Solar Impulse’s Co-Founder André Borschberg is no stranger to adventure and his latest foray is with a new company called H55 that he has founded to push the development of electric aircraft.
H55 will focus on the entire propulsion chain starting from the energy source and its management, right through thrust and power, as well as pilot interface and all control systems.
So far it appears to be going very well – H55 ‘s electric demonstrator aircraft, aEro1 (aero 1), has flown more than 50 hours with a battery endurance exceeding more than 1 hour.
The H55 Co-Founders are: Chairman of the board, André Borschberg, will continue with his passion in developing solutions with today’s existing technologies to change air transportation of tomorrow; Sebastien Demont, formerly Head of Electrical Engineering at Solar Impulse; Dominique Steffen former Red Bull paraglider world champion and experienced Head of Engineering for large-scale projects at Kissling & Zbinden; Thomas Pfammatter, a professional airplane and helicopter pilot with over 10’000 flight hours, former CEO and CFO of Swiss companies and founder of different start-ups; and, Gregory Blatt, also from Solar Impulse where he was Managing Director for Marketing and External Relations.
Andre Borschberg says: “Electric air transport will undoubtedly disrupt the aviation industry. Fifteen years ago, when I started with Solar Impulse, electric propulsion was anecdotal. Today is a major development path of every large aeronautical organisation as well as attracting many start-ups and new players. What is science fiction today will be the reality of tomorrow.”
Electric propulsion is very promising. It’s highly efficient and offers lighter engines having much less noise and a smaller environmental footprint.
Electric airplanes offer new possibilities and will play a key role in changing the way people travel.
The most striking feature of aEro1 is its elliptical wing shape – much like that of a Spitfire – and well known for being the best shape to minimise induced drag.
We look forward to seeing H55’s further developments with aEro1.