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By Nikki Cabus

RTX’s Pratt & Whitney announce North American Technology Accelerator in Palm Beach County

Read Time 3 Minutes

Pratt & Whitney, an RTX (NYSE: RTX) business,  announced details of its North American Technology Accelerator (NATA), a commercial and military aftermarket operations center of excellence based in South Florida

Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines and auxiliary power units. With more than 185,000 global employees, RTX pushes the limits of technology and science to redefine how we connect and protect our world. Through industry-leading businesses – Collins Aerospace, Pratt & Whitney, and Raytheon – we are advancing aviation, engineering integrated defense systems, and developing next-generation technology solutions and manufacturing to help global customers address their most critical challenges. The company, with 2023 sales of $69 billion, is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia.

The NATA, based in Jupiter, Florida and will have dedicated floor space, equipment and resources for the development and industrialization of technology insertion programs that will support the company’s global maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) network.

The accelerator projects in South Florida are primarily focused on material restoration and process automation including advanced repairs, digital inspection, adaptive processing, and coating and masking for compressor and fan parts, blades, cases, and more. The benefits of these technologies will reduce cost, material demand, and environmental impact, while decreasing turn times, improving throughput, and delivering value to customers.

“NATA combines data science with people know-how and state-of-the-art automation to help address customer pain points such as inventory management and part availability, while accelerating our improved repair capabilities and efficiency to better serve our customers,” said Kevin Kirkpatrick, vice president, Aftermarket Global Operations at Pratt & Whitney.

Key projects include additive repairs for critical GTF engine components. With this new additive repair technology alone, Pratt & Whitney expects to recover $100 million worth of parts over next five years to support GTF MRO ramp.

NATA complements Pratt & Whitney’s fully operational Singapore Technology Accelerator (STA), which was established in September 2022 with a focus on robotics, advanced inspection, connected factory and shop digital twin. STA has since delivered over 30 innovations which will maximize the productivity in MRO processes.  Both accelerators leverage other RTX research and development expertise to enhance automation, connectivity, analytics and intelligence to benefit aftermarket operations. Combined annual savings of at least $24 million is expected from Pratt & Whitney’s accelerator programs.

NATA and STA are part of Pratt & Whitney’s Industry 4.0 transformation, enabled by its Customer Oriented Results and Excellence (CORE) operating system which is at the foundation of the business’ technology accelerator strategy. CORE provides a common language, toolset, and methodology for delivering on customer commitments. The CORE system assesses and pinpoints critical areas and provides a framework from which to execute.

By Nikki Cabus

Archer Aviation and Atlantic Aviation Align to Pursue Development of Electric Aircraft Infrastructure in South Florida and Across the US

Read Time 3 Minutes

Archer Aviation Inc. (NYSE: ACHR) and Atlantic Aviation announced the recent signing of an MOU focused on establishing sites for electric aircraft operations in mulitiple metropolitan areas including South Florida.

Archer Aviation is designing and developing electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft for use in urban air mobility networks. Archer’s mission is to unlock the skies, freeing everyone to reimagine how they move and spend time. Although Archer’s team is based in Santa Clara, CA, they have close ties to the South Florida region.

Atlantic Aviation offers customers more than 100 Fixed Base Operations (FBO) locations across North America – and includes locations in Hawaii and the Caribbean. Atlantic Aviation’s facilities each provide a full suite of critical services to the business aviation sector covering a wide range of aircraft ground handling and corporate flight support, including fueling and line services, ground transportation, catering, hangar, deicing, and ramp space.

Archer and Atlantic Aviation plan to electrify several of Atlantic Aviation’s existing aviation assets to support future electric aircraft operations, including Archer’s Midnight air taxi, at Atlantic Aviation locations across four key launch markets: Los Angeles,  New York City,  Northern California and South Florida.

The companies plan to leverage the parties’ existing relationships with BETA Technologies to install BETA’s interoperable rapid recharging systems. BETA’s chargers utilize the Combined Charging System (CCS) that was recently endorsed by the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA) and is being utilized by several top original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) across the industry.

