Day three at the Dubai Airshow 2023 was all about advanced air mobility (AAM) as global eVTOL pioneer AutoFlight released a fully functional prototype and Honeywell unveiled a new technology partnership.

With a number of large orders signed and sealed earlier in the week, Wednesday at Dubai World Central was dominated by news of advancements in the AAM sphere.

AutoFlight announced the launch of a high-payload firefighting programme. With a maximum takeoff weight of two metric tons (MTOW), the firefighting model is designed to lift a 400kg payload over a distance of up to 200km and can reach speeds in excess of 200km/h.

It can transport four high-performance fire-extinguishing canisters, each weighing 100kg, with the capacity to extinguish fires covering up to 200 sq/m individually. This means that in a single payload, the four canisters can collectively extinguish fires spanning up to 800 sq/m.

Day three deals

Elsewhere, Honeywell was selected by AIBOT to provide its Compact Fly-By-Wire (cFBW) system to support the company’s fully eVTOL aircraft.

Honeywell said the technology would “empower the next generation of aircraft avionics and create a sustainable transportation ecosystem for the future”.

Honeywell’s lightweight cFBW system, the size of a book, provides aircraft manufacturers like AIBOT greater flexibility in aircraft design.

Dronamics Black Swan

Dronamics, a cargo drone airline, also announced plans to establish a joint venture with the UAE’s Strategic Development Fund (SDF) to produce its Black Swan cargo drones in the country.

The JV represents the first serial production plant for the Dronamics Black Swan aircraft.

Svilen Rangelov, co-founder and CEO of Dronamics, said: “This joint venture will propel our advanced cargo drone technology into the market on a grand scale.”

In the commercial airliner sector, Ethiopian Airlines Group signed a memorandum of understanding for 11 additional Airbus A350-900s to be added to its existing fleet.

The latest agreement takes Ethiopian Airlines’ total order book and commitment for the A350 to 33, including four A350-1000s.
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