Slovenian electric aircraft manufacturer Pipistrel and US industrial conglomerate Honeywell have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly explore and develop solutions for the urban air mobility market.
The companies said in press releases they will integrate Honeywell avionics, navigation, flight control systems, connectivity and other products and services onto a future Pipistrel Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) air vehicle to support fully autonomous operations in the future.
Urban air mobility is an aviation industry term for on-demand and automated passenger or cargo-carrying air transportation services, typically flown without a pilot. Urban air mobility services will bring innovative new ways for people to travel around cities and rural areas, while reducing congestion, Honeywell’s press release notes.
“This is the beginning of a long-term relationship to collectively pursue the future of urban air mobility,” said Ivo Boscarol, founder and president of Pipistrel. “Honeywell’s expertise in integrated avionics and flight control systems, systems integration, certification, and manufacturing, combined with our capabilities in designing and developing advanced light aircraft, makes us the perfect pairing to advance the urban air mobility market,” said Boscarol.
Pipistrel was chosen to be one of Uber’s vehicle development partners for its urban mobility solution, he recalled.
Honeywell has more than 100 years of experience in pioneering aircraft technologies across every application from commercial airliners to military platforms. This century of expertise and a wealth of technology innovation in avionics, navigation, propulsion and more has positioned Honeywell to effectively collaborate with Pipistrel to lead the development of the emerging urban air mobility space, according to the press releases.
“The urban air mobility market is an exciting space requiring innovation, but one that Honeywell is well positioned to support and grow,” said Carl Esposito, president, Electronic Solutions at Honeywell Aerospace.
Honeywell and Pipistrel expect the initial phases of a demonstration program to take place in early 2019. A schedule announcing flight demonstrations for the vehicle prototypes will be released later in the year.