businesswire | September 14, 2023
H2FLY, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Joby Aviation, today announced the successful completion of the world’s first piloted flight of a liquid hydrogen-powered electric aircraft.
H2FLY, acquired by Joby in 2021, continues to lead the industry on the development and testing of hydrogen aviation propulsion systems. The company completed a series of piloted flights with its HY4 demonstrator aircraft, including one that lasted more than three hours, fitted with a hydrogen-electric fuel cell propulsion system and liquid hydrogen that powered it for the entire flight.
The flights demonstrate the viability of using cryogenically-stored liquid hydrogen instead of gaseous hydrogen, which enables significantly lower tank weights and volume, leading to longer range. The successful installation and demonstration of flight with liquid hydrogen is believed to increase the range of H2FLY’s HY4 demonstrator aircraft from 466 mi (750 km) to 932 mi (1500 km), marking a critical step towards the long-term decarbonization of mid- to long-range aviation.
“H2FLY are pioneers in their field, and we’re proud of them achieving this watershed moment in the use of liquid hydrogen to power aircraft,” said JoeBen Bevirt, Founder and CEO of Joby Aviation. “In the years to come, battery-electric and hydrogen-electric propulsion systems will enable us to build aircraft that are quieter and make mid- to long-range air travel possible with zero emissions. It’s critical we take action now and invest aggressively in these technologies for the health of our planet and future generations to come.”
The successful flights are the culmination of Project HEAVEN, a European-government-supported consortium assembled to demonstrate the feasibility of using liquid hydrogen in aircraft. The consortium is led by H2FLY and includes the partners Air Liquide, Pipistrel Vertical Solutions, the German Aerospace Center (DLR), EKPO Fuel Cell Technologies, and Fundación Ayesa.
Following this test flight milestone, H2FLY will increasingly focus on its path to commercialization. In June, H2FLY announced the development of its new fuel cell systems, which will be capable of providing their full power range at altitudes high enough to enable commercial hydrogen-electric aircraft, demonstrating real-world commercial aircraft applications.
Joby Aviation, Inc. is a California-based transportation company developing an all-electric, vertical take-off and landing air taxi which it intends to operate as part of a fast, quiet, and convenient service in cities around the world.
PR Newswire | August 25, 2023
Boom Supersonic, the company building the world's fastest airliner, Overture, today announced it has completed several key milestones for XB-1, Boom's technology demonstrator aircraft. XB-1 leverages 60 years of progress in airplane technologies like carbon fiber composites, advanced avionics, and digitally-optimized aerodynamics to enable sustainable supersonic travel.
Earlier this year, XB-1 was moved from the company's hangar in Centennial, Colorado to the Mojave Air & Space Port in Mojave, California to continue preparations for flight. The aircraft has undergone extensive ground testing since arriving, including taxi testing this week.
"The recent progress made towards XB-1's first flight reflects the team's collective efforts to build and safely fly the world's first independently developed supersonic jet," said Blake Scholl, Boom Supersonic's founder and CEO.
In addition to the ongoing testing, XB-1 recently received an experimental airworthiness certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), following a detailed aircraft inspection. Boom has also secured letters of authorization to allow Chief Test Pilot Bill "Doc" Shoemaker and test pilot Tristan "Gepetto" Brandenburg to fly XB-1. Additionally, letters of agreement with airspace authorities are in place allowing for flights of the aircraft over the Mojave desert. XB-1's historic first flight will occur in the same airspace where Captain Charles "Chuck" Yeager first broke the sound barrier in the Bell X-1 and the Mach 3+, strategic reconnaissance SR-71 "Blackbird" first flew in 1964.
XB-1 has provided the company with valuable learnings, including the development of a robust safety culture. In preparation for flight, Boom's test pilots have completed hundreds of hours in the simulator for aircraft evaluation, operations development, training, and human factors assessments to achieve the highest levels of safety. The test pilots also maintain flight proficiency in a T-38 trainer aircraft, the same aircraft that will be used as a chase plane for all flight tests of XB-1. To further increase safety, the test pilots will use the T-38 to practice formation flying.
"It's fitting that XB-1 is now progressing toward first flight at the Mojave Air & Space Port, home to more than 50 first flights and other significant aviation events," said Bill "Doc" Shoemaker, Chief Test Pilot for Boom Supersonic. "I'm looking forward to flying XB-1 here, building on the achievements of other talented engineers and pilots who inspire us every day to make supersonic travel mainstream."
