General aviation

General aviation is sort of a catch all term. ICAO describes it as “an aircraft operation other than a commercial air transport operation or an aerial work operation”. Generally, we can think of this as being mostly flying for leisure, personal or business transport, or flight training.

AIR – AIR ONE

Image credit: PR Newswire / AIR press release
Primary location: Pardes Hanna, Israel
Website: airev.aero

AIR’s first aircraft is dubbed the AIR ONE and is an electric VTOL intended for personal use. It seats two people, one pilot and one passenger, with a single control stick in between of their seats. With an endurance of around an hour it is expected to take passengers about 95nm. The picture shown here is a digital rendering, but a full-scale prototype has been completed and was first flown in June 2022.

APUS i-2


Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Primary location: Strausberg, Germany
Website: apus-zero.de

APUS is developing a range of hydrogen fuel-cell powered aircraft with the i-2 as their smallest entry. It is aimed at the general aviation market and is comparable to small piston twins such as the Piper Seminole or Diamond DA42. It seats one pilot and three passengers and will take them up to around 500nm.

Aura Aero Integral E


Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Primary location: Toulouse, France
Website: aura-aero.com

The Integral E is the electric variant of the Integral offered by Aura Aero. The photo pictures the conventional R model. While currently still under development, Aura Aero is already taking orders. Eventually, Aura Aero intends to launch a larger 19 seat electric aircraft, the ERA.

Bristell Energic


Image credit: Bristell Energic media gallery
Primary location: Kunovice, Czech Republic
Website: bristell.com

Bristell is an established manufacturer of light aircraft and the Energic is their first electric offering. The Energic is marketed as a two-seater training aircraft and while no specific range is given, endurance is said to be around an hour with 30 minutes left in reserve at that point and the maximum cruise speed is 110kts, so it’s unlikely it’ll go beyond 100nm. But for a plane that’s likely spend most of its time doing touch-and-goes, that may not be necessary either.

Bye Aerospace eFlyer 2


Image credit: Bye Aerospace mediakit
Primary location: Englewood, Colorado
Website: electricflyer.com

The eFlyer 2 is the smallest offering of Bye Aerospace and has been in development since 2014. It will take two people up two 220nm and as high as 14,000ft. The eFlyer 2 is primarily intended as a training aircraft.

Bye Aerospace eFlyer 4


Image credit: Bye Aerospace mediakit
Primary location: Englewood, Colorado, United States
Website: byeaerospace.com

The eFlyer 4 is the bigger sibling of the eFlyer 2. Sporting a very similar look, the eFlyer 4 is slightly larger allowing it to seat four people and take them up to 260nm at maximum weight.

Otto Aviation Celera 500L


Image credit: Otto Aviation media kit
Primary location: Yorba Linda, California, United States
Website: ottoaviation.com

While it may look quirky, everything around the Celera 500L’s design is centered around efficiency and in doing so create a private aircraft that offers only a fraction of the fuel consumption when compared to private jets or turboprops. Initially, the RED A03 aircraft diesel engine was the only engine option mentioned for the Celera 500L. However, in partnership with ZeroAvia, the plan is now to also offer the airplane with a hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain. This option would reduce the range from 4,500nm down to an expected 1,000nm, but that still allows for trips like Seattle to Los Angeles or New York to Miami.

Diamond Aircraft eDA40


Image credit: Diamond Aircraft press release
Primary location:
Website: diamondaircraft.com

After having built several technology demonstrators, the eDA40 is Diamond’s first all-electric aircraft. The eDA40 is based on the existing and popular DA40 piston aircraft. Not too many details are given yet about performance, but an endurance of around 90 minutes is expected and like the DA40, it should seat four. The first flight is expected to take place later in 2022 and Diamond aims for certification in 2023. Electric Power Systems is to provide the electric systems needed.

Doroni Aerospace H1


Image credit: Doroni Aerospace promotional video
Primary location: Miami, Florida, United States
Website: doroni.io

Unlike most electric VTOL designs, Doroni isn’t aiming for the air taxi market with the H1. Instead, is it positioning it as a personal use aircraft small enough to be kept in a two-car garage. Doroni also sees opportunity for the H1 to be useful as a rapid response vehicle for emergency services. It will take one pilot and one passenger up to 52nm.