Atlantic and Archer anticipate launch of service across these initial locations in 2025 and subsequent expansion of services to other locations across Atlantic Aviation’s significant portfolio as availability of Archer’s aircraft scales. Together, Archer and Atlantic Aviation will be leaders in defining the infrastructure experience for the electric aircraft industry, offering premium experiences for customers.

“We are excited to work with Atlantic to help electrify their vast portfolio of high-value aviation assets in America’s most congested cities including the New York, Los Angeles, Miami, and San Francisco markets,” said Nikhil Goel, Archer’s Chief Commercial Officer. “These initial eVTOL vertiport locations will provide a launching pad for future expansion across Atlantic’s portfolio and ensure that our Midnight aircraft has safe, centrally located landing facilities for our future passengers.”

John Redcay, Atlantic Aviation Chief Commercial and Sustainability Officer, said: “We are impressed with Archer’s technology and suite of world-class partners including United Airlines; we are excited to work together to electrify our aviation assets to enable quiet and sustainable urban air travel in cities across the U.S.”

Archer’s goal is to transform urban travel, replacing 60- to 90-minute commutes by car with estimated 10- to 20-minute electric air taxi flights that are safe, sustainable, low noise, and cost-competitive with ground transportation. Archer’s Midnight is a piloted, four-passenger aircraft designed to perform rapid back-to-back flights with minimal charge time in between flights.

By Nikki Cabus

Broward-based eVTOL startup Doroni Aerospace launches Series A and FAA releases blueprint for air taxis

Read Time 5 Minutes

Just last week Doroni Aerospace announced the exclusive launch of their Series A Reg D funding round available to accredited investors. 

Morgan Stanley research predicted that the eVTOL (electric vertical taken off and landing) market will reach over $1 trillion by 2040. Doroni is on a mission to capitalize on this opportunity today and aims to make this technology accessible to everyone.

With backing and support from Space Florida, Doroni has already raised over $3.6 million from over 2000 investors and taken just under 300 pre-order requests for vehicle purchases. Just this past February, the startup completed its first untethered test flight with the Doroni H1 eVTOL. Only a handful of companies worldwide have been able to achieve this milestone.

Some of Doroni’s recent accomplishments are pretty remarkable.

  • successfully completed 53 unique flight tests with the Doroni H1 P1
  • built full 3D cockpit simulator tested by thousands of flight enthusiast and experienced pilots
  • completed the H1 airframe with fully functional cockpit complete with software, avionics, and a computer system that’s ready for flight integration
  • recruited Dan Saccani, a former Tesla and Lucid Motors CFO as our fractional CFO
  • raised an impressive seed round of over $3.5M through equity crowdfunding on StartEngine.com
  • working with major OEMs like Honeywell, Garmin, and Amphenol to incorporate aviation systems and components
  • received an overwhelming response of 270+ preorder requests
  • expanded our R&D capabilities by moving to a state-of-the-art 13,000 square foot R&D facility in Coral Springs
  • received another technology patent on their latest technology in design and aerospace features from the USPTO
  • garnered support from esteemed organizations such as the City of Pompano Beach, The Greater Fort Lauderdale Alliance, and Space Florida

Doroni’s mission is to bring new sustainability to commuter transportation by making flight accessible to the masses. The Doroni H1 is their go-to-market personal eVTOL (AKA “flying car”) that the company says will offer a safe, practical, and environmentally-friendly alternative to traditional automobiles. They are helping define the future of Urban Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) by engaging with the aviation industry, academia, the military, and the FAA as well as our prospective civilian and commercial customers.

On May 3rd, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) released an updated blueprint outlining the next steps for future future air taxi, or eVTOL aircraft, operations in the United States.

Under the blueprint developed by NASA and industry stakeholders, AAM operations will begin at a low rate with air taxis flying much as helicopters do today. They’ll use existing routes and infrastructure such as helipads and early vertiports.  As the number of operations increases, air taxis are expected to fly in corridors between major airports and vertiports in city centers. The complexity of the corridors could increase over time from single one-way paths to routes serving multiple flows of aircraft flying in both directions. Over time, these corridors could link an increasing number of routes between vertiports.

