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Australian ARENA team developing “world’s first hydrogen VTOL” receives AUD5.43 million government funding

A Sydney-based aerospace company founded by a husband and wife designer team has received AUSD5.43 million to develop a “world-first hydrogen vertical take off and landing aircraft that could be used in regional Australia for emergency services, freight and transport” according to RenewEconomy.

“The Bankstown-based AMSL Aero was founded in 2017 by aeronautical engineer Andrew Moore and Siobhan Lyndon and has the backing of some major financiers, including IP Group Australia, Telstra Super, Host Plus and the St Baker Energy Innovation Fund.

“It has already developed a battery electric e-VTOL aircraft called Vertiia, but Moore says this is limited in range to “urban mobility”, and hydrogen fuel cell technology is needed to cover the vast distances of regional Australia.”

“If you want to fly for 20 minutes, then battery electric craft are probably ok,” Moore tells RenewEconomy. “But if you want to have people on board, you have to have an energy reserve, and that makes it really hard. Batteries don’t have the energy density.”

Moore tells RenewEconomy that hydrogen and fuel cell technologies will boost the range of the Vertiia electric aircraft from around 250 kms to 1,000 kms, and make it suitable for air ambulance and other emergency services. It will be able to carry five people.

Moore also says the ARENA funds will help AMSL accelerate the development of the hydrogen VTOL, particularly the design of the hybrid systems and the integration. He expects trial flights could take place as early as 2025, with commercial market entry in 2026.

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(Image: AMSL Aero)


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