World’s First Hydrogen Vertical Lift-Off EV Plane

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Aerospace startup “AMSL Aero” received $5.43 million from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to develop a hydrogen-powered eVTOL aircraft that will transform regional air transport in Australia, planned to launch commercially by 2026. If the project is successful, Vertiia will be one of the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly forms of air transport for distances up to 1,000 km.

According to Interesting Engineering, the Vertiia aircraft has eight tilting wings and eight rotors and can take off and land like a helicopter, making it suitable for applications like emergency services, air ambulance, and freight and passenger transport. It can carry up to five people and operate on demand between regional locations.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller praised AMSL Aero in a press release for being a leader in developing renewable energy solutions for the aviation sector, which is responsible for roughly 2.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

“Developing low emissions air transport will require various solutions, including hydrogen and battery electric. AMSL’s work on the Vertiia is truly pioneering in this space,” he said, and added that this technology is an exciting prospect for end users like emergency services and personal and cargo transport for cutting emissions and costs from air transport.

Andrew Moore, co-founder and CEO of AMSL Aero expressed his gratitude to ARENA for supporting companies dedicated to clean technology that will benefit both society and the planet. He added that it will result in earlier access to the aircraft for patients and passengers and will play a crucial role in decarbonizing air transport in Australia and beyond.

Vertiia may be ARENA’s first project in hydrogen-powered aviation, but it is not its only one in hydrogen transport- it has previously funded projects like the New Energy Services Station and the deployment of hydrogen trucks at a Queensland zinc mine.