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 News WIre | August 31, 2023
Firefly Aerospace, Inc., an end-to-end space transportation company, and Millennium Space Systems, a Boeing Company small satellite constellation prime, have entered the hot standby phase for VICTUS NOX, a Tactically Responsive Space mission led by Space Systems Command's (SSC) Space Safari Program Office. The team stands ready for the 24-hour callup and orbit requirements to complete final operations and launch at the first available window.
"Challenging missions like this is where Firefly excels, and we are extremely humbled and proud to provide the U.S. Space Force and the nation with the critical capability to launch on-demand in support of national security," said Bill Weber, CEO of Firefly Aerospace. "Together with our mission partners, we'll be setting a new standard, proving nominal launch operations can be completed in a matter of hours rather than weeks to months."
Millennium and Firefly have entered a six-month hot standby phase and will wait for activation at an intentionally unknown time. During this phase, the U.S. Space Force will give the mission team an alert notification, kicking off a 60-hour window to transport the payload to Vandenberg Space Force Base, conduct fueling operations, and integrate it with Firefly's Alpha payload adaptor.
Space Force officials will then issue Firefly a launch notice with the final orbit requirements. The Firefly team will have 24 hours to update the trajectory and guidance software, encapsulate the payload, transport it to the pad, mate to Alpha, and stand ready to launch at the first available window. Once the payload is deployed in low Earth orbit, Millennium will attempt to fully initialize the space vehicle in less than 48 hours and then begin operations for its Space Domain Awareness (SDA) mission.
"What we're doing with VICTUS NOX has never been done before, and I attribute our success to the dedication and teamwork of our collective team – Millennium, Firefly, and SSC's Space Safari and Rocket Systems Launch Program (RSLP) offices," said Jason Kim, CEO of Millennium Space Systems. "You need to have the willingness to know that there will be changes – whether requirements or processes. That's where the teamwork and close partnerships really came into play. It's about what help is needed to address a challenge – on all sides – and everyone pitching in to support that."
In preparation for the mission, Firefly manufactured and acceptance tested each critical component, engine, and vehicle stage for its Alpha rocket in addition to conducting a static fire to verify all systems operate within flight parameters. Firefly and Millennium also completed multiple rehearsals in preparation for launch, which included packing and delivering a satellite mockup to Firefly's integration facility at Vandenberg Space Force Base to practice all launch operations within the prescribed 24 hours.
"The U.S.'s ability to rapidly respond to on-orbit needs is critical to our national defense, particularly in today's evolving space environment," said Lt. Col. MacKenzie Birchenough, Materiel Leader for Space Safari. "The accelerated build time the team demonstrated for VICTUS NOX, combined with the demanding launch and on-orbit goals, exemplifies our strong commitment to preserving our nation's dominance and ability to freely operate in the space domain."
About Firefly Aerospace
Firefly is an end-to-end space transportation company with launch, lunar, and on-orbit services. As an all-American company headquartered in central Texas, Firefly is focused on delivering responsive, reliable, and affordable space access for government and commercial customers. Firefly's small- to medium-lift launch vehicles, lunar landers, and orbital vehicles provide the space industry with a single source for missions from low Earth orbit to the surface of the Moon and beyond
About Millennium Space Systems
Millennium Space Systems, a Boeing Company, is a small satellite prime, delivering high-performance constellation solutions for National Security Space. Founded in 2001, the company's active production lines and 80% vertical integration enable the rapid delivery of small satellites across missions and orbits – LEO, MEO and GEO.
About Space Systems Command
Space Systems Command (SSC) is the U.S. Space Force's field command responsible for acquiring and delivering resilient war fighting capabilities to protect our nation's strategic advantage in and from space. SSC manages a $15 billion space acquisition budget for the Department of Defense and works in partnership with joint forces, industry, government agencies, academic and allied organizations to accelerate innovation and outpace emerging threats. Our actions today are making the world a better space for tomorrow.
