Astro Aerospace buys Horizon Aircraft while EHang 216 demos in Japan

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(PHOTO: Aerospace)

https://www.bigmarker.com/series/ebace-connect/series_summit?utm_bmcr_source=MediaAstro Aerospace, a developer of eVTOL aerial vehicles and drones, announced that the acquisition agreement with Horizon Aircraft, a privately held developer of advanced eVTOLs, has closed. Patricia Trompeter, currently a member of Astro’s board of directors has agreed to take on the role of chief executive officer. Trompeter brings more than 16 years of experience in mergers and acquisitions and 15 years in financial management experience to the position. After graduating from Marquette University’s Business Administration programme with a major in Finance and Economics, Trompeter spent a large portion of her career holding a variety of executive positions at GE Capital including CFO, Controller, Operations Leader, Quality Leader, and Mergers & Acquisitions. During her career at GE Capital, Trompeter participated in over US$17 billion in acquisitions and transactions, earning her a reputation of professional excellence. After leaving GE Capital, Trompeter focused on non-profit ventures and family before co-founding an independent investment and advisory firm growing innovative technologies in emerging markets.

Bruce Bent will assume the role of executive chairman to assist in implementing the Astro business plan developed over the past two years. The company further announces that Horizon co-founder and CEO Brandon Robinson has been appointed president of Astro Aerospace. Robinson holds a Mechanical Engineering degree from the Royal Military College of Canada, is a CF-18 Fighter Pilot Top Gun graduate, has an MBA from Royal Roads University, and has led more than US$400 million in complex engineering projects.

The acquisition of Horizon Aircraft by Astro Aerospace will provide a complete product offering across both commercial and industrial applications. Astro will now have three eVTOL models under development – Alta, Elroy and the Cavorite X5. Astro’s offerings position the Company as one of few businesses in the eVTOL space to offer both full electric and hybrid aircraft options. In addition, the Astro product line includes single passenger, piloted multiple passenger, and cargo aircraft designs.

Horizon has successfully completed more than 200 test flights of its sub-scale prototype Cavorite X5, a five-seat hybrid-electric eVTOL. The primary objective for the sub-scale eVTOL prototype’s test flights is to verify aerodynamics, control systems and transitional flight. For vertical flight, the wing surfaces retract to open its ducted fans before closing again after it achieves a minimum forward speed, maximising the craft’s aerodynamic efficiency while lowering operational costs.

The full-scale Cavorite X5, which is expected to travel up to an estimated 450 km/h with a 500-kilometre range, is designed for safety, reduced hydrocarbon emissions, operation in poor weather, and ease of flying for low-time pilots. The aircraft targets Urban Air Mobility but also long-range Regional Air Mobility, currently an underserved portion of the market. The patented fan-in-wing technology allows the Cavorite X5 to be the world’s first eVTOL that can fly the majority of its mission configured exactly like a normal aircraft.

EHang 216 conducts trial flights in Japan
EHang Holdings, an autonomous aerial vehicle company, announced its flagship passenger-grade AAV EHang 216 successfully performed its maiden Japan unmanned and autonomous trial flight to showcase safe, autonomous, eco-friendly urban air mobility (UAM) solutions. Ahead of the trial flight, the EHang 216 obtained a trial flight permit from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism of Japan (MLIT) with a local partner. EHang 216 was the first passenger-grade AAV granted permission for outdoor open airspace trial flights in Japan. One of the trial flights was completed at the “Leading the Revolution of Urban Air Mobility” event, organised by the Okayama Kurashiki Mizushima Aero & Space Industry Cluster Study Group (MASC) and EHang at Kasaoka Air Station in Okayama Prefecture, Japan. Looking ahead, EHang and MASC will collaborate to further develop new air transportation use cases in Japan.

(PHOTO: EHang)

In 2018, the Japanese government established the “Public-Private Council for Air Transportation Revolution” and formulated a Roadmap towards Air Transportation Revolution. The council aims to start the business services of air transportation of goods and people utilising flying vehicles by 2023 with gradual expansion from rural areas to urban areas. According to the blueprint, the Civil Aviation Bureau of the MLIT is studying and improving related systems such as the type and airworthiness safety standards for flying cars and the certification of pilots.

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