AEROSPACE

Ampaire Flies First Hybrid-Electric Regional Aircraft

Ampaire | November 21, 2022 | Read time : 03:30 min

Ampaire Flies First Hybrid-Electric Regional Aircraft
Ampaire's Eco Caravan, a nine-seat regional aircraft, made its first flight today on a fully-integrated hybrid-electric propulsion system. Ampaire expects it to be the first electrified regional aircraft to enter commercial service (certification in 2024) and the first in a series of larger Ampaire hybrid-electric aircraft that will lead a transition to sustainable aviation.

"Aviation is the hardest industry to decarbonize, Fully-electric aircraft are range limited because of the weight and energy capacity of current-generation batteries. Hybrid-electric aircraft, however, can preserve the range and utility of today's aircraft. That is why we are focused on hybrid-electric propulsion for a series of increasingly capable regional aircraft. It's a way for the airline industry to decarbonize more quickly and also to benefit from lower operating costs."

Ampaire CEO Kevin Noertker. 

Today's landmark achievement adds momentum to a program that has attracted key customers and program participants in recent months. In October, the company announced a relationship with Air France Industries KLM Engineering and Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) for a range of worldwide maintenance service and support activities. Also last month, Ampaire received an order from MONTE, a financier of sustainable regional aviation technologies, for up to 50 Eco Caravans. "These types of relationships ensure that Ampaire's customers worldwide have compelling financing and leasing support alongside world class maintenance/repair/overhaul support," said Noertker.

A "smooth and quiet" first flight
The Eco Caravan upgrades the standard Cessna Grand Caravan with Ampaire's integrated propulsion system of a compression ignition engine and an electric engine. A battery pack in a body fairing preserves passenger and cargo capacity for the aircraft. The first flight was 33 minutes in duration to make initial checks of the propulsion system. With test pilot Elliot Seguin at the controls, the Eco Caravan took off from Camarillo Airport north of Los Angeles at 7:49AM PST. It climbed to 3,500 feet at full power, combining power from the combustion engine and electric engine. Seguin then throttled back to a cruise setting, reducing load on both power sources. He spent roughly 20 minutes testing various power settings while studying temperatures and other readings before making a descent and final approach to Camarillo at a low power setting. "The Eco Caravan propulsion system performed just as expected," said Seguin. "It was smooth and quiet. All temperature and power output readings were normal.

Net Zero Emissions with SAF
The Eco Caravan reduces fuel consumption and emissions by up to 70 percent. Emissions are near zero when using sustainable aviation fuel. Cost of operation is reduced by 25 to 40 percent depending on airline route structure. Cost per available seat mile is near that of driving. The hybrid-electric aircraft preserves the range/payload capability of the Grand Caravan, and in fact can fly farther than the Grand Caravan with eight passengers. Maximum range is beyond 1,000 miles. The Eco Caravan's range and load hauling capability is in marked contrast to proposed all-electric, hydrogen-electric and even other hybrid-electric designs. The Eco Caravan can recharge its batteries in flight or at a charging stations on the ground. Because charging infrastructure will be limited for some years, the ability to operate independent of ground charging is critical for preserving the full utility of the Eco Caravan.

The first in a new generation of sustainable electrified aircraft
The Eco Caravan's propulsion technology is scalable to larger regional aircraft and ultimately to single-aisle airliners. Ampaire plans to rapidly roll out more powerful propulsion systems for larger aircraft, following a building blocks approach that will dramatically improve the sustainability of airline operations. As proud as we are of the Eco Caravan, we see it as a first step to larger hybrid-electric propulsions systems and ultimately zero-emission systems as energy storage technology advances," said Noertker.