Globenewsiwre | July 17, 2023
Mercury Systems, Inc. , a technology company that delivers processing power for the most demanding aerospace and defense missions, received a five-year contract worth as much as $83 million from the U.S. Naval Air Systems Command to deliver high-definition, digital Head-Up Display (HUD) systems for the T-45 Goshawk training aircraft. This firm-fixed-price delivery order was issued under a previously awarded basic ordering agreement. The Navy is the first customer to adopt Mercury’s HUD1080 technology that enables aviators to see critical flight and weapons data in real-time without taking their eyes off the sky.
Under this program, Mercury expects to deliver nearly 300 HUD systems, with the first $45 million production order awarded in conjunction with this contract. The T-45 Goshawk is a tandem-seat jet trainer used to train Navy and Marine Corps aviators to fly the U.S. military’s most advanced fighter jets, including the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, F-35 Lightning, and the EA-18G Growler, as well as tactical airborne early warning aircraft such as the E-2 Hawkeye. The new T-45 HUD with an integrated camera is based on Mercury’s low-profile HUD design that minimizes pilot discomfort, enhances situational awareness, and maximizes an aviator’s field-of-view. It is also DAL-A certifiable—the highest level of design assurance that can be applied to airborne systems—allowing it to be used for critical flight and mission tasks such as landing on aircraft carriers.
Why It Matters
Pilots must understand a wealth of rapidly changing data while flying, and a HUD allows them to maintain awareness of this information without having to take their eyes off the sky to look down at multiple instruments. Current training aircraft use older analog HUD systems that have a bulky design, are out of production, and cannot integrate with the modern enhanced vision systems used in today’s fighter jets. The integration of Mercury’s HUD into the T-45 solves the obsolescence problem for the aircraft and ensures pilots are trained in an operationally realistic environment, as the systems are compatible with upcoming T-45 avionics upgrades. “The introduction of the HUD1080 expands Mercury’s display technology portfolio and our ability to deliver mission-ready technology and solutions for all aspects of the avionics ecosystem,” said Mitch Stevison, Executive Vice President and President of Mercury’s Mission Systems division. “We look forward to delivering our digital HUD for the T-45 Goshawk, ensuring today’s student pilots have the technology to train for current and future missions.”
About Mercury Systems
Mercury Systems is a technology company that pushes processing power to the tactical edge, making the latest commercial technologies profoundly more accessible for today’s most challenging aerospace and defense missions. From silicon to system scale, Mercury enables customers to accelerate innovation and turn data into decision superiority. Mercury is headquartered in Andover, Massachusetts, and has 24 locations worldwide.
Businesswire | August 14, 2023
Wisk Aero (“Wisk”) and Archer, leaders in the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) market, along with The Boeing Company (“Boeing”) today announced that they have reached a settlement to resolve the federal and state court litigation between the parties on undisclosed terms.Simultaneously, the parties have entered into a collaboration that looks forward to the growth and development of the AAM industry. Archer has agreed to make Wisk its exclusive provider of autonomy technology for future variants of Archer’s aircraft.As part of the parties’ collaboration, Boeing is making an investment in Archer that will support the integration of Wisk’s autonomous technology in future variants of Archer’s aircraft.
Wisk is an advanced air mobility (AAM) company dedicated to delivering safe, everyday flight for everyone. Wisk’s self-flying, eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) air taxi will make it possible for passengers to skip the traffic and get to their destination faster. Wisk is a fully-¬owned Boeing subsidiary that operates separately from Boeing and is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, with locations around the world. With over a decade of experience and over 1600 test flights, Wisk is shaping the future of daily commutes and urban travel, safely and sustainably. Wisk is on a journey to deliver safe, autonomous, all¬electric, everyday flight, join us and learn more here.
Archer is designing and developing electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft for use in urban air mobility networks. Archer’s mission is to unlock the skies, freeing everyone to reimagine how they move and spend time. Archer's team is based in Santa Clara, CA.
As a leading global aerospace company, Boeing develops, manufactures and services commercial airplanes, defense products and space systems for customers in more than 150 countries. As a top U.S. exporter, the company leverages the talents of a global supplier base to advance economic opportunity, sustainability and community impact. Boeing's diverse team is committed to innovating for the future, leading with sustainability, and cultivating a culture based on the company's core values of safety, quality and integrity.