United Airlines has just announced that it will be the first US airline to operate supersonic passenger aircraft from Boom Supersonic. The airline will take 15 Boom Overture aircraft, with an option for 35 more, hopefully in service by 2029.
Over the past 100 years, the technology inside airplanes has become more and more advanced from jumbo jets to smaller Cessna’s. Some see the next step to full automation as removing the pilot completely. Reliable Robots and Xwing are two Bay Area start-ups working on doing just that. Rather than build new aircraft, both companies have retrofitted Cessna Grand Caravan’s. The planes can fly autonomously with a remote operator who monitors the flight and can take control if needed. Both companies are working with the FAA on getting approval. Xwing took CNBC for a test flight, where the pilot didn’t touch the controls once. Watch the video to learn how it works and when pilotless planes will become the norm.
Lilium can revolutionize regional travel, saving people hours not minutes. Using its 7-Seater Lilium Jet, revealed March 30, 2021. Lilium’s regional shuttle service will enable sustainable, high-speed transportation. The 7-Seater Lilium Jet has market-leading capacity and is the first of Lilium’s serial aircraft.
It is capable of quiet vertical take-off, allowing Lilium access to more landing sites and the opportunity to build higher network density, avoiding the need for expensive ground infrastructure. The 7-Seater Lilium Jet and regional shuttle service business model are projected to deliver the best unit economics, with passenger and enterprise opportunities.
The Lilium 7-Seater Jet
The Lilium 7-Seater Jet has a projected cruise speed of 175 mph at 10,000 feet and a range of 155+ miles, including reserves. It is the culmination of five years of technology development across four generations of technology demonstrators, including Lilium’s full-scale 5-Seater.
Lilium applied for concurrent type certification for a high-capacity aircraft with EASA and the FAA in 2018. Development of the 7-Seater Lilium Jet began in stealth mode following this milestone. In 2020 the 7-Seater Lilium Jet received CRI-A01 certification basis from EASA.
Lilium has successfully developed, tested and refined the underlying technology for electric vertical take-off and landing jets – Lilium’s proprietary Ducted Electric Vectored Thrust (“DEVT”) technology, along with key control systems, aircraft and battery architecture. DEVT technology enables Lilium to scale to higher-capacity aircraft and keep noise emissions and ground footprint low.
It’s been a tough 12 months for the airline industry, hit hard by the Covid-19 #pandemic. But there are also ongoing concerns about the environmental impact of air travel. Could electric planes be a way forward? They are already being trialled in Slovenia and fully #electric, commercial flights could be ready to take off in just 10 years’ time. Our colleagues from France 2 report, with FRANCE 24’s James Vasina.
Airbus has revealed three concepts for the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft which could enter service by 2035. These concepts each represent a different approach to achieving zero-emission flight, exploring various technology pathways and aerodynamic configurations in order to support the company’s ambition of leading the way in the decarbonisation of the entire aviation industry.
All of these concepts rely on hydrogen as a primary power source – an option which Airbus believes holds exceptional promise as a clean aviation fuel and is likely to be a solution for aerospace and many other industries to meet their climate-neutral targets.
The three concepts – all codenamed “ZEROe” – for a first climate neutral zero-emission commercial aircraft include:
•A turbofan design (120-200 passengers) with a range of 2,000+ nautical miles, capable of operating transcontinentally and powered by a modified gas-turbine engine running on hydrogen, rather than jet fuel, through combustion. The liquid hydrogen will be stored and distributed via tanks located behind the rear pressure bulkhead.
• A turboprop design (up to 100 passengers) using a turboprop engine instead of a turbofan and also powered by hydrogen combustion in modified gas-turbine engines, which would be capable of traveling more than 1,000 nautical miles, making it a perfect option for short-haul trips.
• A “blended-wing body” design (up to 200 passengers) concept in which the wings merge with the main body of the aircraft with a range similar to that of the turbofan concept. The exceptionally wide fuselage opens up multiple options for hydrogen storage and distribution, and for cabin layout.
As much of the aviation industry fights to survive the coronavirus pandemic, some economists and engineers see the crisis as an opportunity to use stimulus funds to propel air travel to a carbon-neutral future.