Artemis Aerospace | February 21, 2022
Jim Scott, owner of components solutions experts Artemis Aerospace, discusses how he sees the aviation industry adapting and emerging from the COVID-19 crisis.
The pandemic has changed the aviation industry irrevocably. Unlike any other crisis in the sector's history, COVID-19 not only grounded numerous aircraft, wiped billions from industry revenues and cost 200 million jobs, but it also fundamentally changed consumer behaviour overnight.
However, despite these extraordinary setbacks and unparalleled circumstances, as we emerge and recover from the pandemic, one thing has become clear: the aviation industry has a unique opportunity for transformation.
The acceleration of some technological advances that were already in the pipeline, such as automation, along with new business models and growing travel demand are sparking the dawn of a new era – one that ultimately has efficiency and environment at its heart.
Automation – increasing efficiency in a restricted world
While automation has long been a buzzword in the world of aviation, technological advances and investment in automated services for both the commercial and cargo sectors have surged over the last couple of years.
Automated innovations have been crucial to maintaining operations throughout the pandemic, instilling passenger confidence and creating safer working environments for employees across the board. There is no doubt that automated innovations will continue to evolve as we navigate the new aviation ecosystem.
From touchless check-ins to contactless immigration and supply chain support, automation in a post-pandemic world will generate greater efficiency and help to solve many of the challenges we face going forwards as we work towards getting back to pre-pandemic levels of business.
Transforming the business model
Traditionally, business travellers have always been the main revenue source for commercial operators with 75% of airline travel profit attributed to passengers travelling for work. However, with business travel unlikely to recover to pre-pandemic levels anytime soon, airlines will have to reinvent and rework their business models to address this.
Past crises have demonstrated that business travel takes the longest to recoup. For example, it took four years following 9/11. The added complications brought about by COVID-19, such as the popularity of remote working and online meetings – along with their associated cost savings – has meant it is likely that business travel, while still a necessity in certain situations, will not reach its previous levels ever again.
Meanwhile, leisure travel has rebounded more quickly than forecast and, indeed, as long as people have been allowed to fly, the demand has still been there.
With this in mind, airlines will need to assess and restructure cabin configurations, landing slots, networks, aircraft sizes and ticket pricing to maximise their potential while business travel remains subdued.
However, growth is not limited to passenger traffic and cargo is still estimated to increase – even double – over the coming decade.
Despite the lull of the last two years, flights are expected to double in the next 20 years, so, as an industry, we have a responsibility to ensure we are doing everything we can to minimise our environmental impact.
Biofuel and electrically powered aircraft are key to reducing the carbon footprint and environmental impact of air travel – and we are closer than ever before to making these a reality for commercial airlines.
While there is still some way to go in rolling out biofueled aircraft across the industry, Boeing has already committed to making planes that fly on 100% biofuel by 2030 and even staged the first commercial flight in 2018 using 100% biofuel.
Likewise, as far back as 2010, the Swiss company Solar Impulse built an electrically powered aircraft that could run on solar power during a 26-hour trial flight.
These advancements have continued, with Harbour Air's thirty-minute flight of its six-passenger DHC-2 de Havilland Beaver and NASA's new all-electric plane that is currently in development.
It is possible that, much like motor vehicles, jet planes will eventually become hybrid alternatives with the benefit of reducing environmental impact, cuttings fuel costs and lowering maintenance expenses.
Aviation – at the forefront of innovation
As an industry, aviation has achieved so much. Not only has it become one of the safest and most reliable modes of transportation in the world, it has also contributed exponentially to social and economic development.
The allure of travel and connecting people with places – along with cost-effective and quick methods of transporting cargo – will always be attractive options and undoubtedly this will continue well into the future. The question now is not "Will aviation reach pre-pandemic levels?" but "When will it surpass pre-pandemic levels?"
CAE | March 10, 2022
CAE announced today that it has partnered with Joby Aviation Inc., a California-based company developing all-electric aircraft for commercial passenger service, to develop and qualify flight simulation training devices that will be used to train the future pilots of Joby's revolutionary all-electric aircraft.
Leveraging the core simulation technology Joby has been developing for the past five years, CAE will work with Joby to develop pilot training devices specifically for the company's electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.
Joby intends to both manufacture and operate its aircraft, requiring the company to train a new generation of pilots. Used to simulate aircraft flight in various environments and conditions, flight simulators are an integral part of readying pilots to fly a new type of aircraft.
"CAE has a sterling reputation for delivering excellent simulation and training solutions. We look forward to a world where thousands of Joby pilots are flying our aircraft every day and we couldn't ask for a better partner to help make that a reality."