First to market
Ampaire is already working with the FAA to certify the Eco Caravan in 2024 under a supplemental type certificate, an STC. The Ampaire approach differs from others in that it does not require a full aircraft certification program, which can be time consuming and very expensive. The Grand Caravan is already FAA certified. Ampaire will certify it to fly with a new propulsion system. Launching hybrid-electric aviation is no simple task, but we have made it easier by upgrading an already certified aircraft," said Noertker. "We will come to market more quickly and allow airlines around the world to begin to gain operational experience with this new type of propulsion. And we will work with them on follow-on models to meet their network requirements.

About Ampaire
Los Angeles-based Ampaire was formed in 2016 with a mission to become the world's most-trusted developer of practical, compelling electric aircraft. The company is upgrading existing passenger aircraft to hybrid electric power–the quickest, most capital efficient approach to making commercial electric air travel a reality with available technology. Ampaire has scored a series of industry firsts since the 2019 maiden flight of its Electric EEL technology testbed aircraft, including the longest flight for a hybrid-electric aircraft--1,135 statute miles en-route from Los Angeles to Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

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JetBlue Announces Science-based Emissions Reduction Target and Strategy to Achieve Net Zero by 2040

JetBlue | December 07, 2022

JetBlue today announces a science-based target approved by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), a coalition that defines and promotes best practices in emissions reduction targets. With this target, JetBlue commits to reducing well-to-wake (lifecycle) scope 1 and 3 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions related to jet fuel by 50% per revenue tonne kilometer (RTK) by 2035 from a 2019 base year1. JetBlue’s most aggressive near-term emissions reduction target to-date, this science-based target aligns with the goals of the Paris Agreement and the growing airline’s own goal to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2040 10 years ahead of broader airline industry targets. Aligned with SBTi requirements, JetBlue will also regularly review and update this target following any significant change to JetBlue's business or structure. To meet this aggressive near-term target, the airline will increase its investments in lower-carbon solutions within its operation​ and will evaluate future sustainability investments with its science-based target in mind. JetBlue also recognizes how critical external partners are to decarbonizing the aviation industry and is committed to encouraging and supporting efforts by aircraft and engine manufacturers, governments, regulatory agencies, and fuel suppliers to realize their own GHG emission reduction goals. “Effectively cutting our per-seat emissions in half will require substantial change to the way we run our business today,Our team is fully committed to hitting the goal, but we can’t do it alone. We are calling on governments, aircraft and engine manufacturers, and fuel producers to support the development of the products and solutions that airlines need to achieve our ambitious goals.” Robin Hayes chief executive officer, JetBlue Charting a path to net zero JetBlue further illustrates its path to achieving its 2035 and net zero goals and contributing factors with its JetBlue Projected Emissions Reduction Pathway (graphic attached). Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) is expected to be the key contributor to large-scale lifecycle emissions reduction, which is highly dependent on availability and costs of supply. Advancements in aircraft technology and fuel efficiency represent the second-most significant opportunity for emissions reduction. This includes efficiencies from the airline’s transition to newer and more advanced aircraft, the incremental improvements for aircraft delivered in subsequent years, as well as the potential for broader efficiency improvements for next generation aircraft yet to be developed, but anticipated to be commercially available by the late 2030s or early 2040s. Procedural optimization via Air Traffic Control (ATC) modernization led by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and fine-tuning of the airline’s own operations will also significantly contribute to further emissions reductions. Finally, investing in high-quality carbon removals