BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TO WANAKA
An Electric aircraft, a drone logistics company and a solar space initiative are the latest exhibitors to be confirmed for a new “Future of Aviation” exhibition at next Easter’s Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow.
The first exhibitor confirmed back in October was Wisk, which is currently trialling its all-electric, self-flying air taxi in the McKenzie Country. The air taxi will be on display at Wanaka. See: https://wisk.aero/aircraft/
Wisk has now been joined by three Christchurch-based companies – ElectricAir, Kea Aerospace and SwoopAero.
ElectricAir operates the first and only electric passenger plane in New Zealand and its flying display at Warbirds Over Wanaka will be a first for a Kiwi airshow.
The Pipistrel Alpha Electro is a two-seat light sport aircraft designed for pilot training. It is entirely composite with carbon fibre wings and fuselage, making it light and strong. It's around 70% quieter than a petrol equivalent and of course produces zero exhaust emissions. The Electro can fly for about an hour plus reserves at a fuel cost of approximately $2. The aircraft is based at Rangiora and Christchurch and is used for flight training and trial flights. See:
Kea Aerospace has also confirmed it will be exhibiting at Wanaka. The company is developing a solar powered, remotely piloted aircraft that will fly continuously in the stratosphere for months at a time to collect frequent high-resolution aerial images.
The zero-emission Kea Atmos will operate at an altitude of around 65,000 feet (20 kilometres), flying far above the weather and conventional air traffic. With a wingspan of 32-metres, the Kea Atmos will be the largest un-crewed aircraft designed and built in the Southern Hemisphere. See:
Also joining the line up in the “Future of Aviation” hangar will be Swoop Aero, an Australian drone-powered logistics company founded in 2017.
Swoop Aero is aiming to provide services accessible by one billion people in 2030, across a range of industries including health, transport, disaster management, and search and rescue. Swoop Aero has already played a significant role in using its drones to get Covid-19 vaccines to remote communities around the world.
See: https://vimeo.com/560304753 and https://vimeo.com/581913218