VTOL takes off with UBER
For your delectation, here are this week’s top business aviation headlines, brought to you by GearUp TV.
Thanks to Avalon Airport Spotter for landing of the week, featuring a Gulfstream G650ER.
In today’s episode, it’s nearly all about the helicopters! Last week, GearUp.TV attended a pre-EBACE media day at London Oxford to find out the latest news from its tenants. London Heliport General Manager Simon Hutchins said its movements were up 10% in 2016 to 11,300, marking the strongest figures since 2008.
In other news, in October 2016, London Heliport successfully brought its Air Traffic Control in-house, following a long-standing relationship with Serco. To make its ATC more resilient, Hutchins said it’s now investing in new transmitters and receivers. The voice equipment will mean more integrated communications and has been approved for introduction towards the end of 2017. Also based at Oxford is Capital Air Services. Managing Director Michael Hampton has said that the EASA requirement for 350 hours in multi-pilot helicopters before a pilot can receive an ATPL is a problem for the industry. Building up the hours off-shore is much easier, Hampton said, but with a lack of jobs available since the oil crisis, the career progression of pilots is being blocked. However, he said the CAA is aware of the issue.
At the Uber Elevate Summit in Dallas, TX, it’s been announced that both Embraer and Bell Helicopter are partnering with the company to help develop an ecosystem that will allow for the large-scale deployment of electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (VTOLs). Uber Director of Engineering for Aviation Mark moore said that Embraer’s knowledge of certifying fly-by-wire aircraft, and their confidence that they can affordably bring fly-by-wire technology much smaller aircraft, will be an essential ingredient for Uber’s success. Depending on video choice: Aurora Flight Sciences was another partner chosen for the initiative, and they created the animated video footage we’re currently watching. On 20 April, the Lilium Jet – the world’s first all-electric VTOL aircraft – completed its maiden test flight series above Bavaria in Europe, which you’re seeing in this video.