DEFENSE AND SPACE
Spirit AeroSystems Inc. | October 18, 2021
Spirit AeroSystems Holdings, Inc. [NYSE: SPR] held a grand opening event and ribbon cutting ceremony for its National Defense Prototype Center (NDPC), a joint project with Wichita State University’s National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR). This new research center will significantly expand Spirit’s capabilities and production efficiencies in the defense and space market.
NIAR has been a tremendous partner in the development of the National Defense Prototype Center and enabling Wichita as a center for defense growth, The NDPC provides a secure space for high temperature materials testing, as well as development, prototyping and industrialization capabilities to support Spirit’s growth strategy targeting $1 billion of defense revenue by the mid-2020s.
- Duane Hawkins, Spirit AeroSystems executive vice president; president, Defense and Space.
The research center comes soon after Kansas earned its designation as one of 11 Defense Manufacturing Communities by the Department of Defense (DoD). The Defense Manufacturing Community Support Program will encourage long-term community investments to strengthen national security innovation and expand the capabilities of the defense manufacturing industrial ecosystem.
The National Defense Prototype Center encompasses more than 125,000 square feet of manufacturing and lab space with processing and characterization capabilities, including high temperature testing, furnaces for fabricating and processing materials, multi-method non-destructive inspection, robotic automated fiber placement technology and a large autoclave. The center promotes the capacity to sustain broader and maximum throughput capabilities to support a high-priority national defense program.
The more knowledge that can be generated and disseminated about high temperature materials, the more these materials can be used, optimized, and designed for specific objectives. This leads to reliable and safe products that enable the industry to go further, push faster, and break through current design limitations. Not only is this a first for the state of Kansas, but for the nation in terms of testing capacity at these temperatures.
- John Tomblin, Wichita State’s senior vice president for Industry & Defense Programs and NIAR executive director.
The research center is the first of its kind with the ability to attract new aviation, defense, and space programs with a focus on high-temperature materials, such as hypersonic missiles, that can withstand temperatures of 2,500-5,000°F. The NDPC offers distinctive capabilities and research technology that will spur the development of new high temperature materials and ultra-competitive composites.
About Spirit AeroSystems Inc.
Spirit AeroSystems is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of aerostructures for commercial airplanes, defense platforms, and business/regional jets. With expertise in aluminum and advanced composite manufacturing solutions, the company’s core products include fuselages, integrated wings and wing components, pylons, and nacelles. We are leveraging decades of design and manufacturing expertise to be the most innovative and reliable supplier of military aerostructures, and specialty high-temperature materials, enabling warfighters to execute complex, critical missions. Spirit also serves the aftermarket for commercial and business/regional jets. Headquartered in Wichita, Kansas, Spirit has facilities in the U.S., U.K., France, Malaysia and Morocco.
Volocopter | October 14, 2021
Volocopter's heavy-lift electric drone VoloDrone made its first public flight today at the ITS 2021 World Congress . Together with international logistics leader DB Schenker, Volocopter, the pioneer of urban air mobility (UAM), demonstrated the seamless integration of VoloDrone into the supply chain with an end-to-end freight transport demonstration. The partners showed the significant progress they have made together since DB Schenker became a strategic investor of Volocopter in early 2020.
The 3-minute test flight took off at 3:02 p.m. from homePORT Hamburg and reached a maximum altitude of 22 meters. For this delivery simulation, the heavy transport electric drone was fitted with a loading box between its landing gears. First, the demonstration teams fixed a load the size of a Europe palleton the box located under the VoloDrone, before taking off gently. The aircraft then brought the payload to a DB Schenker cargo bike and landed safely. After the payload was successfully transferred, the cargo bike delivered its cargo to its final destination under the area parking lot, marking the completion of the last mile fully electric multimodal delivery.
“This first public flight of the VoloDrone is a strong sign for Volocopter's leadership position in the UAM industry. We are the only company in UAM to provide solutions for passengers and cargo flying on a full scale and publicly all over the world. Our VoloDrone will make existing logistics processes more robust, efficient and sustainable. DB Schenker is an invaluable partner in our efforts to harness the enormous potential of our VoloDrone's use cases in the field of logistics. "
- Florian Reuter , CEO of Volocopter
Erik Wirsing , Vice President of Global Innovation at DB Schenker, comments: “With the flight of the VoloDrone today, we were able to publicly demonstrate our successful collaboration and the impressive progress of DB Schenker's roadmap in innovation and sustainability for cleaner logistics. Volocopter has proven once again to be the ideal partner for DB Schenker's ambition to rethink global supply chains and take transport logistics to the next dimension for our customers while reducing emissions. "
The demonstration in Hamburg builds on the foundations of the static proof of concept (PoC) that the partners carried out in July this year in Stuttgart . It has established an implementation plan for VoloDrone operations in logistics facilities around the world.
