Chinas Ehang earns world’s first eVTOL typecertificate
EHang Holdings announced that the EH216-S, its self-developed passenger-carrying unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system, has obtained the type certificate (TC) officially issued by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC). This demonstrates that the EH216-S’s model design fully complies with CAAC’s safety standards and airworthiness requirements, and that the EH216-S is qualified for conducting passenger-carrying UAV commercial operations. As the world’s first TC for unmanned electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL), the EH216-S TC serves as a milestone for commercial UAM operations.
The EH216-S, which has a 19 NM range, about 70 knots cruise speed, and 485-pound payload, will be used for passenger transport, as well as tourism, logistics, and medical use cases. The Chinese regulator formally accepted EHang’s type certification application for its passenger air taxi in 2021. Over the past 30 months, EHS216-S underwent extensive lab, ground, and flight testing across China and elsewhere. EHang said it has completed more than 40,000 test flights of EH216-S, including public demonstrations with passengers on board. www.ehang.com
Air Methods files for Chapter 11
US-based air ambulance provider Air Methods, one of the largest air ambulance operators in the world, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, calling the decision a strategic move to position it for long-term success. Air Methods currently operates 365 aircraft - mainly helicopters - from 275 bases in 47 states and employs around 4900 people. Air Methods stressed in a statement issued after the filing that vendors, suppliers, and employees would be paid in full and without interruption during the bankruptcy process.
Air Methods faces challenges in raising new funds and collect revenues in time amid higher interest rates, changes in regulatory landscapes and the abnormal weather events. The company said the rate of inflation – especially the recent increases in prices of maintenance costs, freight costs and fuel costs – have put additional strain on operations. In addition to the financial challenges, Air Methods is also facing operational challenges. The company has been struggling to recruit and retain pilots. This has resulted in higher labour costs as it has had to give out one-time bonuses and higher compensation to attract and retain employees especially those working on the front-line of its business.
Textron Aviation unveils the Cessna Citation CJ3 Gen2
Unveiled on the eve of this years NBAA - Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) in Las Vegas, the Citation CJ3 Gen2 brings several cabin and cockpit changes to the light jet, including an auto-throttle system. The nine-passenger, single-pilot CJ3 sits between the smaller M2 Gen2 and larger CJ4 Gen2.
Textron Aviation’s last upgrade of the Citation CJ3, which took place last decade, resulted in the CJ3+, a model featuring new Garmin G3000 avionics and updated cabin features. For the CJ3 Gen2, Textron Aviation is sticking with the same Williams International FJ44-3A engines and holding to the jet’s current 2,040nm (3,778km) range.
Among its many cockpit features, the Gen2 showcases dual touchscreen interfaces with Garmin’s latest software, making the Garmin G3000 suite significantly more intuitive and easier to use and it gains an auto-throttle as standard. Currently under development, the the $11 million CJ3 Gen2 is expected to enter into service in 2025.
People: EBAA welcomes Holger Krahmer as new Secretary-General
The European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) yesterday announced the appointment of seasoned EU professional, Holger Krahmer, as the new Secretary-General. He is set to take over the reins of the Association starting 1 January 2024.
With nearly two decades of dedicated service to the EU institutions, Holger brings a deep understanding of the intricacies of the institutions and the political landscape in Brussels. His tenure in the European Parliament, from 2004 to 2014, saw him influence major dossiers in the transport sector, notably driving critical discussions around the incorporation of airlines into the EU’s Emission Trading Scheme and the Single European Sky initiative.
Holger’s journey beyond the Parliament continued to be steeped in leadership. Since 2015, he has played pivotal roles in the automotive sector, notably with Opel/Groupe PSA as Director European Affairs. For the last few years, he has been the face of Mercedes-Benz Group AG (formerly Daimler AG) in Brussels, serving as the Head of the Group Representative Office.
Before embarking on his journey with the EU, Holger’s professional roots were in the banking sector, where he enriched institutions like Commerzbank and Berliner Bank with his expertise from 1990 to 2004. Holding German nationality, Mr Krahmer adeptly bridges the domains of politics and industry. The European Business Aviation Association looks forward to a period of significant collaborations and progress under Mr Krahmer’s guidance.