Australian government backs hydrogen-powered eVTOL vertiia
On November 8th, 2023, the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) of the Australian Government announced its backing and support for the development of the hydrogen-powered eVTOL Vertiia by AMSL Aero, which could be used as a flying ambulance for emergency purposes.
The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has awarded a grant of AU$5.43 million to AMSL Aero to undertake the development and certification activities for the multipurpose aircraft and air transport. ARENA hopes that through the funding, it will culminate in a successful demonstration with a test flight of the prototype.
images by Vertiia
If successful, the hydrogen-powered eVTOL Vertiia by AMSL Aero could be one of the lowest-cost and cleanest forms of air transport in Australia, bearing a range of up to 1,000 km. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s grant follows the development of a prototype battery-electric version of the aircraft.
The aircraft operates similarly to a helicopter and is fitted with eight exposed rotors. AMSL Aero intends for Vertiia to be available for markets such as air ambulance, emergency services, and passenger and cargo transport. Because of its modular interior, the aircraft can also deal with specialized situations, including fighting bushfires.
AMSL Aero’s hydrogen-powered eVTOL Vertiia and its eight external rotors
multipurpose transport with eight rotors and modular interior
AMSL Aero’s hydrogen-powered eVTOL Vertiia is the Australian Renewable Energy Agency’s first project in hydrogen-powered aviation. The air ambulance and multipurpose transport with eight rotors and a modular interior has even received additional support from the Australian Government via the Emerging Aviation Technology Partnerships program, further helping the team in developing the aircraft.
ARENA CEO Darren Miller says that the project is a prime example of Australian innovators taking the lead in developing renewable energy solutions. ‘AMSL Aero is a homegrown Australian startup tackling one of the many challenges in the transition to net zero. For end users like emergency services, and personal and cargo transport, this technology is an exciting prospect for cutting emissions and costs from air transport,’ he says.
the aircraft has a modular interior that can be fitted with medical equipment
ARENA says that the aviation sector is responsible for roughly 2.5 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, with nearly a fifth coming from short-haul flights under 1,000 kilometers. The energy agency hopes that with the entrance of the hydrogen-powered eVTOL Vertiia, the aircraft will be able to cut the percentage down, leading to the reduction of carbon emissions in the Australian aviation industry.
AMSL Aero Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Moore comments that the funding will mean they can accelerate the design, build, and certification activities for eVTOL Vertiia. ‘It will mean that patients and passengers will have earlier access to the aircraft as a result and will play a key role in decarbonizing air transport in Australia and abroad,’ he says. As of publishing the story, AMSL Aero has yet to unveil the official release of the aircraft.
the interior can also be fitted with seats as the the hydrogen-powered eVTOL is multipurpose
eVTOL vertiia inspired by Lawrence Hargrave’s box-wing
The hydrogen-powered eVTOL Vertiia is designed for Australian conditions. Its eight rotors, set up like tiered benches at stadiums, a teardrop-shaped body, and interconnected frames take inspiration from Lawrence Hargrave’s ‘box-wing’ concept. AMSL Aero, founded by the duo Andrew Moore and Siobhan Lyndon, says that not only is the eVTOL’s interior modular but also its airframe tailored to situations that might require its adjustment.
The hydrogen-powered Vertiia’s wing tilt can reduce its drag and maximize its speed and efficiency in transit. As seen in the prototype photos the team has released so far, the interior can be set up for aeromedical purposes, passenger transport, and cargo. For tech buffs, the eVTOL Veriia is expected to have a range of up to 1,000 kilometers, fly with a speed of 300 km/h, and carry a payload of up to 500 kilos. The team says it can take only around ten minutes to refuel the hydrogen-powered eVTOL and that its operating cost can be up to 70% lower than a helicopter.
the Australian Renewable Energy Agency backs the hydrogen-powered eVTOL Vertiia by AMSL Aero