AMSL Aero’s hydrogen-powered aircraft wins $5M ARENA funding

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Image credit: AMSL Aero

Aerospace startup AMSL Aero has received $5.43 million in funding from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to help develop its hydrogen-powered electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft. 

The aircraft, dubbed Vertiia, will operate similar to a helicopter and is equipped with eight rotors. It will be capable of carrying up to five passengers over distances up to 100km. 

The $10.9 million project follows AMSL’s successful development of a prototype battery electric version of the Vertiia aircraft. 

The funding, awarded through ARENA’s Advancing Renewables Program, will enable the development and certification activities for the aircraft, culminating in the successful demonstration with a test flight of the prototype. If successful, Vertiia will be one of the lowest-cost and cleanest forms of air transport for ranges up to 1,000 km.

The aircraft is equipped with a configuration that allows it to offer new and innovative ways for emergency services to deal with specialised situations, including fighting bushfires. 

AMSL plans to launch Vertiia in various markets, including air ambulance, emergency services, and passenger and cargo transport. 

Vertiia’s development has received additional support from the Australian Government via the Emerging Aviation Technology Partnerships program. 

In a media release, ARENA CEO Darren Miller said 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,” Miller said. 

“Developing low emissions air transport will require a variety of solutions, including hydrogen and battery electric. AMSL’s work on the Vertiia is truly pioneering in this space. 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.”   

Andrew Moore, co-founder and CEO of AMSL Aero, said the ARENA funding will enable the company to accelerate the design, manufacturing, and certification efforts for the eVTOL aircraft. 

“It will mean that patients and passengers will have earlier access to the aircraft as a result and will play a key role in decarbonising air transport in Australia and abroad. We are very thankful that ARENA backs companies like ours who are committed to clean technology that will benefit society and our planet,” said Moore.

AMSL Aero’s Vertiia aircraft project marks ARENA’s first involvement in hydrogen-powered aviation.