The start-up Vaeridion from Munich wants to build small electric aircraft with space for two pilots and nine passengers. In contrast to the numerous electric vertical take-off concepts, Vaeridion’s electric aircraft is designed to take off and land like an ordinary aeroplane.
The plans are still in the very early stages, but the ambitions are high: “In a few years, we will be the largest electric airplane company in Europe,” co-founder Ivor van Dartel told the German newspaper, Handelsblatt.
According to the company’s website, the micro aeroplane is designed for regional use and should be able to fly passengers and crew over a distance of up to 500 kilometres. It is expected to begin flight operations by 2030.
Inspiration for the electric aircraft came from gliders. The wings with high aspect ratio are to ensure minimal air resistance and a high glide ratio. To further optimise weight and thus travel distance, the batteries were also integrated there and not in the fuselage.
The two aerospace engineers only quit their jobs at Airbus and ZF respectively in September. Ivor van Dartel (38) and Sebastian Seemann (39) then founded their own company and have since been able to raise 3.2 million euros in venture capital. They are currently in the process of hiring their first 15 employees, according to Handelsblatt.
Vaeridion is not the only company looking at electric solutions for aviation. Just recently, Bavarian electric air taxi startup Lilium entered into a partnership with Honeywell and Denso to jointly develop and produce the electric motor for the Lilium Jet, whose market launch has been pushed back to 2025.
In order to advance the development of electric air transport, a number of companies, universities and research institutions as well as municipalities and organisations joined forces a few weeks ago to form the Air Mobility Initiative (AMI). The initiative, which is funded by the Free State of Bavaria and the Federal Republic of Germany, wants to set up a series of research projects in the fields of “electric aircraft”, “air traffic management” and “vertiport”.
Beta Technologies, the US developer of electric aircraft, has reportedly raised US$375 million from investors in its latest Series B funding round. Beta plans to use the funds to further develop its electric aerial system.
As our German colleages visited the AERO trade show in Friedrichshafen, Berlin earlier this month reported, battery-electric propulsion systems are already being used in training aircraft and short flights. Beyond 40-seat aircraft, Hydrogen fuel cells are considered likely to become the more established technology for longer, larger flights in so-called hard-to-decarbonise sectors such as commercial passenger aviation.
– ADVERTISEMENT –