Australian aerospace startup AMSL Aero (AMSL) is charting an ambitious course to the skies, propelled by the support of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA). The game-changing endeavor is aimed at developing a hydrogen-powered electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing aircraft (eVTOL), aptly named the Vertiia.
The Vertiia, with its configuration reminiscent of a helicopter, boasts eight rotors and the capability to carry up to five passengers across distances of up to 1,000 kilometers. It’s a visionary project with the potential to redefine short-haul air travel.
The support from ARENA, totaling $5.43 million, is part of the Advancing Renewables Program on behalf of the Australian Government. This funding serves as a crucial enabler for AMSL to advance the development and certification of the Vertiia, culminating in a successful test flight of the prototype. If successful, this aircraft promises to emerge as one of the cleanest and cost-effective forms of air transport, especially for routes within the 1,000-kilometer range.
AMSL Aero, headquartered at Sydney’s Bankstown Airport and established in 2017, is on a mission to design and manufacture zero-emissions aircraft. The Vertiia, in particular, holds great promise for various markets, including air ambulance services, emergency response, as well as passenger and cargo transport. Its unique configuration presents innovative solutions for handling specialized situations, such as combating bushfires.
One of the driving factors behind this pioneering effort is the aviation sector’s substantial contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions, responsible for about 2.5 percent of the total. Of this, nearly 20 percent is attributed to short-haul flights covering distances under 1,000 kilometers.
The development of Vertiia has received further backing from the Australian Government through the Emerging Aviation Technology Partnerships program.
ARENA CEO, Darren Miller, lauds this project as an exemplary instance of Australian innovators taking the lead in renewable energy solutions. He underscores the importance of developing low-emission air transport and how it necessitates diverse solutions, including those involving hydrogen and battery electric technologies. The Vertiia project, in this context, is groundbreaking.
AMSL Aero’s Co-founder & Chief Executive Officer, Andrew Moore, highlights the significance of ARENA’s funding in expediting the design, construction, and certification processes for their long-range, hydrogen-powered eVTOL aircraft. It not only accelerates access to this technology for patients and passengers but also plays a pivotal role in the endeavor to decarbonize air transport both in Australia and beyond.
This remarkable undertaking marks ARENA’s first foray into hydrogen-powered aviation projects, signifying the agency’s commitment to advancing sustainable solutions in the aviation sector.
As the world looks toward greener skies, ARENA’s ongoing Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) Funding Initiative remains open for applications that propel the development of sustainable aviation fuels from renewable feedstocks, further solidifying Australia’s commitment to pioneering clean and sustainable aviation technologies.
In this ever-changing landscape of aviation and sustainable energy, the Vertiia project is poised to be a beacon of hope and innovation, promising a future where eco-friendly air travel is no longer a distant dream but a tangible reality. It exemplifies the fusion of advanced technology and environmental responsibility, setting a precedent for a more sustainable aviation industry.