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Autonomous Vehicles

Last CleanTechnica Electric Air Mobility News Roundup Of The Year!

Here’s more urban air mobility (UAM) electric vertical takeoff & landing (eVTOL) and electric fixed-wing aircraft news for the last week of 2019.

Here’s more urban air mobility (UAM) electric vertical takeoff & landing (eVTOL) and electric fixed-wing aircraft news for the last week of 2019.

Embraer EmbraerX eVTOL

Image courtesy EmbraerX.

The Wright Report

Starting with the Wright Report, which I highly recommend you subscribe to, the report focuses on NYC’s airport bill and reducing emissions. Next month in Washington, D.C., the Wright Report is pitching a bill to Congress with its partner easyJet, with whom they’re soon offsetting carbon emissions from all of their flights. Wright has a similar concept around all flights in and out of NYC.

The Wright’s “Wrighting NYC’s Airports Bill” aims for consumers to directly pay the environmental cost of their flights. NYC would require airlines to offset carbon emissions from all flights going in and out of its airports. The hope is to expand to all airports. Since airports charge fees to airlines, a calculation could determine the carbon emissions from each flight to offset these emissions. That cost would be charged to the airline, which would ultimately pass the costs on to the passenger. The projects include plastic reduction.

Skyryse Showcases Semi-Autonomous Flight Suite

Skyryse made a lot of noise last week with semi-autonomous flight on a retrofit helicopter. The company raised $13m in a Series B funding round from Bill Ford’s investment firm Fontinalis Partners. It unveiled a suite of automation technologies — called Skyryse Flight Stack — that automate flight in FAA-approved helicopters, safety and communication systems, and a network of smart helipads to ultimately create a new transportation system in the sky.

Why is this important? Skyryse is tackling the biggest challenge for autonomous flight with technology adaptable to existing certified aircraft. The 3-year old company’s raised to $43m so far. Via Aero News.

Karem Brings In More Money, Unveils eVTOL Spinoff

Karem Aircraft brought in another $25m from Hanwha Systems, who we met with at the last starburst event in Los Angeles a few weeks ago. Karem finally unveiled its next eVTOL spinoff, called Overair, that is continuing to develop the Karem Butterfly – a tiltrotor eVTOL destined for Uber Air.

Karem Aviation. Photo:

Karem Aircraft with Uber branding. Photo courtesy Karem Aircraft

That wasn’t Hanwha’s first Karem investment. It had already injected $25m in a Series A round for another Karem subsidiary.

Side note: Karem is hot and hiring like gangbuster!

Uber Welcomes Another eVTOL Player, Joby

With a 4-seater eVTOL service that should launch in 2023, Uber Air added Joby to its growing list of partners. Joby is already working on the S4 and seems to have plans for a larger S5.

This brings us to the list of Uber Air partners — the Boeing subsidiary Aurora Flight Sciences, Embraer, Pipistrel, Karem Aircraft, Jaunt Air Mobility, and now Joby.

Quantum XYZ, Bye, & Partners

Last, but certainly not least, I haven’t written much about Quantum XYZ, a future electric fixed-wing and eVTOL operator with great vision and a business model to get us in and out of traffic in a jiffy. I’ve met with Tony Thompson, CEO & cofounder, a few times and have exchanged countless emails trying to wrap my head around the breadth of his venture. Quantum XYZ has big plans, allowing for flying IntraCity, InterCity, and Sub-Orbital. Yes, you read that right — sub-orbital, and in a commercial way, not just a joy ride for the lucky few.

So far, Quantum XYZ has partnered with George Bye from Bye Aerospace and SureFly (which is now in the hands of Moog). Quantum secured 18 Bye eFlyer 4 airplanes (4-seat electric airplanes) and 4 eFlyer 2 airplanes, the company’s original 2-seat electric aircraft.

Bye has also been working with Oxis Energy to build proof-of-concept lithium-sulfur batteries to increase power-to-weight ratio up to 500 Wh/kg versus the current 250 Wh/kg.

Pipistrel FAA Petition Up

I recently wrote about Pipistrel petitioning the FAA to have its US-based Pipistrel Electric Alpha recertified. The petition is alive. The Sustainable Aviation Project is asking you to encourage the FAA to do this.

Stay tuned, as I will reveal more in a few weeks with a big announcement.

And this concludes our last 2019 UAM and electric aircraft news round. Stay tuned, as 2020 is shaping up to have even more news and events.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

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Written By

Nicolas was born and raised around classic cars of the 1920s, but it wasn't until he drove an AC Propulsion eBox and a Tesla Roadster that the light went on. Ever since he has produced green mobility content on various CleanTech outlets since 2007 and found his home on CleanTechnica. He grew up in an international environment and his communication passion led to cover electric vehicles, autonomous vehicles, renewable energy, test drives, podcasts, shoot pictures, and film for various international outlets in print and online. Nicolas offers an in-depth look at the e-mobility world through interviews and the many contacts he has forged in those industries. His favorite taglines are: "There are more solutions than obstacles." and "Yesterday's Future Now"


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