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Tue, Jun 11, 2024

Airbus, Avincis Peer Into their AAM Crystal Ball

With a Shift in the Industry Coming, Planners Seek to Call the Shots Before they Land

Airbus and Avincis have signed off on a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to partner on the development of Advanced Air Mobility tech together, focusing largely on eVTOL operations in continental Europe.

The MoU outlines each company's forte, with both working on defining a variety of mission profiles for eVTOL ops in Europe and other markets abroad. While it's a small step, it's a step regardless, and the industry knows that the eVTOL industry could prove to be just the shot in the arm small-time aircraft transportation needs. They bring a whole host of new demands, infrastructural challenges, and utilities, too, which necessitates arrangements like these.

For now, Airbus and Avincis will start from square one to look into the crystal ball and find out what the eVTOL market will be used for. It seems pretty easy to guess they'll carry on the same missions that general aviation does today, but a fleet of quieter, cheaper, and vastly more internet-ready aircraft opens many capabilities untapped by a piston twin. Add in the fact that many eVTOL projects are developed with an eye towards autonomous operation and it gets even more complex. In some ways, the change can be seen in the UAV market, where the advent of cheap civilian UAS have toppled decades of combat dogma, created entirely new market niches at home, and trailblazed entirely new career paths for the next generation.

John Boag, CEO, Avincis, said they'd start with EMS and build from there. “Our partnership with Airbus is an important milestone for Avincis, as we look to the future of emergency air services and the platforms that will support our missions for generations to come. eVTOLs will play an important role in our long-term fleet strategy as these technologies continue to evolve to give us further reach and capability in the field. Airbus is at the cutting-edge of this evolution, and we are excited to be working with their team in understanding how we can harness the latest technology to bring more sustainable solutions to emergency services globally.”

“We’re pleased to partner with Avincis. Their established operational network, which is essential to enabling key missions such as emergency medical services, search and rescue, and fire-fighting, will be a valuable tool to collectively explore the mission potential of CityAirbus NextGen,” added Balkiz Sarihan, Head of Urban Air Mobility at Airbus. “Through this collaboration we will explore how eVTOLs can contribute to missions that save lives and protect communities, a shared goal among our two companies.”

Avincis is an understandable partner for the job, since their fleet of 60 Airbus aircraft works around the world for a variety of GA missions. Knowing their own operations back and forth, they'll be a solid partner to start brainstorming by using their own needs as a baseline. Airbus's recent CityAirbus NextGen prototype is still in development, but has proven to be one of the more aesthetically handsome prototypes on the market (provided one has an eye for angular and complex.) Airbus plans to test fly it for the first time later this year.



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