Ascendance Flight Technologies
Ascendance Flight Technologies was co-founded in January 2018 by four former members of the Airbus E-Fan team, Jean-Christophe Lambert (CEO), Benoit Ferran (CTO), Thibault Baldivia (Head of Operations) and Clement Dinel (Head of Propulsion). The E-Fan was one of the world’s first all-electric airplanes that flew across the English Channel by an electric plane on July 9, 2015.
The idea to create the hybrid-electric VTOL airplane came from the founders after working on the E-Fan 2.0 two-seater all-electric prototype airplane when the project was cancelled in 2017. The founders left Airbus and created Ascendance Flight Technologies in 2018 to create and manufacture a hybrid-electric airplane on their own, providing a cleaner and safe aircraft for Urban Air Mobility (travel within an urban area) and for regional travel.
The company's Atea hybrid-electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) airplane will be an innovative, low cost, low noise, safe and cleaner way for local and regional air travel. The aircraft is predicted to have low operational costs, a long range and will easily integrate into existing aviation infrastructure and regulations.
Atea has a total of three VTOL fans powered by electric motor with a fan in each wing and a fan in the nose of the aircraft. There is a conventional propeller in the front of the plane powered by a turbine engine. The plane can takeoff and land vertically or takeoff and land like a conventional airplane. When the aircraft is flying, the turbine engine charges the batteries for VTOL flight. The Atea holds three passengers and one pilot, with an expected cruise speed of 200 km/h (124 mph) and a range of 450 km (280 miles).
Ascendance Flight Technologies plans to market the Atea as an air taxi, rescue aircraft and used for air cargo transporation. The company's sub-scale prototype first flight occurred in 2018. The company is in the process of designing a full-scale prototype which is expected to fly by 2024.
The company cites that infrastructure and air regulations are two key factors which are needed before urban air mobility is commonplace. The company is currently hiring.
- Aircraft type: Hybrid-electric VTOL airplane
- Pilot: 1 pilot, autonomous projected after 2030
- Capacity: 1 pilot, 3 passengers
- Cruise speed: 200 km/h (124 mph)
- Range: 450 km (280 miles)
- Payload: 450 kg (992 lb)
- Gross weight: 2,000 kg (4,400 lb)
- Turn around time on ground: 10 minutes
- Propulsion for forward flight: 1 nose-mounted propeller using a turbine engine for forward flight
- Propulsion for VTOL flight: 3 lift fans powered by 3 electric motors using battery packs for low-noise take-off and landing. The VTOL fans are located in wings and forward fuselage.
- Batteries: Used for VTOL and charged during forward flight with the turbine engine
- Wing configuration: High main wing
- Tail: Fuselage mounted vertical and horizontal stabilizers
- Landing gear: Fixed tricycle wheeled landing gear
- Safety features: Redundant electric propulsion, flight controls and can land conventionally on a runway if VTOL system isn't working
- Ascendance Flight Technologies website
- Ascendance Flight Technologies Twitter
- Ascendance Flight Technologies LinkedIn
- Video: Ascendance Flight Technologies is working on a flying taxi project, BFM Business, Mar. 9, 2019
- Article: Reach For The Sky, The Future of Transportation Executive Briefing 2019, Fall 2019
- Article: Ascendance Prepares to Take Off, Electric VTOL News, Jul. 8, 2019
- Article: Ascendance at Paris, Electric VTOL News, Aug. 24, 2019
- Article: Ascendance Flight Technologies imagines a new type of air transport, Air & Cosmos, Sept. 18, 2019
- Video: Toulouse, territory of mobility: Research, Experimentation and Application - Mobility Shaker, Mobility Shaker by M2S, Jan 18, 2021
- Article: Ascendance proposes a long-range, low-emission hybrid VTOL air taxi, New Atlas, Feb. 15, 2021
- Article: Q-and-A with the CEO of Ascendance Flight Technologies, eVTOL Magazine, Mar. 10, 2021