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Dovetail to use Siemens software to develop e-aviation retrofits

Manufacturing News

Rex Airlines-backed electric aviation company Dovetail Electric Aviation (Dovetail) has announced that it is using the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio of software to design its propulsion systems, which will be retrofitted to small aircraft.

Dovetail was established in 2020 as a joint venture between Sydney Seaplanes and Dante Aeronautical, and is based in Melbourne  — with a testing site in Latrobe Regional Airport — and has operations in Spain. It is targeting 2026 for certification of its first battery-electric powered aircraft, followed by certification of hydrogen-electric conversions.

In a statement from Siemens on Thursday, it said Siemens’ NX X software for cloud enabled computer-aided design (CAD) will be used to develop Dovetail’s propulsion systems and engines, enabling collaborative workflows between teams across countries and saving time in development through the use of digital twin design concepts and iterations.

“As we’ve grown, we’ve realized the need to invest in software that helps us create digital twins of the propulsion systems we design, is easily accessible worldwide and increases collaboration between our design teams in Australia and Spain,” said David Doral, CEO of Dovetail Electric Aviation. 

“Siemens’ software is at the heart of our ability to deliver zero emissions air travel, whilst enabling aircraft operators to reduce operating costs by up to 40%.”

Samantha Murray, Managing Director of Siemens Digital Industries Software, Australia and New Zealand, added that, “It’s great to now be part of Dovetail’s journey as they use technology and innovation to address the biggest challenge of our time, climate change. 

“We talk about the importance of [the] circular economy in economic and environmental sustainability and here’s a great example of a company achieving just that using our software.”

Regional carrier Rex is among Dovetail’s backers, with a 20 per cent stake in the startup, with others including the Victorian government’s Invest Victoria agency, and aerospace companies Aciturri and Air Nostrum.

Its initial focus is on retrofitting turboprop nine to 19-seat commuter planes, which it sees as a $US 15 billion opportunity.

According to the company it is currently the only in the world converting Cessna 208s into zero-emission battery electric, and the only designing a hydrogen-electric retrofit for the Beechcraft King Air.

Editor’s note: a previous version of this article incorrectly mentioned Bankstown as Dovetail’s headquarters.  

Picture: supplied

Further reading

Dovetail Electric Aviation to use Hyundai hydrogen fuel cell in testing

Victoria backs Dovetail Aviation in electric propulsion

Rex buys into e-aviation startup

Dovetail to convert 10 planes to hydrogen power – report

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