H2FLY Achieves World’s First Crewed Liquid Hydrogen-Powered Flights

German hydrogen propulsion startup H2FLY has made aviation history with the successful completion of the world’s first crewed liquid hydrogen-powered flights at Maribor Airport in Slovenia. While the Soviets experimented with liquid hydrogen 35 years ago, H2FLY’s HY4 aircraft achieved a milestone by relying solely on liquid hydrogen for the entire flight, powered by a hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain.

The achievement marked the culmination of Project HEAVEN, an EU-funded initiative demonstrating the feasibility of using liquid hydrogen in aircraft. H2FLY’s HY4 demonstrated impressive flight capabilities, with a 10-minute test flight and a remarkable 3-hour flight using 10kg of hydrogen. With its full 24kg storage capacity, the aircraft could stay airborne for up to 8 hours.

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Meet PiBot: The Humanoid Robot Revolutionizing Aviation by Becoming a Co-Pilot

The aviation industry has long grappled with a severe shortage of pilots, a situation that has led to flight disruptions and challenges for airlines worldwide, exemplified most recently by American Airlines. However, a groundbreaking development may offer a promising solution. Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) have introduced “PiBot,” a life-sized humanoid robot capable of piloting aircraft and comprehending complex flight controls.

In an era marked by the increasing influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI), South Korean scientists have unveiled a humanoid robot with the remarkable ability to take the reins of an aircraft. PiBot, standing at 160 cm tall and weighing 65 kg, possesses the capability to operate flight controls, assimilate aircraft manuals, and respond effectively to emergency situations. Equipped with multiple cameras, it is proficient at monitoring an aircraft’s systems and operational status.

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CATL’s Aviation Division Soars towards Mass Production of Electric Planes

China’s leading electric vehicle battery manufacturer, Contemporary Amperex Technology (CATL), has ventured into the aviation industry with the launch of an aviation division. The move comes as CATL claims to have achieved the “holy grail” of energy density required for commercial electric aircraft, reaching 500 Watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg).

CATL, which already supplies batteries to Tesla, made the groundbreaking announcement at the Auto Shanghai trade fair earlier this year. Chief scientist Wu Kai revealed that the company is now on the verge of producing a commercially viable battery for electric planes. The new battery’s energy density of 500Wh/kg offers a unique combination of high energy density and safety, paving the way for a new era of electrification in passenger aircraft.

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Alef Aeronautics’ Electric Flying Car Receives FAA Clearance for Testing

Alef Aeronautics has achieved a significant milestone as its flying car, the “Model A,” has received official clearance for testing from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The Special Airworthiness Certification granted to Alef is the first of its kind, allowing the company to conduct road and aerial trials before making the vehicle available to the public.

According to Alef, the certification obtained from the FAA imposes certain limitations on the vehicle’s permitted flying locations and purposes. Additionally, the Model A must comply with safety standards set by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration before it can take to the skies. However, Alef’s CEO, Jim Dukhovny, expressed optimism, stating that the company is hopeful that the next step will involve meeting the necessary safety standards.

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Dronamics’ Flagship Drone, the Black Swan, Successfully Completes Inaugural Flight in Bulgaria

London-based freight drone airline, Dronamics, announced a significant milestone as its flagship aircraft, the Black Swan, successfully completed its first flight at Balchik airport in Bulgaria. Following months of ground testing and subscale flights, the Black Swan was remotely operated by two commercial airline pilots from Dronamics’ ground control center. The achievement marks a momentous occasion for the company, showcasing the validity and potential of their drone technology.

With its European operating authorization, Dronamics’ licensed cargo drone technology has now received approval for commercial flights in Europe and is expected to commence operations later this year. These flights will provide a rapid and cost-effective solution for ecommerce, pharmaceutical, spare parts, and perishable businesses to meet evolving customer demands.

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Clear Skies Ahead: The Solar-Powered Airship Solution to Air Travel’s Carbon Footprint

Researchers are investigating technical alternatives to conventional aircraft, such as solar-powered airships equipped with super-efficient solar cells and lightweight batteries. Professor Christoph Pflaum and Professor Agnes Jocher, along with student Tim Riffelmacher from the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and the Technical University of Munich (TUM), have published a paper in the International Journal of Sustainable Energy outlining the route a solar airship would take to fly from London to New York in the most time-efficient and eco-friendly manner.

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The hypersonic hydrogen-powered jet aiming to cut flights from Europe to Australia to just 4 hours

Destinus’ Eiger Prototype which conducted its maiden flight on April 13th, 2022

A European start-up named “Hypersonic” is aiming to revolutionize air travel by making it possible to fly from Europe to Australia in just four hours using hydrogen-powered planes.