and offsets is expected to play a role in addressing emissions the airline is unable to avoid. JetBlue is committed to prioritizing the lower-carbon solutions within its operation first, to drive down the need for carbon credits as much as possible. The aviation industry is at a critical time in our push towards net zero. Many of these lower carbon solutions are proven, but still haven’t achieved the scale needed to make a meaningful impact,” said Sara Bogdan, director of sustainability and environmental social governance, JetBlue. “Encouragement of these maturing technologies is needed and the investments we make today will help shape the trajectory of these solutions as they grow to realize their fullest potential. Since 2020 when the airline first outlined its net zero goal, JetBlue has made significant headway in its own sustainability efforts. Reducing Fuel Burn JetBlue operates a robust fuel savings strategy that starts with a young, fuel-efficient fleet that reduces emissions from fuel burn, from the outset. Its growing fleet of Airbus A321neo aircraft are improving fuel economy by approximately 20%. Further, JetBlue continues to take delivery of Airbus A220s, reducing emissions by up to 35% per seat compared to the aircraft they are replacing. To support fuel efficiency and cost goals, JetBlue is accelerating the retirement of its E190 fleet, with the final E190 aircraft scheduled to exit the fleet in 2025. And to ensure all aircraft are flown efficiently, JetBlue also operates a cross functional Fuel Optimization Team targeting a range of procedural and technology shifts that maximize the efficiency of its flight operations. Due to JetBlue’s fleet and fuel optimization initiatives, the airline is on pace to achieve a 6% improvement in emissions per available seat mile (ASM) in 2022 versus 2019 flying. Further emissions reductions can be achieved by looking at operational airspace and JetBlue continues to advocate for air traffic control modernization (NextGen) efforts. Current Air Traffic Control inefficiencies account for as much as 12% of fuel burn and resulting emissions. One of the most impactful ways to help reduce airline emissions across the industry is transitioning the United States’ aging radar technology with GPS based technology, which would allow for greater efficiency, more consistent flight planning, and as an added benefit, improved on-time performance for all travelers. To reduce the impact on the ground, JetBlue set a public goal to convert 40% of its three most common ground service vehicle types to electric by 2025 and 50% to electric by 2030. In 2019, JetBlue rolled out the largest electric fleet of any carrier at John F. Kennedy International Airport with 118 electric vehicles and continues to roll out electric ground service equipment at other airports including Boston Logan, the airline’s second largest city, and Newark Liberty International Airport. Transitioning to Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) JetBlue views SAF as the most promising avenue for addressing aviation emissions in a meaningful and rapid way – once cost-effective SAF is made available commercially at scale. SAF is a type of renewable fuel that exists today that drops directly into existing aircraft and infrastructure with no impact to safety or performance. SAF can be produced from a wide array of renewable sources such as agricultural wastes and used cooking oils—not fossil fuels—and can lower lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 80% compared to traditional petroleum-based fuels. Supporting and growing SAF availability is critical to reaching larger industry goals and JetBlue continues to do its part to encourage a diverse and competitive SAF market. The shared focus is necessary to build the economies of scale needed to compete with traditional fuel sources. Since 2020, JetBlue has continued to secure immediate as well as future supplies of SAF on its path to convert 10% of the airline’s total fuel to be SAF by 2030. Since 2020, JetBlue has been flying regularly using SAF from its California airports in Los Angeles and San Francisco, partnering with both currently available SAF suppliers in the U.S., Neste and World Energy. To further encourage a vibrant and competitive market, in 2022 alone, JetBlue has signed agreements with three additional SAF producers for future supply: Aemetis, AIR COMPANY, and Fidelis New Energy. While its 2021 agreement with SG Preston has been terminated, JetBlue will continue to look at future SAF partnerships to grow its SAF portfolio, with a particular interest in encouraging