I met with Yesh Premkumar, Program Manager of Strategic Development Controls & Avionics Solutions at BAE, regarding the recent memorandum of understanding (MOU) the company signed with Jaunt Air Mobility. I learned a lot about what BAE has to bring to the electric urban air mobility (UAM) table. The aviation company spent the last 25 years working with electric ground transportation companies and the maritime world as well as in aviation. What it has to offer holds tremendous potential for the future of UAM.
BAE’s Extensive Electric Mobility Comes Full Circle
BAE Systems announced it is collaborating with Jaunt Air Mobility to develop electric energy management systems for UAM vehicles. The collaboration will investigate product development for the future of aircraft electrification and aircraft power management systems. According to my conversations with both companies, the goal is to develop a deeper understanding of the electrification of urban traffic in the airspace, and develop a platform for that.
According to Ehtisham Siddiqui, vice president and general manager of Controls and Avionics Solutions at BAE Systems: “The collaboration with Jaunt Air Mobility leverages the strengths of two industry-leading companies to develop technology for a new ecosystem. This strategic collaboration builds on our two decades of heritage as we develop and certify controls and energy management systems for the future of flight.”
Kaydon Stanzione, chief executive officer at Jaunt Air Mobility, added: “BAE Systems’ development and integration expertise in high integrity controls and power management systems gives our business an edge in the development of next-generation air vehicles for urban environments. Their proven track record from concept design through manufacturing was a major selection consideration for our business as we strive to provide the highest level of safety and efficiency for our aircraft.”
What struck me like a win-win situation is that BAE Systems has 20+ years of experience developing and integrating electric propulsion systems across various industries on land, water, and air. It has under its belt 10,000 electric-hybrid systems on transit buses and marine vessels around the globe. With more than 40 years of experience in controls and avionics, BAE stands to benefit from its decade-old experience across these fields in the emerging UAM market. It comes to the table with aviation aircraft control systems supporting more than two million passengers each day.
Jaunt is focused on developing an advanced air vehicle and platform that incorporates innovative technologies and management strategies. Jaunt aims to provide a high level of operational efficiency, safety, and quiet operations. Its Reduced Rotor Operating Speed Aircraft (ROSA™) solution, acquired from Carter Aviation and developed further, is perfect for expected urban air mobility needs in the 21st century.
When UAM Startups & OEMs Collaborate
It’s good to see this second stage of high-level collaboration between aviation startups and OEMs, as each bring to the table missing pieces of the UAM puzzle. More to follow on that with another interview with BAE leadership.