The VoloDrone is an unmanned, fully electric drone designed to carry pallets of any size among the six sizes of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), weighing up to 200 kilograms, over a distance of 40 kilometers . As part of Volocopter's strong line of UAM aircraft for transporting passengers ( VoloCity and VoloConnect ) and freight in cities, the VoloDrone is positioned to be deployed where conventional transport options reach their limits. In addition to the development of the device, Volocopter organizes the physical ( VoloPorts ) and digital ( VoloIQ) to support these services, which should be launched within the next two to three years. VoloIQ serves as the digital backbone for operations.
The first flight of the VoloDrone took place in 2019. Since then, regular flight tests have been carried out at various aerodromes in Germany. The drone itself measures 9.15 meters in diameter, 2.15 meters in height and has a maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 600 kilograms. Future VoloDrone operations will be fully electric with autonomous capabilities beyond visual visibility (BVLOS).
Volocopter is building the world's first sustainable and scalable urban air mobility company to deliver affordable air taxi services for goods and people in mega-cities around the world. Volocopter leads and works with partners in infrastructure, operations and air traffic management to create the ecosystem needed to "bring urban air mobility to life." Volocopter has 400 employees in its offices in Bruchsal, Munich and Singapore. The company has raised a total of 322 million euros in equity from investors such as Daimler, Geely, DB Schenker, BlackRock and Intel Capital,
ASL Aviation Holdings | October 13, 2021
Universal Hydrogen Co., the company leading the fight to decarbonize aviation through the adoption of hydrogen as a universal fuel, today announced it has executed a letter of intent (LOI) with ASL Aviation Holdings, a global aviation services group based in Dublin, Ireland. ASL will be a global launch customer for the turboprop cargo market and plans to purchase up to ten of Universal Hydrogen’s ATR 72 conversion kits for installation into its existing or future turboprop aircraft fleet.
Upon completion of a collaborative network study and aircraft assessment, Universal Hydrogen’s conversion kits will be installed in ATR 72 planes owned by ASL and operated on services for its major customers throughout Europe. In addition to the conversion kits, ASL has agreed to provide an ATR 72 to Universal Hydrogen to use as its cargo test and certification aircraft.
The ASL CargoVision forum is an initiative to drive innovation and sustainability in the air cargo industry, and working together in this forum Universal Hydrogen and ASL will move quickly to reduce emissions in the critical regional sector served by the ATR 72.
Air cargo has a unique opportunity to lead the aviation industry as it moves to meet ambitious carbon emissions targets. In ASL we are committed to being a first-mover in the introduction of new emissions reduction technology in our current fleet and hydrogen has a significant role to play with aircraft such as the ATR 72, Aviation cannot wait to act for a decade or more before new aircraft types become available, and by working with Universal Hydrogen we can create a bridge to new aircraft that will allow us to immediately reduce our carbon footprint in line with the environmental sustainability commitments in the ASL Group ESG Policy.
- Dave Andrew, CEO, ASL Aviation Holdings
In connection with the aircraft conversions, Universal Hydrogen and ASL will also enter into a long-term fuel services contract. Universal Hydrogen has agreed to provide green hydrogen fuel to power the converted ATR 72 aircraft in ASL’s fleet.
In order to reach Paris Agreement targets for aviation emissions we can’t focus on passenger aircraft alone—the cargo market is significant and growing. It’s exciting to see a leading operator like ASL deeply aligned with our vision to make hydrogen the universal fuel for aviation, ASL’s customers represent some of the largest air freight users in the world, and we welcome the opportunity to provide them with a truly clean way to meet growing delivery demands.
- Paul Eremenko, Universal Hydrogen co-founder and CEO.
About Universal Hydrogen
Universal Hydrogen is making hydrogen-powered commercial flight a near-term reality. The company takes a flexible, scalable, and capital-light approach to hydrogen logistics by transporting it in modular capsules over the existing freight network from green production sites to airports around the world. To accelerate market adoption, Universal Hydrogen is also developing a conversion kit to retrofit existing regional airplanes with a hydrogen-electric powertrain compatible with its modular capsule technology.
About ASL Aviation Holdings
ASL Aviation Holdings is a leading global aviation services provider with five European airlines and two associated airlines in South Africa and Thailand. The Group also includes maintenance companies and leasing entities. ASL has a fleet of 140 aircraft ranging from the B747-400 to the ATR 72 turboprop. The Group’s airlines operate for world-leading express parcel integrators, postal services and e-tailers and also own-brand operates inter-continental scheduled services. Passenger services are also operated in France and in South Africa.
About ASL CargoVision
ASL CargoVision, for greener, sustainable aviation, is a forum developed in late 2020 by ASL and leading new aviation technology companies. The objective is to help raise awareness of ASL and the Forum members’ position on both innovative new technologies and sustainability for air cargo operations. ASL and the other members of the CargoVision Forum will promote these new technologies as they bring sustainability to the aviation industry, and particularly to cargo operations.