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TECHNOLOGY

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Textron Aviation is to jointly develop autonomous flight capability for its current and future aircraft under a partnership with Xwing. A non-exclusive agreement signed on October 12 calls for the companies’ engineering teams to develop and certify remote piloting technology for Textron’s Cessna Grand Caravan utility aircraft. Textron has asked the Xwing team to provide expertise on autonomous flight technology and help it with design and manufacturing work to integrate these systems into existing and new aircraft. In return, the U.S.-based aircraft manufacturer will provide its partner with engineering and certification support. “It is an honor to work with Textron Aviation to optimize the next generation of aircraft for autonomous flight,” said Xwing founder and CEO Marc Piette. “Best suited and reliable for the air cargo industry, the Cessna Grand Caravan fleet has accumulated millions of flight hours. We look forward to playing a role in furthering the development of an autonomous aircraft using…

Many manufacturers are investing in plans for electric taxis, seen as a way to ease congestion and pollution in crowded cities. European aircraft manufacturer Airbus is the latest airframer to unveil its next-generation aircraft plans during its first Airbus summit on “Pioneering Sustainable Aerospace” as the emerging Urban Air Mobility (UAM) market begins to firm up. Dubbed as the CityAirbus, the fully electric vehicle is equipped with fixed wings, a V-shaped tail, and eight electrically powered propellers as part of its uniquely designed distributed propulsion system. It is designed to carry up to four passengers in a zero emissions flight in multiple applications. “We are on a quest to co-create an entirely new market that sustainably integrates urban air mobility into the cities while addressing environmental and social concerns. Airbus is convinced that the real challenges are as much about urban integration, public acceptance, and automated air traffic management, as…

RwandAir has resumed its regular scheduled flights to Mumbai, India. The flag carrier of Rwanda will operate 2X-weekly flights departing Kigali (KGL) on Mondays and Fridays at 11.40 pm local time and arriving in Mumbai at 11.30 am local time. Under the new schedules, the Kigali-based carrier has also increased its services to Dubai operating now five weekly flights. Since August last year, RwandAir has gradually resumed commercial flights across its global network, including most of its African routes, as well as some long-haul destinations such as London Heathrow, Brussels and Dubai. The airline is also preparing to launch two new services to Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the coming week. A 2X-weekly route between Kigali and Lubumbashi (FBM) will start September 29. Another 2X-weekly service will commence October 15 between Kigali and Goma (GOM). The KGL-FBM route will be operated with a Bombardier CRJ900 aircraft, while the KGL-GOM…

Rolls Royce has announced the completion of the first flight of the all-electric ‘Spirit of Innovation’ aircraft. It is propelled by a 400kW (500+hp) electric powertrain with the most power-dense battery pack ever assembled for an aircraft. The milestone marks another step towards the plane’s world-record attempt and another milestone on the aviation industry’s journey towards decarbonisation. Warren East, CEO, Rolls-Royce, said: “The first flight of the ‘Spirit of Innovation’ is a great achievement for the ACCEL team and Rolls-Royce. We are focused on producing the technology breakthroughs society needs to decarbonise transport across air, land and sea, and capture the economic opportunity of the transition to net zero. This is not only about breaking a world record; the advanced battery and propulsion technology developed for this programme has exciting applications for the Urban Air Mobility market and can help make ‘jet zero’ a reality.” This first flight marks the…