NASA plans electric test flights by end of 2020
NASA presented an early version of its X-57 Maxwell all-electric passenger aircraft. The electric aircraft is based on the Tecnam P2006T twin-engine propeller aircraft, in which the combustion engines have been replaced by 14 electric motors. The first test flight is scheduled for the end of 2020.
Lilium achieves complex maneuvers in test flights
The Munich-based German startup Lilium has published new images of its all-electric Lilium jet on the occasion of the now completed first phase of flight tests. The vertical take-off aircraft (VTOL) now flies increasingly complex manoeuvres at speeds over 100 km/h. The new Lilium Jets are now available in a variety of different models.
Audi reconsiders flying car project
According to a media report, Audi has discontinued work on the autonomous electric car drone Pop Up Next, which was presented last year together with Airbus and Italdesign, and intends to reevaluate their cooperation with Airbus.
Kamag presents electric catering vehicle for all aircrafts
Kamag presents the new E-Catering Wiesel (ECW) at the Inter Airport Europe trade show. According to the manufacturer, the catering vehicle for loading and unloading commercial aircraft is the first to have an electro-hydraulic drive with no harmful emissions and also speaks of “unrivalled range”.
Geely invests €50M in Volocopter air taxis
The German airport taxi start-up Volocopter has secured 50 million euros in a new financing round led by the Chinese Geely Group. The new funds will be used to bring Volocopter’s electric aircraft to commercial launch within the next three years.
EASA releases new electric aircraft regulations
The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has adopted a framework plan for battery electric and hybrid electric vertical take-off aircraft in Europe: With the “Special Condition”, the designers now have the first specifications for this group of aircraft.
Electric aircraft by H55 takes off for 90 minutes
The Swiss electric aircraft startup H55 by solar pioneer André Borschberg has completed its maiden flight. Manufactured by BRM Aero and powered by the H55 propulsion system, the Bristell Energic is an all-electric aircraft with two seats for pilot training that can stay in the air for 90 minutes.
Melbourne to pilot Uber Air’s flying taxis
Uber has selected Australia as the first “international market” for its planned e-flight taxi service Uber Air. Melbourne be the third city to pilot the program following Dallas and Los Angeles. Test flights are scheduled to start next year and commercial operations from 2023.
Amazon’s new delivery drone (video)
Amazon has just demonstrated its newest fully electric delivery drone at the re:Mars conference in Las Vegas. The drone is to fly up to 25 kilometres and be able to deliver parcels weighing up to 2.3 kilograms within 30 minutes. Amazon did not specify where the “Prime Air” service would start.
Alaka’i presents fuel cell air taxi
The US startup Alaka’i Technologies has presented the concept of a fuel cell air taxi called Skai, which was developed together with the BMW brand Designworks. It offers space for five passengers, is powered by six electric motors and is expected to have a range of around 400 miles (640 km).