NASA to replace DC-8 flying lab with a B777

Canada’s Air Tindi to trial electric-powered Dash 7 ops

12.05.2022 – 15:09 UTC

Air Tindi (8T, Yellowknife) has partnered with MagniX, NASA (United States of America), and AeroTec to trial electric propulsion on one of its DHC-7-100s starting in 2025.

The Canadian regional specialist will provide the aircraft, AeroTec will be responsible for designing and integrating electric engines into the turboprop, while MagniX will provide the magni650 electric power unit. The partnership is a part of the USD74.3 million NASA contract awarded in 2021 to MagniX to demonstrate the viability of electric propulsion for commercial air transport. The US government hopes to see the first electric aircraft flying commercially by 2035.

The Dash 7 will be outfitted with two original Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 engines and two magniX magni650 electric units.

“We currently fly the Dash 7 with passengers and cargo to remote regions in Canada. Many of these communities are exposed to food insecurity due to high energy prices and a lack of infrastructure. We see this partnership as an opportunity to change this dynamic, and positively impact these regions by reducing…

US supersonic jet project Aerion closes shop

24.05.2021 – 22:58 UTC

Boeing-backed supersonic aircraft manufacturer Aerion (Reno/Tahoe) has ceased operations after failing to secure new capital in the current economic environment, the company announced.

With Boeing’s financial and technical support, the Reno, Nevada-based company was building a 12-passenger supersonic jet, the AS2, capable of reaching a speed of Mach 1.4 or 1,610km per hour, which is 70% faster than conventional business jets. Production of the AS2 was slated to begin in 2023, followed by the first flight in 2025 and service entry in 2027. “In the current financial environment, it has proven hugely challenging to close on the scheduled and necessary large new capital requirements to finalise the transition of the AS2 into production,” Aerion said in a statement.

Boeing had reportedly invested several hundred million dollars for a 40% stake and had appointed two out of five board positions at Aerion in terms of a 2019 partnership to provide engineering, manufacturing, and flight test resources to bring the AS2 to market.

“While we are disappointed Aerion could not secure additional funding to…

Virgin Galactic plots foray into supersonic passenger market

06.08.2020 – 03:40 UTC

Virgin Galactic (OBT, Las Cruces) has announced its plan to enter the supersonic passenger jet market, having signed a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Rolls-Royce to develop an aircraft which seats up to 19 passengers and which can cruise at Mach 3.

The private space travel company said it completed the mission concept review and obtained authorisation from the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to outline its certification framework. It did not reveal any projected timeline for the aircraft’s type certification and entry into service.

The Richard Branson-founded company underlined that it hopes to benefit from Rolls-Royce’s experience as the engine manufacturer for the only certified Western-built supersonic passenger aircraft, the Concorde.

“The Mission Concept Review, which included representatives from NASA (United States of America), is an important program milestone at which the Virgin Galactic high speed team confirmed that, based on the research and analysis work completed, its design concept can meet the high-level requirements and objectives of the mission,” Virgin Galactic said.

The company said that the aircraft…

Hermeus Corp. secures seed funding for Mach 5 jet

29.05.2019 – 08:02 UTC

Hermeus Corporation, an aerospace technology start-up based in Atlanta in the United States, has obtained finance from seed funders and private investors to develop an aircraft that will travel at five times the speed of sound.

A maximum speed of Mach 5 (6,100 kilometres per hour) would slash the journey time between London and New York from more than seven hours today to ninety minutes, Hermeus (Atlanta Dekalb-Peachtree) claimed in a statement on the company’s website dated May 13.

Among the start-up’s founders are engineers from privately funded aerospace manufacturers SpaceX and Blue Origin who led the development of the X-60A, a hypersonic rocket that completed its critical design review in March. The funding is being led by Khosla Ventures, an American venture capital firm focussed on early-stage technology companies.

Hermeus wants to connect the world’s cities “significantly faster than ever before,” said AJ Piplica, its co-founder and chief executive, who added that it would bring global transportation infrastructure from the equivalent of dial-up into the broadband era.

The first commercial flight could…


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