News

  • Agility Prime, USA.

    Agility Prime

    The US Marine Corps announced March 10 (during a VFS-organized media briefing) its intention to partner with the US Air Force on the latter’s Agility Prime project, contributing funding and potential use cases towards the goal of accelerating commercial certification and assessing potential government uses for non-traditional electric or hybrid-propulsion VTOL aircraft. Like the USAF, the Marine Corps said it hopes to nurture...

  • UrbanAero CityHawk VTOL, Israel.

    Urban Aero, Ascent Partner for Asian UAM

    Israeli ducted-fan VTOL maker Urban Aeronautics announced on March 20 a partnership with Singapore-based helicopter charter booking company Ascent Flights Global to offer UAM services in Asia using the CityHawk, a six-seat manned VTOL aircraft manufactured by Urban subsidiary Metro Skyways. Although currently powered by a turboshaft engine, the aircraft is being designed for operational conversion to a hydrogen-powered eVTOL....

  • VoltAero hybrid-electric eCTOL, France.

    eCTOL News

    France’s VoltAero conducted the first flight of its Cassio 1 hybrid-electric conventional takeoff and landing (eCTOL) aircraft on March 10 at its Royan-Médis Aérodrome facility. The testbed aircraft was powered by two 80-hp (60-kW) Safran ENGINeUS 45 electric motors with forward-facing propellers, three 80-hp Emrax electric motors driving a rear pusher prop, and a 402-hp (300-kW) modified Nissan V6 internal combustion...

  • Stealth-Mode Archer Startup Poaching UAM Talent

    A secretive eVTOL aircraft startup has been reportedly hiring away experienced engineers from other urban air mobility (UAM) companies, according to Aviation Today on April 6. The publication’s unnamed sources said Archer Aviation of Santa Clara, California, has collected a team of about 20 individuals, including previous employees from Kitty Hawk and from Airbus’ Vahana demonstrator team. The sources added that Archer...

  • SkyDrive's first crewed eVTOL flights between December 2019 - March 2020 in Japan.

    SkyDrive Completes Japan’s First Manned eVTOL Test Flights

    SkyDrive, Inc., announced April 7 it had completed the first manned test flights of an eVTOL aircraft in Japan, and appointed aerospace engineer and former Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation executive Nobuo Kishi as its chief technology officer (see “Leadership Moves,” pg. 10). The Tokyo-based startup first launched an unmanned outdoor test flight in December 2018, followed by numerous technical verifications and manned test...

  • Beta Technologies eVTOL modular charging station manufacturer, USA.

    Beta Develops eVTOL Charging Station

    Beta Technologies has developed a modular charging station ahead of expected demand by operators of eVTOL aircraft, drones and conventional helicopters. The Vermont based company founded in 2017 said its station can be configured quickly in a variety of locations — ranging from dense urban centers to remote outposts — and with several optional modules — from a pilot lounge and sleeping quarters to an elevated landing ...

  • Lilium eVTOL electric jet flying, Germany.

    Lilium Completes $240M Funding Round

    Lilium GmbH completed an internal funding round worth over $240M, bringing its total funds raised to more than $340M, the Munich, Germany-based eVTOL aircraft maker said March 23. China’s Tencent Holdings, Ltd., led the round with participation from other existing tech investors, including Germany’s Freigeist Capital, London’s Automico and Switzerland’s LGT Capital Partners. Lilium plans to use the new funds for further...

  • COVID-19: March/April Update

    In Europe, helicopter manufacturers Leonardo and Airbus Helicopters both temporarily suspended or limited operations at their respective facilities. In the US, Bell continued operating as normal while monitoring the situation, while Boeing later closed its Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, manufacturing facility for a planned two-week deep clean after identifying COVID-19-positive employees.

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  • SkyDrive Tomohiro Fukuzawa president (CEO), Nobuo Kishi Chief Technology Officer, Japan, April 2020.

    SkyDrive Appoints Kishi as CTO

    In a press release dated April 4, Tokyo-based SkyDrive announced that it had hired Nobuo Kishi as its chief technology officer (CTO). Kishi — standing on the right in the photo, with company president Tomohiro Fukuzawa — previously held top positions at Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation, and will lead the development and certification efforts to bring the SkyDrive eVTOL aircraft to market in 2023.

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  • Scott Drennan Chief chief research and development officer at Hyundai Motor Group for UAM. Former Bell employee. March 2020.

    Hyundai UAM Hires Drennan, Cooper, Whitaker

    In March, J. Scott Drennan (shown) updated his LinkedIn profile to note that he was now the chief research and development officer at Hyundai Motor Group’s Urban Air Mobility (UAM) division, after 26 years at Bell. Most of Drennan’s career was as a structural analyst, but included three years in management roles on the joint Bell-Leonardo AW609 program (2011–2014), followed by leadership roles in air vehicle integration...