Electron Aviation 5


Image credit: FLYONE / Electron Aviation press release
Primary location: Amersfoort, the Netherlands
Website: flyelectron.eu

While positioned as an air taxi by the manufacturer, it doesn’t really fit how other companies are positioning their air taxi aircraft and it doesn’t really seat enough people to be in the regional airliner category either, so it’s ended up in general aviation. The all-electric Electron Aviation 5 is an otherwise conventional aircraft and will take four passengers and one pilot up to around 405nm per the best current estimate. Light cargo transport is also envisioned. The company has already successfully flown an earlier proof of concept aircraft, the Electron Aviation 2.

eMagicAircraft eMagic One


Image credit: eMagicAircraft promotional video
Primary location: Grafschaft, Germany
Website: emagic-aircraft.com

The eMagic One is a single-seater eVTOL with an endurance of about 60 minutes under development by newcomer eMagicAircraft. While the company may be new, their management team brings in experience from working on previous projects at SpaceX and Volocopter.

Manta Aircraft ANN2

Image credit: Manta Aircraft mediakit
Primary location: Sesto Calende, Italy
Website: mantaaircraft.com

The Manta Aircraft ANN2 is a two-seater hybrid-electric VTOL. Unlike most VTOL designs, Manta Aircraft doesn’t look to be aiming for the urban air mobility market and instead the focus is on a vehicle with considerably more range and speed, though an exact range is not given at this point. It is specifically pitching the aircraft for health care and other emergency service use cases such as police and fire. This approach looks to have paid off with Italian medical flight operator Avionord partnering with Manta Aircraft in the development of a medical transport version. Besides the ANN2, a larger but otherwise similar four-seater ANN4 is also proposed, as well as an unmanned drone version.

Opener Blackfly


Image credit: Opener media kit
Primary location: Palo Alto, California, United States
Website: opener.aero

Is it a bird? No? Is it a plane? Well yes it is actually, it’s the Opener Blackfly. Classified as an electric ultralight in the United States, it will take one person up to 22nm. The range increases somewhat when operated under European rules as Opener will be able to provide a more powerful 12kWh battery rather than the 8kWh battery used in the United States.

Pipistrel Alpha Electro


Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Primary location: Ajdovščina, Slovenia
Website: pipistrel-aircraft.com

The Pipistrel Alpha Electro is a two-seat trainer with a range of about 75nm. So, in practice that means it won’t go far. But with the Alpha Pipistrel demonstrated they could produce a viable trainer. Pipistrel calls out that the Alpha makes up for the lack of range with considerably lower operating costs, making flight training a lot more affordable.

Pipistrel Velis Electro


Image credit: Wikimedia Commons
Primary location: Ajdovščina, Slovenia
Website: pipistrel-aircraft.com

The Velis Electro looks very similar to the Alpha Electro and performance specifications are similar to though generally slightly below that of the Alpha Electro. However, unlike the Alpha Electro, the Velis Electro is EASA certified which opens it up to a lot more markets than the Alpha Electro, which has only achieved certification in several select markets. It is the first electric aircraft to achieve EASA type certification. This success has not gone unnoticed which resulted in Pipistrel being acquired by Textron Aviation.

teTra Aviation MK5


Image credit: teTra aviation promotional video
Primary location: Tokyo, Japan
Website: tetra-aviation.com

The teTra Aviation MK5 is a kit built electric VTOL capable of taking one pilot up to +/- 82nm (SN3 model). It will receive a ballistic parachute as well in case of emergency. Being a kit-built airplane however, it will only receive experimental certification from the FAA which comes with certain operating restrictions. But that has never stopped kit builders before.

VoltAero Cassio 330 / 480 / 600


Image credit: VoltAero promotional video
Primary location: Médis, France
Website: voltaero.aero

The Cassio series consists of three aircraft, the 330, 480 and 600 seating 4, 6 and 10 people respectively, with the 480 pictured here. All three models will feature a hybrid-electric powertrain and are similar in design. So far, no performance figures have been given for the three specific models, only broad statements around the series as a whole. These suggest that for distances up to about 108nm the aircraft could be operated fully electric. Leveraging the hybrid system, this range could be extended up to 648nm.

XTI Aircraft Trifan 600


Image credit: XTI Aircraft media gallery
Primary location: Denver, Colorado, United States
Website: xtiaircraft.com

XTI Aircraft’s Trifan 600 is a much beefier looking VTOL aircraft than most being developed today. It seats one pilot and five to six passengers depending on the configuration and sits somewhere in between of a light business jet and a large helicopter. Range depends on if the aircraft uses its VTOL capabilities or not, and is estimated at 600nm when VTOL is used and 900nm when operated conventionally. The powertrain combines a conventional turboshaft engine certified to run on SAF with an electric motor, with the electric power being supplied by a hydrogen fuel-cell system. And in case you’re wondering where the third fan is in this Trifan 600; it’s hidden away in the tail section.