The FAA expects aircraft technology will evolve as well. Aircraft automation and real-time data sharing between aircraft will likely play increasing roles in these corridors. The operational blueprint is a key step — along with certifying the aircraft and pilots — in the FAA’s effort to safely usher in and support this next era of aviation. The blueprint aims to provide a common frame of reference to the FAA, NASA and industry to help guide their research and decision-making.

Doroni is targeting a Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) certification with the FAA that would make the company extremely viable when compared to the complicated and time-consuming certification processes of larger air taxi competitors. From its inception with the Doroni Y6 and X8 prototypes that came before it, the Doroni H1 was designed to maximize safety and will undergo exhaustive multi-level quality control. As Doroni likes to say, “Safety Is In Our DNA.”

What was once only seen in futuristic sci-fi movies in now becoming a reality. The world’s first eVTOL vertiport, Air-One, was opened in April 2022 in the United Kingdom. This is just one of the first of over 200 vertiport sites planned across the globe for Air-One. The vertiport was a collaboration between Urban-Air Port, a U.K.-based ground infrastructure developer, and Supernal, Hyundai Motor Group’s urban air mobility division.

According to Urban-Air Port, multiple international locations are already on the company’s order book for additional sites including efforts to bring air taxi services to Miami as soon as 2028.

The difference between Doroni and it’s competitors is its plans to offer their vehicles for personal purchase and use. The eVTOL market is divided into cargo, personal, and air taxi segments with many competitors popping up, but according to Doroni, these competitors are not focusing on personal purchase.

The personal segment is further subdivided into 1- and 2-seater categories. 1-seaters typically have an open frame with exposed propellers, have limited range, and are intended for recreational/leisure use. The Doroni H1 falls under the 2-seater + Payload category. Doroni sees a tremendous benefit and value of entering the personal segment under this category and believes that as a US-based company located in the eVTOL hub of Florida, they can become a major industry player.

Flying an aircraft may seem like a daunting task, but Doroni’s Founder and CEO, Doron Merdinger, explains that anyone with a driver’s license and 20 hours of flight training from the company can do it. He also claims that it’s cleaner, quieter and more sustainable.

Doron explains this in a recent ABC News Miami interview by asking, “Why do we need to destroy nature in general when we introduce a system that doesn’t require roads, does not pollute, doesn’t make noise at that level?”

He continued, “I can tell you 100% that the technology for what we are doing is here now. It’s not in the future – it’s here now.”

“We will experience nature. . . It will be safer, quieter and more efficient.”

The 1650 lb. 2-seater, Doroni H1, can fly a couple hundred feet off the ground with a flying distance of 60 miles, cruising speed at 100 miles per hour, and maximum speed of 140 miles per hour. The aircraft is expected to charge from approximately 20% to 80% in just 15 – 20 minutes which is extremely fast.

The Doroni H1 aircraft cockpit was a popular exhibit at Tech Hub’s 10th annual TECHpalooza 2022. The company brought out the full size cockpit for attendees to experience the future of transportation.

Using a virtual reality headset and simple joystick (not steering wheel), attendees could imagine gliding through the sky in the Doroni H1 eVTOL aircraft. For most, this was the first flying car prototype they had ever seen or even heard of.

Flying cars could be a reality within the next 2 years. The cost is currently around $250k, but once the cost of materials levels out, the technology such as batteries becomes more accessible, the company expects the prices to lower, or at least not increase, over time.

“This is real and this is happening – We have come a long way from where we were just a decade ago,” stated Billy Nolen,  FAA acting administrator.

Investors, visit the Doroni website now to learn more and secure your stake in the future of mobility: https://www.doroni.io/

 

RTX’s Pratt & Whitney announce North American Technology Accelerator in Palm Beach County
Archer Aviation and Atlantic Aviation Align to Pursue Development of Electric Aircraft Infrastructure in South Florida and Across the US
Broward-based eVTOL startup Doroni Aerospace launches Series A and FAA releases blueprint for air taxis