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Unmanned Cargo Update #2

TECHNOLOGY:

H3 Dynamics and Hylium Industries Join Forces to Progress Liquid Hydrogen Electric Flight Capabilities


This project is combining two amazing technologies but they are unlikely to scale for aviation in the U.S. market. In this agreement Hylium contributes its liquid nitrogen production, storage and distribution technology; while H3 Dynamics has developed a liquid nitrogen powered distributed electric propulsion system (large electric drone motor) that is used to power "zero emissions" UAS flight.


Airspace Experience Technologies (ASX) - Manufacturer of the Sigma-6 VTOL Aircraft


The ASX Sigma-6 platform's initial operational specifications expect it to be able to transport up to 1000 pounds 760 miles, and 2000 pounds 380 miles. ASX's goal is to create an electric air vehicle that operates in the national air space in a clean, quiet and connected manner. Sigma-6 design also uses a modular pod style configuration where both cargo and passenger pods can be interchangeable with a common propulsion system. ASX also claims their design is the first multi-modal (cargo or passengers) eVTOL aircraft to be offered. While this may be true, I think its a short technical evolution once type cert is reached that manufacturers such as Joby and Lilium are able to retrofit a cargo cabin and eliminate the pilot from the flight deck. ASX plans to start the type certification process this year, aircraft deliveries for DoD uses in 2025, cargo operations in the national air space in 2026, and passenger transport to begin in 2027.


POLICY:

America, South Korea to Partner on AAM


Interesting partnership between South Korea and the U.S./FAA to conduct research and develop AAM procedures. As almost all other countries are progressing faster with AAM policies in their national air space, it seems the FAA will gain valuable insight as South Korea inevitably begins large scale UAS and eVTOL passenger transport before the U.S. does. This partnership adds to the list of international collaborations the FAA has established on the subject of AAM. Some of the other countries mentioned in this article include Japan, Australia, UK, Canada, and New Zealand.



INFRASTRUCTURE:

Altaport Builds Vertiport Automation System for eVTOL Aircraft


Altaport claims to be building the first vertiport automation system (VAS), and we know what happens to first movers in a new industry. I suspect there are other systems in development and if our readers know of any please send me a READER SUBMISSION so that I can inform the rest of the community. While VAS's are initially being developed for the eVTOL passenger industry, in my opinion, they will have the ability to quickly expand and adapt to handling unmanned cargo operations. Therefore the eVTOL industry is laying the groundwork along with the infrastructure that will initially be utilized by the unmanned cargo sector.


BUSINESS:

ASX Supplying eVTOL Aircraft to Transport US Mail


This article peaked my attention for a couple reasons. First, I have never heard of the company ASX or its eVTOL platform before reading this piece. Very excited to see another American company in this air vehicle technology development race. Second, this story also highlights a middle-mile use case where a functioning delivery network is adding eVTOL/UAS to their midwest operations. Understanding this model, Time On Target should focus on developing relationships with logistics/shipping companies who are not looking to develop their own flight departments, but ARE looking to add air cargo as part of their network services. Identifying the ideal partner / customer would follow a similar search/selection criteria as the following: Established shipping/logistics provider > has established customers/relationships/contracts > DOES NOT desire to hire in the skillsets or spend the capital to establish their own flight department > IS looking to add air cargo services as an outsourced service to meet current demand or expand service offerings.


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