarily for pilot training, is a game-changing aircraft in terms of technological innovations and cost-efficiency. Its EASA certification paves the way for the future of environmentally sustainable, emission-free aviation. After years of intensive research and several successful award-winning electric aircraft models developed since 2007, Pipistrel has today achieved a breakthrough in aviation history, having type certified the battery powered Velis Electro. Working in tight collaboration with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency, whose engagement was essential to reaching this unprecedented milestone, Pipistrel demonstrated that its new Velis Electro achieves the highest levels of safety. “The type certification of the Pipistrel Velis Electro is the first step towards the commercial use of electric aircraft, which is needed to make emission-free aviation feasible. It is considerably quieter than other aeroplanes and produces no combustion gases at all,” said Mr Ivo Boscarol, founder and CEO of Pipistrel Aircraft. “It confirms and provides optimism, also to other electric aircraft designers, that the Type Certificate of electric engines and aeroplanes is possible. The engine, which Pipistrel type certified separately, is also available to other aircraft OEMs. For Pipistrel, this achievement injects additional motivation for the future eVTOL and multi‑seat hydrogen-powered projects. Pipistrel is especially thankful to all our customers for their confidence in our products, which allows us to continue developing these innovative aircraft,” he added.