Bonny Simi, Head of Air Operations and People for Joby
Joby is currently working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to secure its Part 135 Air Carrier Certificate, establishing the processes and regulatory approvals necessary for the company to operate commercially, with an expected service launch in 2024.
"We are thrilled to partner with Joby to help bring their pioneering vision to life," said Nick Leontidis, CAE's Group President, Civil Aviation Training Solutions. "With more than 75 years of experience in the design, development and manufacture of flight simulators, CAE brings extensive expertise with new aircraft types to support the qualification of Joby's eVTOL fixed base flight training device and full-flight simulator with the FAA."
CAE recently announced Project Resilience, a CAD$1 billion investment into aviation technologies of the future. The investment accelerates CAE's role as a leader in end-to-end technology development, operational support and training solution for eVTOL pilots and Advanced Air Mobility.
With its low noise profile, Joby's eVTOL aircraft is designed to make fast, emissions-free, and convenient air travel an everyday reality in cities and communities around the world. Joby's fly-by-wire aircraft employs a unified flight control system and uses controls that are similar to fixed-wing aircraft, resulting in a smooth transition for pilots.
"We believe many pilots will consider flying for Joby to be a great career opportunity," said Simi. "In addition to flying an environmentally friendly aircraft with a great piloting experience, we'll offer pilots a reliable schedule that allows them to be home every evening, a luxury not available to most professional pilots."
CAE is a high technology company, at the leading edge of digital immersion, providing solutions to make the world a safer place. Backed by a record of more than 70 years of industry firsts, we continue to reimagine the customer experience and revolutionize training and operational support solutions in civil aviation, defence and security, and healthcare. We are the partner of choice to customers worldwide who operate in complex, high-stakes and largely regulated environments, where successful outcomes are critical. As testament to our customers' ongoing needs for our solutions, over 60 percent of CAE's revenue is recurring in nature. We have the broadest global presence in our industry, with more than 11,000 employees, 160 sites, and training locations in over 35 countries.
About Joby Aviation
Joby Aviation, Inc. is a California-based transportation company developing an all-electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft which it intends to operate as part of a fast, quiet, and convenient air taxi service beginning in 2024. The aircraft, which has a maximum range of 150 miles on a single charge, can transport a pilot and four passengers at speeds of up to 200 mph. It is designed to help reduce urban congestion and accelerate the shift to sustainable modes of transit. Founded in 2009, Joby employs around 1,000 people, with offices in Santa Cruz, San Carlos, and Marina, California, as well as Washington, D.C. and Munich, Germany.
DESIGN AND ENGINEERING
Electra.aero | December 30, 2021
A new generation of cost-efficient hybrid-electric aircraft is making on-demand regional air travel commercially feasible. Electra.aero, a US-based clean aviation technology company and flyv, a German company creating On Demand Air Mobility solutions, have partnered to develop a revolutionary customer-centric air mobility solution that leverages the economic advantages of Electra's sustainable flight technology to offer travelers the quickest, most cost-effective route between locations in underserved regional travel markets in Europe.
Passengers will fly on Electra's hybrid-electric, ultra-short takeoff and landing (eSTOL)aircraft, a fixed-wing plane that uses a unique combination of proven blown lift technology, hybrid-electric power, and distributed propulsion to operate on runways as small as 100x300 feet. The quiet, piloted plane delivers substantially lower emissions and operating costs than conventional aircraft. Batteries are recharged mid-flight, eliminating the need for ground charging infrastructure and enabling quick flight turnaround in diverse environments. The flyv service will initially operate between airports and eventually provide point-to-point intercity travel, taking full advantage of the Electra eSTOL's ability to take off and land in places previously inaccessible by flight.
flyv is a novel airline focused on regional air mobility. In lieu of a traditional hub and spoke network, the flyv scheduling platform uses a proprietary algorithm to optimize the daily flight schedule based on paid bookings and operational constraints. flyv will provide customers a guaranteed fixed travel timeframe to their destination at the point of booking, and exact itinerary details prior to departure.
"There is a gap in transportation services today between where ground transport is effective and where large transport aircraft are providing efficient service. We designed Electra's eSTOL aircraft to fill that gap, providing a more sustainable transport option than cars or traditional aircraft for short and medium distance routes up to about 500 miles, We are delighted to be partnering with flyv to pair our aircraft technology with flyv's innovative business model and flight scheduling technology to bring this transportation solution to customers."
-John S. Langford, Founder and Chief Operating Officer (CEO) of Electra.aero.
