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AMSL awarded $5.43 million to progress green hydrogen-powered air taxi

Manufacturing News

AMSL Aero, the maker of a box kite-inspired eVTOL aircraft that achieved its first test flight in February, has been awarded $5.43 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to demonstrate the feasibility of hydrogen as a fuel.

AMSL was established in 2017 by Andrew Moore, a former Royal Australian Navy engineer, and Siobhan Lyndon, a former Google executive.

The company has developed Vertiia, a craft with a claimed cruising speed of 300 kilometres per hour, and a range of 240 kilometres on lithium ion batteries and 1,000 kilometres using hydrogen fuel cells.

The aircraft has eight rotors, and will be capable of carrying up to five passengers in one configuration.

A statement from federal energy minister Chris Bowen on Wednesday describes the potential of Vertiia “to help first responders and defence personnel save lives and better meet the needs of Australians living in regional and remote areas”.

“AMSL’s aircraft could become an important tool for emergency services personnel, particularly as we face more frequent natural disasters,” said Bowen.

“Green hydrogen and other sustainable aviation fuels are vital to help decarbonise the hard-to-abate aviation sector, now accounting for around 2.5% of global emissions.”

AMSL made the first flight by a locally-made large eVTOL aircraft earlier this year: a tethered hover in Central West NSW.

Moore was a guest on the @AuManufacturing Conversations podcast in March, during which he explained the company’s story so far and the importance of producing finished products.

(The episode is available here.)

“So you need to make the finished aircraft, designed, built, integrated in Australia. You need to have the finished vehicle designed, built, assembled, everything in Australia,” he said. 

“Because without that, the supporting supply chains collapse. And that’s a really important thing. And that’s something where there’s a reason why most manufacturers around the world get all sorts of interesting subsidies from their government to support them and keep them going. In this country we don’t need subsidies, we just need a bit of help with investment.”

Picture: supplied

Further reading

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AMSL Aero raises $23 million in Series B

Australia and the future of moving, making and computing

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