SAF in its Northeast focus cities. Through these existing and future SAF offtake agreements, JetBlue seeks to build a diversified portfolio of future SAF suppliers and feedstocks while continuing to send the message that strong demand for SAF exists. Advancing the Future of Flight The airline’s subsidiary, JetBlue Ventures (JBV), continues to invest in and partner with early-stage startups improving travel and hospitality, including those in the sustainable travel space. Referred to as, “the most active startup investor across all airlines in green aviation technologies,” JBV has invested in seven direct and three adjacent sustainability companies to date. The team explores advanced methods of measuring and reducing emissions, technologies that improve environmental protections and encourage sustainable tourism, and game-changing transportation powered by alternative propulsion systems like electric or hydrogen powered commercial aircraft. Most recently, JBV announced an investment in Rubicon Carbon, a next generation carbon solutions provider also backed by TPG Rise Climate. Refreshed Carbon Offsetting Strategy Since first setting the airline’s path to net zero, JetBlue has maintained its stance that carbon offsetting is a bridge solution toward greater sustainability efforts that directly reduce air travel emissions. JetBlue is proud to have voluntarily offset more than 11M metric tons of CO2 emissions to date (EOY 2022), including providing domestic and transatlantic carbon neutral flights for all customers from June 2020 to 2022. As lower-carbon solutions within the airline’s operations are made more readily available, the use of carbon offsets was always intended to decrease. While JetBlue still strongly believes there is a role for high-quality carbon offsetting solutions, the airline has elected to not continue its voluntary carbon offsetting of domestic flights into 2023. In place, it will reallocate its offsetting spending into operational investments that align with its science-based target, as well as evolve its offsetting strategy to support a curated list of primarily nature-based projects in and around the destinations the airline serves. JetBlue continues to see value in supporting high-quality projects that truly remove or avoid CO2 and deliver community benefits such as improving local air quality, introducing employment opportunities, and improving biodiversity of local habitats. JetBlue recently joined Rubicon Carbon as a launch partner for their innovative platform that delivers trusted, enterprise-grade solutions for carbon credit purchases. Rubicon Carbon was developed to deliver greater scale, confidence, and innovation across all facets of the carbon markets and meet the growing demand for high-integrity emissions reduction solutions. To further high-quality, high-integrity carbon credit availability in the voluntary carbon market, JetBlue will continue to collaborate with other like-minded organizations and recently joined the Business Alliance to Scale Climate Solutions (BASCS) as the first airline member to open opportunities for investment, policy influence, and discussions with other corporations and NGOS/IGOS in aligned messaging around scaling climate solutions. With the BASCS partnership JetBlue will specifically focus on workstreams seeking to encourage conservation and restoration projects for coastal and oceanic carbon ecosystems – referred to as blue carbon projects – as well as promote learning sessions offering transparency into the standards, methodologies, and corporate guidance initiatives that go into these carbon credit markets. JetBlue’s Focus on the Environment JetBlue depends on natural resources and a healthy environment to keep its business running smoothly. Not only do we all rely on those natural resources, but tourism also relies on having beautiful, natural and preserved destinations for customers to visit. The airline focuses on issues that have the potential to impact its business. Customers, crewmembers and community are key to JetBlue's sustainability strategy. Demand from these groups for responsible service is one of the motivations behind changes that help reduce the airline’s carbon output and overall environmental impact. For more on JetBlue’s sustainability initiatives, visit www.jetblue.com/sustainability. About JetBlue Airways JetBlue is New York's Hometown Airline®, and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles, Orlando and San Juan. JetBlue carries customers to more than 100 destinations throughout the United States, Latin America, Caribbean, Canada and United Kingdom.