"Traditional airlines are focused on capacity, not on demand. We're building a new means of transport that is demand-driven and customer centric. We aim to connect unserved communities to as many other decentralized locations as possible by delivering the fastest means of transport from one point to another at market value-based prices, The economics were a challenge with conventional aircraft. The cost-effectiveness of Electra's high-performance eSTOL aircraft is the puzzle piece that makes the flyv model work. Our partnership with Electra enables a micro-mobility solution that connects the unconnected into the global aviation network in a sustainable way, creating economic opportunities for both communities and customers,"
-flyv Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Anton Lutz.
Under a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), flyv will be Electra's air mobility services partner in Europe, and Electra will be flyv's OEM partner for regional air mobility services in Europe and elsewhere, with a commitment by flyv to purchase of up to 100 Electra eSTOL aircraft. The agreement raises Electra's total purchase commitments to 280 aircraft. The two companies will jointly explore urban and regional networks to be served by flyv, and will collaborate on elements of eSTOL performance, economics, and passenger experience as well as joint marketing initiatives. The global urban and regional advanced air mobility market is forecast by Morgan Stanley at $1 trillion.
flyv is a start-up On-Demand Air Mobility airline connecting people in a demand-driven network, with a mission to connect every possible landing field in a single customer-induced web created anew every day. The company's core asset is its two algorithms: the fulfillment algorithm and the product algorithm. Together they enable optimized product offering and operationalization leading to a new approach in airline distribution and management. flyv's highly skilled team draws from various disciplines with executive experience from Amazon, GE Aviation, Vodafone, easyJet, and Lufthansa Group, as well as renowned scientific institutions and European airports.
Electra.aero, Inc. is a next-gen aerospace company leading the way in sustainable urban and regional mobility. The company is building clean, hybrid-electric, ultra-short takeoff and landing (eSTOL) airplanes that fly people and cargo quieter, further, and more affordably. Electra is collaborating with air transport and ground infrastructure operators to achieve a turnkey solution for diverse markets. Electra's team includes some of the most respected and successful entrepreneurs and engineers in novel aircraft design, and its technology development is supported by NASA and the US Air Force Agility Prime program.
Boom Supersonic | January 12, 2022
Boom Supersonic, the aerospace company building the world's fastest and most sustainable supersonic airliner, today announced it has entered into a three year strategic partnership with the U.S. Air Force valued at up to $60 million. The Air Force awarded this contract to Boom through its innovation arm, AFWERX, and its AFVentures division, which is designed to accelerate commercial technologies. Known as the Strategic Funding Increase (STRATFI), the STRATFI contract awarded to Boom is one of the program's largest investments and a significant commitment to the future of supersonic aviation.
The STRATFI contract will accelerate research and development on Overture, Boom's commercial airliner. Overture will carry 65–88 passengers at twice the speed of today's airliners. Designed to run on 100% sustainable aviation fuels, Overture is expected to be the first large commercial aircraft to be net zero carbon from day one. The supersonic airliner is set to enter manufacturing in 2023, roll out in 2025, and begin flying passengers by the end of the decade.
STRATFI funding will accelerate critical design and development initiatives on Overture, including wind tunnel testing and propulsion system definition. The award represents a substantial increase in the Air Force's financial investment in Boom following a SBIR Phase 2 contract awarded in September 2020.
"We are proud of the Air Force's continued support and recognition of Boom's leadership in supersonic flight—and we see our partnership as mutually beneficial, With STRATFI, we're able to collaborate with the Air Force on the unique requirements and needs for global military missions, ultimately allowing Boom to better satisfy the needs of the Air Force where it uses commercially-derived aircraft. As a potential future platform for the Air Force, Overture would offer the valuable advantage of time, an unmatched option domestically and internationally."
-Boom founder and CEO Blake Scholl.
The new Air Force contract represents a further widening of government efforts to ensure that the U.S. remains at the forefront of supersonic commercial development. Additionally, a derivative of Overture could offer the Air Force a future strategic capability in rapid global transport and logistics. Potential users and applications include executive transport; Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance; Special Operations Forces; and the Pacific Air Forces (PACAF).
About Boom Supersonic
Boom Supersonic is redefining commercial air travel by bringing sustainable, supersonic flight to the skies. Boom's historic commercial airliner, Overture, is designed and committed to industry-leading standards of speed, safety, and sustainability. Overture will be net-zero carbon, capable of flying on 100% sustainable aviation fuels (SAF) at twice the speed of today's fastest passenger jets. Overture's order book, including purchases and options, stands at 70 aircraft, and Boom is working with the United States Air Force for government applications of Overture. Named one of TIME's Best Inventions of 2021, the XB-1 demonstrator aircraft rolled out in 2020, and its carbon neutral flight test program is underway. The company is backed by world-class investors, including Bessemer Venture Partners, Prime Movers Lab, Emerson Collective and American Express Ventures.