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Airbus future CEO Faury describes electric plane hurdles

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Guillaume Faury AirbusAirbus Commercial Aircraft president and future Airbus Group CEO Guillaume Faury.Airbus

  • Guillaume Faury will become the next CEO of Airbus Group in October. On Wednesday, Faury who served as the president of Airbus Helicopters from 2013 to 2018 gave us an outline of his vision for electric aircraft and urban air mobility.
  • Airbus sees the deployment of electric propulsion in urban mobility as a gateway for its future use in the company’s large commercial and military aircraft. 
  • However, current battery technology is not nearly as efficient and effective in terms of its ability to store hold energy as traditional fuel. 

Guillaume Faury will become the next CEO of Airbus Group in October. On Wednesday, Faury who served as the president of Airbus Helicopters from 2013 to 2018 gave us an outline of his vision for electric aircraft and urban air mobility.

“We think it’s going to happen,” Faury told reporters at the Airbus Final Assembly Line in Mobile, Alabama. “There’s a convergence of a number of technologies and social needs that will make urban air mobility a reality.”

According to Faury, heavy surface congestion in megacities around the world is creating demand from certain segments of the population that are willing to pay a little more for the reliable and timely urban air transportation.

One of the elements of that will make urban air mobility work is electric propulsion. 

“There is a development in electric technologies and battery technologies that are enabling short distance electric flight in an economical way,” the current head Airbus Commerical Aircraft said.

In addition, Airbus sees the deployment of electric propulsion in urban mobility as a gateway for its future use in the company’s large commercial and military aircraft. 

Read more: Airbus CEO reveals why the company will be protected during an economic downturn.

However, when a financially feasible form of electric flight will actually become a reality remains to be seen. 

“I would love to be able to answer this question,” Faury replied to Business Insider when asked when we could expect electric-powered flight. “There’s still a lot to do.”

Batteries have an energy density of up to 500 watt-hours per kilogram while fuel boasts an energy density of 12,000 watt-hours per kilogram, he told us. 

As a result, this means airplanes will have to carry a significantly larger number of batteries to match the amount of energy stored in aviation fuel. 

“So before we go long distances we need to find other sources of energy,” Faury said.

Other sources of energy such as hydrogen create storage issues, while hydrogen fuel cells create packaging problems. 

“Hydrogen, today, we don’t know how to store it so there are still big challenges,” he said. “If we put hydrogen fuel cells then you need to put stacks on board which means a lot of cooling.”

Fortunately, these challenges aren’t insurmountable. 

“We see a lot of challenges, none of them seems to be unmanageable,” Faury said. “Of course with technologies, it takes time.”

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More groups join in support of women in STEM program at Carleton

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OTTAWA — Major companies and government partners are lending their support to Carleton University’s newly established Women in Engineering and Information Technology Program.

The list of supporters includes Mississauga-based construction company EllisDon.

The latest to announce their support for the program also include BlackBerry QNX, CIRA (Canadian Internet Registration Authority), Ericsson, Nokia, Solace, Trend Micro, the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, CGI, Gastops, Leonardo DRS, Lockheed Martin Canada, Amdocs and Ross.

The program is officially set to launch this September.

It is being led by Carleton’s Faculty of Engineering and Design with the goal of establishing meaningful partnerships in support of women in STEM.  

The program will host events for women students to build relationships with industry and government partners, create mentorship opportunities, as well as establish a special fund to support allies at Carleton in meeting equity, diversity and inclusion goals.

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VR tech to revolutionize commercial driver training

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Serious Labs seems to have found a way from tragedy to triumph? The Edmonton-based firm designs and manufactures virtual reality simulators to standardize training programs for operators of heavy equipment such as aerial lifts, cranes, forklifts, and commercial trucks. These simulators enable operators to acquire and practice operational skills for the job safety and efficiency in a risk-free virtual environment so they can work more safely and efficiently.

The 2018 Humboldt bus catastrophe sent shock waves across the industry. The tragedy highlighted the need for standardized commercial driver training and testing. It also contributed to the acceleration of the federal government implementing a Mandatory Entry-Level Training (MELT) program for Class 1 & 2 drivers currently being adopted across Canada. MELT is a much more rigorous standard that promotes safety and in-depth practice for new drivers.

Enter Serious Labs. By proposing to harness the power of virtual reality (VR), Serious Labs has earned considerable funding to develop a VR commercial truck driving simulator.

The Government of Alberta has awarded $1 million, and Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA) is contributing an additional $2 million for the simulator development. Commercial deployment is estimated to begin in 2024, with the simulator to be made available across Canada and the United States, and with the Alberta Motor Transport Association (AMTA) helping to provide simulator tests to certify that driver trainees have attained the appropriate standard. West Tech Report recently took the opportunity to chat with Serious Labs CEO, Jim Colvin, about the environmental and labour benefits of VR Driver Training, as well as the unique way that Colvin went from angel investor to CEO of the company.

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Next-Gen Tech Company Pops on New Cover Detection Test

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While the world comes out of the initial stages of the pandemic, COVID-19 will be continue to be a threat for some time to come. Companies, such as Zen Graphene, are working on ways to detect the virus and its variants and are on the forefronts of technology.

Nanotechnology firm ZEN Graphene Solutions Ltd. (TSX-Venture:ZEN) (OTCPK:ZENYF), is working to develop technology to help detect the COVID-19 virus and its variants. The firm signed an exclusive agreement with McMaster University to be the global commercializing partner for a newly developed aptamer-based, SARS-CoV-2 rapid detection technology.

This patent-pending technology uses clinical samples from patients and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The test is considered extremely accurate, scalable, saliva-based, affordable, and provides results in under 10 minutes.

Shares were trading up over 5% to $3.07 in early afternoon trade.

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