XB-1 features a carbon composite and titanium fuselage measuring 71 feet in length. Its ogive (modified delta) wing enables safe operation at takeoff and landing as well as supersonic speeds. The three General Electric J85 engines that power XB-1 produce a combined maximum thrust of 12,300 pounds of force (lbf).
The supersonic demonstrator aircraft rolled out of Boom's hangar in Centennial, Colorado in October 2020. Since then, rigorous testing of all of XB-1's internal subsystems has been completed. Upgraded landing gear and supersonic engine intakes were also installed on XB-1, both of which increase performance and safety.
Across its development, XB-1 has validated Boom's approach to airplane design and enabled engineers to leverage advanced tools like computational fluid dynamics (CFD) which are critical components of Overture's development. Overture is the sustainable supersonic airliner from Boom that will fly at Mach 1.7, or about twice the speed of today's fastest airliners, and is designed to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF).
About Boom Supersonic
Boom Supersonic is transforming air travel with Overture, the world's fastest airliner, optimized for speed, safety, and sustainability. Serving both civil and government markets, Overture will fly at twice the speed of today's airliners and is designed to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The company has secured SAF offtake agreements from Dimensional Energy and AIR COMPANY, bringing its total to 10 million gallons of SAF per year for Overture's net zero carbon flight test program. Overture's order book, including orders and pre-orders from American Airlines, United Airlines, and Japan Airlines stands at 130 aircraft. Boom is working with Northrop Grumman for government and defense applications of Overture. Suppliers and partners collaborating with Boom on the Overture program include Aernnova, Leonardo, Aciturri, Safran Landing Systems, Eaton, Collins Aerospace, and the United States Air Force.
PR News Wire | September 01, 2023
SpiderOak, a leader in zero-trust cybersecurity and resiliency software for space systems, today announced the successful deployment and demonstration of its OrbitSecure technology aboard the International Space Station . This milestone, achieved using Amazon Web Services' (AWS) Snowcone edge computing device provided by Axiom Space, completes the next critical step in SpiderOak's plan to demonstrate increasingly complex orbital flight demonstrations.
On July 31, 2023 in cooperation with Axiom Space and AWS, SpiderOak's OrbitSecure software was uploaded to the space station. The system successfully demonstrated sending and receiving secure ops traffic between ground and low-Earth orbit. Communication to the space station was handled via the Tracking and Data Relay System (TDRS).
This successful demonstration positions SpiderOak as a critical enabler for the burgeoning new space economy, which heavily relies on the secure transfer of data and mixed workloads across hybrid platforms in space. For the first time, SpiderOak has validated the potential of containerized workloads in a space environment, demonstrating a secure, software-defined model applicable to the unique challenges of space operations.
"The future of space is undeniably software-defined," said John Moberly, SpiderOak's Senior Vice President for Space. "Our successful demonstration shows that it's not just possible, but effective and secure, to run containerized workloads in modern orchestrated environments with secure data channels from orbit to ground and vice versa."
This breakthrough opens immense potential to secure even the newest data intensive operations in space, including in-space manufacturing, scientific research, and commercial human spaceflight. Moreover, it lays the groundwork for creating orbital data centers.
As data centers extend into space, the need to secure communications, not only from the station to the ground but also within the data center itself, increases. SpiderOak's demonstration builds upon the company's foundational work with Ball Aerospace, addressing these necessities and cementing SpiderOak's position as a leader in securing mixed workloads across heterogeneous platforms.
"SpiderOak's innovative efforts contribute to reshaping the way we approach space networking," said Jason Aspiotis, Axiom Space Director of In-Space Infrastructure & Logistics. "The team's successful demonstration of OrbitSecure technology is a significant step toward building secure, dynamic, and scalable space communications and data processing infrastructures."
SpiderOak's successful demonstration also highlights the vast potential for government and commercial workloads, with secure orchestration for containerized tasks in space. As constellations grow and interconnect, new hardware can seamlessly join the mission, with older systems easily uploaded and integrated into new tasks.
"This represents a pivotal advancement toward a future where national security is maintained beyond the confines of our terrestrial defenses, reinforcing information assurance in an increasingly digitized and interconnected universe," said Charles Beames, Executive Chairman of SpiderOak. "We are paving the way to secure all space operations -- military, commercial and civil spaceflight – and scale at the speed of need through remote software deployment. More significantly, new commercial systems can combine with emerging U.S. Space Force platforms to make measurable improvements to secure our national defense."
SpiderOak is a 100% U.S.-owned and operated software company that delivers end-to-end cybersecurity and resiliency solutions for civil, military, and commercial space operations. Our commercially available products are built upon a foundation of zero-trust encryption and distributed ledger, ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of your most sensitive data in the space domain.