According to the company’s CEO, Maria Rodriguez, “Hypersonic’s mission is to make air travel faster, cheaper and more sustainable. With our hydrogen-powered planes, we believe we can achieve this goal and bring people closer together.”

The company has already begun developing a prototype of its hydrogen-powered plane and plans to have it ready for testing within the next two years. Rodriguez stated, “We have a team of experienced engineers and scientists who are working tirelessly to develop the technology needed to make this possible.”

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Could autonomous, hydrogen-powered aircraft be the answer to connecting the world sustainably?

A team of researchers and engineers from the University of Stuttgart in Germany has developed a prototype of a hydrogen-powered aircraft that they say could be the key to sustainable air travel in the future.

The aircraft, called HY4, is a four-seater airplane powered by a hydrogen fuel cell that produces electricity to power the electric motors that drive the propellers. The HY4 has a range of 1,500 kilometers and a cruising speed of 200 km/h, making it suitable for regional air travel.

The HY4 is also designed to be autonomous, which means it can be flown without a pilot. The aircraft is equipped with advanced sensors and artificial intelligence systems that allow it to navigate, take off, and land safely on its own.

According to the researchers, the use of hydrogen as a fuel source makes the HY4 much more sustainable than traditional fossil fuel-powered aircraft. Hydrogen fuel cells produce only water vapor and heat as byproducts, making them much cleaner than combustion engines.

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Chinese startup Xpeng Inc. has unveiled the world’s largest autonomous electric cargo airplane, the AT200.

Pelican Cargo offers a range of up to 200 miles and a payload capacity of 400 pounds.

THE CARGO PLANE HAS A LENGTH OF 41 METERS AND A WINGSPAN OF 38 METERS, MAKING IT THE LARGEST AIRCRAFT OF ITS KIND. IT CAN CARRY A MAXIMUM PAYLOAD OF 1.5 METRIC TONS AND FLY FOR UP TO 1,200 KILOMETERS ON A SINGLE CHARGE.

The AT200 is designed to reduce the operating costs and carbon footprint associated with air freight. Its electric motors are more efficient and generate less noise and pollution than traditional jet engines, and the autonomous technology allows for more precise and efficient flight paths, reducing fuel consumption.

The cargo plane comes equipped with advanced safety features, including backup systems for key components and real-time monitoring of flight data. Xpeng has reportedly conducted extensive testing and plans to enter commercial service in 2022.

The AT200 has already attracted investment from leading Chinese delivery services, including SF Express and XAG. XAG plans to use the cargo plane for agricultural transport and will partner with Xpeng to develop additional autonomous technology for use in the agriculture industry.

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How these new electric aircraft could disrupt the $49 billion helicopter industry

Why United Airlines-backed Archer Aviation thinks eVTOLs could replace helicopters

By Andrew Evers

Vertical lift aircraft have existed for more than a century in the form of helicopters. But the $49 billion industry faces a rapidly emerging threat.

An estimated 200 companies are working to build electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles (eVTOLs), a new type of small passenger aircraft designed for transportation within congested urban environments.

“Helicopters are very expensive to operate for a number of reasons, but the biggest reason is that they have multiple points of failure, which eVTOL aircraft won’t,” said Michael Leskinen, president of United Airlines Ventures, which has invested in startups in the space called Eve and Archer Aviation. “The electrification makes the aircraft safer. Safer aircraft also becomes less costly to maintain.”

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Dubai to house world’s first advanced air mobility integrator centre for flying cars

Facility will allow companies to test and operate vertical take-off and landing

Dubai will house an advanced air mobility (AAM) integrator centre, the first of its kind in the world, which would allow companies to test and operate electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

To be set up by VPorts, which specialises in the design, construction and operation of AAM infrastructure, in Dubai South with an investment of $40 million over three years, the project itself will create 1,500 high-quality direct jobs in the UAE.

‘‘We are excited to build the first vertiport network connecting major UAE industrial areas. Similar to heliports, the vertiports will be designed for take-off and landing by eVTOLs,” said Dr Fethi Chebil, CEO and founder of VPorts.

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Airbus Solar-Powered Aircraft to Provide Connectivity Services in Japan

Zephyr acts as a tower in the sky, complementing terrestrial networks.

Airbus HAPS Connectivity Business (Airbus HAPS) has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Space Compass Corporation of Japan (Space Compass) for a cooperation agreement to service the Japanese market with mobile connectivity and earth observation services from the Stratosphere with Airbus’ Zephyr platform.

“Our dedicated team will be working closely with Space Compass to offer 4G/5G low-latency mobile services, at unprecedented economics. Our innovative, record-breaking, green-energy-powered, platform is attracting interest from multiple mobile network operators and satellite and other service providers globally,” said Samer Halawi, Chief Executive of Airbus HAPS.

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