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AEROSPACE

Blue Spirit Aero Accelerates the Development of Its Hydrogen-Powered Aircraft with Dassault Systèmes

Dassault Systems | November 08, 2022

Dassault Systèmes today announced that Blue Spirit Aero, the France-based aviation startup harnessing the power of hydrogen fuel cell technology, is using Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud to accelerate the development of its hydrogen-electric light aircraft and advance the certification of accessible clean aviation. The aircraft, “Dragonfly,” which relies on Blue Spirit Aero’s proprietary electro-propulsive technology optimized for clean performance, is being developed with a view to certification and entry into service in 2026. In only a few months, Blue Spirit Aero has used Dassault Systèmes’ “Reinvent the Sky” industry solution experience based on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to complete the detailed 3D design of Dragonfly’s shapes, and test and validate its performance in terms of aerodynamics, structure and energy. From the outset, the platform’s virtual environment on the cloud enabled the startup to structure its internal processes and streamline communication between experts across disciplines and locations for more efficient decision-making and full traceability. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform is the technology of reference in the aviation industry,” said Olivier Savin, CEO and founder, Blue Spirit Aero. “By using it to develop our aircraft from concept to certification, not only are we relying on one platform for all aspects of our product development, we are giving credibility to each milestone achieved. We can show potential investors, partners, employees, suppliers, customers and regulators that viable hydrogen solutions are being developed with the same software that has made the most technologically advanced commercial airliners possible. The global aviation industry is striving to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Transforming technological breakthroughs into real solutions requires new ways of working that combine the expertise of stakeholders and enable efficient certification processes. Regulators are working to establish certification processes for solutions involving disruptive hydrogen technologies. Blue Spirit Aero will be a catalyst in this by using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to demonstrate the feasibility of these solutions. “Blue Spirit Aero exemplifies a dynamic startup driving the hydrogen economy that shares our vision for more sustainable aviation,Reinvent the Sky’ and the scalability offered by the cloud allow it to deploy new capabilities as its project matures, optimize program execution, and reduce costs. These are ‘must-haves’ for a startup paving the way toward the certification of a new category of vehicles.” David Ziegler, Vice President, Aerospace & Defense Industry, Dassault Systèmes. ABOUT DASSAULT SYSTÈMES Dassault Systèmes, the 3DEXPERIENCE Company, is a catalyst for human progress. We provide business and people with collaborative 3D virtual environments to imagine sustainable innovations. By creating virtual twin experiences of the real world with our 3DEXPERIENCE platform and applications, our customers push the boundaries of innovation, learning and production to achieve a more sustainable world for patients, citizens, and consumers. Dassault Systèmes brings value to more than 300,000 customers of all sizes, in all industries, in more than 140 countries.

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Merlin Selects CMC Electronics Multicore Avionics Computer

CMC Electronics | November 04, 2022

CMC Electronics announced today that it was selected by aviation technology leader Merlin to provide its civil-certified PU-3000 avionics computer to power their autonomous flight solutions. Merlin's autonomy systems aim to reduce crew in large cargo aircraft, and to eliminate crew entirely in small aircraft, solving a key aviation issue in an industry facing a severe global pilot shortage. As a strategic partner to Merlin, CMC will provide its latest multicore avionics computer certified by Transport Canada to host their advanced flight control software that enables autonomous flying. The PU-3000's open architecture platform offers high-performance multicore processing capability and an unrivaled set of interfaces, allowing Merlin to easily adapt the system for use on different aircraft types. The PU-3000 allows customers to retain their intellectual property by implementing their own applications using CMC's comprehensive Software Development Kit (SDK). The computer can host software applications developed to various Design Assurance Levels, up to DAL A. The PU-3000 avionics computer has the multicore processing power, diverse interfaces and the civil certification pedigree we needed for our mission," said Shaun Johnson, CEO, Merlin New Zealand Limited. "Merlin is delighted to partner with CMC Electronics to propel the future of fully autonomous flight and to build a safe and autonomous unmanned aerospace industry. "This new contract is a timely and strategic development for CMC Electronics,At a time when crew shortages are a critical industry issue, we are pleased to be part of the solution alongside Merlin who is enhancing aviation safety while pushing the boundaries of innovation." Brad Nolen, Vice President, Sales and Marketing at CMC Electronics. Merlin recently announced a $105M Series B, and signed a partnership with the US Air Force to make the C-130J transport aircraft more autonomous in order to enhance safety and its operational flexibility. About CMC Electronics CMC Electronics (www.cmcelectronics.ca) has achieved an international reputation for innovation and excellence in the design and manufacture of innovative cockpit systems integration, avionics, display solutions and high-performance microelectronics for the military and commercial aviation markets. Based in Montreal, Canada, the company also has facilities in the USA serving customers worldwide. For more on CMC, visit www.cmcelectronics.ca. About Merlin Founded in 2018 and headquartered in Boston, with additional offices in Los Angeles, Denver, Mojave, and Auckland, New Zealand, Merlin is building the definitive autonomy system for all things that fly.

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