Three projects stimulating traditional aviation’s growth into a millennial increase?

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AeroDelft Phoenix PT

Universal Hydrogen and Plug Power

Joby Aviation 

All innovating towards a millennial aviation industry

In 1903 the Wright Brothers’ innovation created a new industry and as with all businesses, aviation grew, matured and the traditional flight began to decline. As the millennium hit, new technologies (unpiloted aircraft, new energy sources, incredible data bases, etc.) have stimulated the dimensions and applications of aviation today.

From this famous, telegram sent from Kitty Hawk to Reverend Wright in Dayton-

wright brothers to bishop wright







to these exciting innovations and to quote another iconic American inventor, Samuel Morse, said when the telegraph first worked, “what has God wrought” here are three projects which may enhance traditional aviation’s growth into a millennial increase ?

Dutch Students Just Unveiled the World’s First Hydrogen-Powered Aircraft


“Phoenix PT,” scheduled to fly next summer, is a prototype of a full-scale, two-passenger aircraft that will make its first flight in 2022

The students from Delft University of Technology, calling themselves the AeroDelft[1] team, just revealed a prototype called Phoenix PT.

Delft Phoenix PT

AeroDelft just announced that it recently completed the ground tests for the crew-less Phoenix PT, which weighs about 113 pounds. It will carry two pounds of liquid hydrogen for its maiden flight. AeroDelft calculates Phoenix PT will have a range of 311 miles and flight time of up to seven hours. The students, comprising 23 nationalities, started the hydrogen aircraft project in September 2018.

Team Delft

AeroDelft chose liquid hydrogen to fuel its Phoenix aircraft because hydrogen is not only the world’s lightest element, but it can pack three times the energy of fossil fuels without emitting any greenhouse gases. It emits only water vapor. Phoenix is also designed to have an unusually low noise profile, with a tail-mounted electric motor.

With a wingspan of 164 feet, the full-scale Phoenix FS will have a crew of two and hold up to 22 pounds of liquid hydrogen for an expected range of 1,243 miles and flight time of up to 10 hours. The two-passenger model’s 2022 flight will be powered by gaseous hydrogen. In 2024, Phoenix FS is expected to fly with liquid hydrogen.

Delft team hydrogen engine

Hydrogen Pioneers Step Up Plans to Convert Regional Airliners

by Charles Alcock

– March 3, 2021, 11:50 AM


Plug/Universal hydrogen distribution

Green energy group Plug Power has become a minority shareholder in Universal Hydrogen, expanding its partnership with the start-up to provide hydrogen propulsion for aircraft. The initial $1 million investment, with an option to increase that amount, should allow Universal Hydrogen to meet its goal of completing the construction of a subscale hydrogen powertrain during the second quarter of this year.

In September 2020, the companies announced a partnership to develop hydrogen fuel-cell propulsion systems to power converted regional airliners. The U.S. companies intend to build and test a full-scale ground-based prototype for a two-megawatt hydrogen-electric powertrain that they intend to have ready for retrofitting under a supplemental type certificate (STC) by 2024.

plan for hydrogen

Now they are expanding their alliance with a global supply agreement for Power Plug to distribute hydrogen supplies to aircraft. Initially, the company will supply around 500 tons of hydrogen each day from five distribution points across the U.S. by 2024. This volume is roughly equivalent to a million gallons of jet-A fuel. The first confirmed locations for the storage facilities include Rochester, New York; Lancaster, Pennsylvania; and Fort Worth.

“When you think about renewable [fuels] at four cents per kilowatt-hour, it’s clear that green hydrogen can be produced at prices equivalent to or below [the cost of] fossil fuel in the near term,” said Andy Marsh, Plug Power’s CEO. “Universal Hydrogen’s approach is a pragmatic, near-term plan to bring green hydrogen to one of the hardest-to-decarbonize sectors—air travel.”

Plug Power has extensive experience in developing hydrogen fuel cell stack technology for e-mobility applications, including fork-lift trucks and other ground vehicles. The customer base for its ProGen systems includes BMW, Renault, Amazon, Walmart, Carrefour, and the Southern Company. In 2019, the company acquired EnergyOr, which makes lightweight fuel cells for drones.

Universal Hydrogen and Plug Power’s engineering teams will first test the subscale powertrain on the ground before retrofitting the equipment into a 40- to 60-seat regional aircraft, such as the Dash 8 or the ATR42. Test flights are due to begin in 2023, with a target date for initial commercial operations in 2025.

power plug and universal

Joby Aviation Named to Fast Company’s Annual List of the World’s Most Innovative Companies For 2021

Innovation Award Follows Decade Spent Developing eVTOL Aircraft; Demonstrated Through More Than 1,000 Flights

Joby eVTOL on landing pad

SANTA CRUZ, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Joby Aviation (“Joby” or the “Company”), a transportation company developing an all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft that it intends to operate as a commercial passenger aircraft beginning in 2024, has been named to Fast Company’s prestigious annual list of the World’s Most Innovative Companies for 2021…

Following a decade spent developing a piloted eVTOL aircraft with more than 1,000 test flights conducted to date, Joby has been recognized by FastJoby eVTOL test flight Company as a leader with significant first-mover advantages in the emerging aerial ridesharing industry. Joby’s superior technology and strategic partnerships with leading companies such as Uber and Toyota set the company apart in the field as it continues advancing its mission to transform transportation with the introduction of a clean, quiet, and convenient aerial ridesharing service starting in 2024.

Following airworthiness approval by the U.S. Air Force and a certification basis agreement with the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”), the Joby eVTOL aircraft is widely seen as the aircraft that will make air taxis a reality. Joby’s piloted aircraft, which can fly at least 150 miles on a single charge and can cruise at 200 mph, will bring to the public clean, quiet, and fast on-demand air travel for four-passenger journeys.

Joby recently revealed for the first time footage of its aircraft taking off vertically before transitioning to forward flight and then landing vertically, which can be viewed here.test video





Specifications of the aircraft are as follows:

Joby Specs

The recognition by Fast Company comes as Joby prepares to merge with Reinvent Technology Partners (“Reinvent” or “RTP”) (NYSE:RTP), a special purpose acquisition company that takes a “venture capital at scale” approach to partnering with bold leaders and companies. Upon the closing of the transaction, the combined company will be named Joby Aviation, and become publicly traded, with its common stock expected to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

RTP logo

Beyond demonstrating its technology superiority through the flight of its aircraft, Joby has solidified its leadership position by advancing its commercial readiness over the past year through new and enhanced partnerships. In December 2020, Joby acquired Uber Elevate, a division of Uber focused on the aerial ridesharing market, bringing to Joby key personnel and unique consumer demand insights. The acquisition built on Joby’s established relationship with Uber that will see their respective services integrated into each other’s consumer apps. Also in 2020 Joby formed a strategic partnership with Toyota to support high-volume manufacturing as it moves towards a 2024 commercial launch.

Since the  Fast Company article publication, further good news- Joby Aviation to List on NYSE Through Merger With Reinvent Technology Partners

Joby and FAA cert teams

[1] The team consists of 44 ambitious students from the TU Delft, Willem de Kooning Academie, InHolland Delft, Haagse Hogeschool, VU Amsterdam, Erasmus University Rotterdam and Utrecht University. In total, the team represents 17 different nationalities and languages, each bringing in a different perspective to help make our goals a reality


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