19 April 2022

Report event “Electrification & battery developments for electric flying

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On April 6th the interactive event on electrification & battery developments for electric flying took place. The meeting was hosted by the Battery Competence Center and the BOM at the Automotive Campus in Helmond!

The event started with a short welcome by Pieter Rahusen, Commercial Manager Automotive Campus, & Roland Grimm, Program Manager Brabantse Ontwikkelings Maatschappij.

The welcome was followed by 2 presentations giving an overview of Dutch activities in the battery development and e-Flight domains where automotive and aerospace meet:

  • Gijs Vrenken, communication manager at Eindhoven Airport “Establishment of Electric Flying Collective” (also chairman of the meeting)
  • Rutger van Poppel, project manager Battery Competence Centre

Followed by 3 presentations providing a diverse market outlook for electric flying:

  • Gerben Broekema, Director Broekema Aviation Advisory Services and co-founder PEN-EM Market relevance of electric Regional Air Mobility – focus on transport business/coming to market segment
  • João Taborda, Director, Government Affairs, EMEA Embraer “The Energia project: sustainable concepts on the path to 2050”
  • Jan-Willem Heinen, co-founder at Venturi Aviation “Full electric regional flying – what challenges does that pose? Focus on aircraft development”

After that a picture of the technical challenges was sketched by:

  • Frank Wokke, Business Manager Aerospace Systems at Royal NLR – Netherlands Aerospace Centre
  • Eric van der Veen, Business Development Manager Aerospace at ADSE

The plenary part ended with a candid forum discussion led by Prof.Dr.Ir. Maarten Steinbuch (TU/E) & Scientific Director Eindhoven Engine discussing the different views on the market and challenging the speakers on their perspective of the market and the technical, business and societal/political hurdles that have to be taken:

  • Panel: Gerben Broekema, Jan-Willem Heinen, Eric van der Veen & Frank Wokke

After a short break the participants had the possibility to follow two workshops of their choice to take the discussion on challenges and how and with whom to cooperate:

  • Market opportunities and business planning for electric flying
    • Workshop leaders: Gerben Broekema (Broekema Aviation Advisory Services) and Jan-Willem Heinen (Venturi Aviation)
  • Technical challenges for automotive / (new) aerospace suppliers and Battery Competence Center
    • Workshop leaders: Rutger van Poppel (Battery Competence Centre) en Maarten Klomp, Founder & CEO at Saluqi Motors B.V.
  • Production challenges for high production numbers for aerospace / lessons learned from automotive – EWIS
    • Workshop leader: Arjen Buijze, Manufacturing Technology Program Lead at GKN Aerospace/Fokker Elmo
  • New aircraft designs and certification challenges
    • Workshop leaders: Frank Wokke (NLR) & Frank Kaiser, Head of DOA Design Organisation ASDE

The plenary meeting and subsequent workshops showed that there are plenty of business opportunities in the different market segments of the air transport market (urban air mobility (2-6 seats), short regional range (9-19 seats) , regional (19-100 seats), short to medium range ((100-200 seats) and long range (200-500 seats), but each with their particular challenges.

For non-aerospace companies there are indeed opportunities to step in but an open eye for cooperation with established players, who understand the rules of the business, and an early focus on safety and certification requirements are key for success.

It became also clear that there are a lot of claims of market opportunities and achievements that still have to be proven.

The good news is that there is a lot of potential in the Netherlands, but we have to work together and engage with international players as well, aircraft manufacturers, systems suppliers, operators and regulatory authorities.

Support from government in establishing the cooperation is highly needed as well since the energy transition is only possible when regulators and policy makers create the right market conditions.

The participants were asked to send in their ideas and needs for follow up meetings or questions for contact details of interesting parties for further explorations to Wilma.Pronk@nag.aero

The meeting ended with a network drink that helped to reflect on the meeting and make appointments for follow up discussions.

The event was made possible by a TKI HTSM Grant.