FFLIP (Future Flight and Land Infrastructure Programme) will develop the outputs from a successful Future Flight Phase 2 (FFP2) project (76052). FFP2 demonstrated a viable charging infrastructure for urban air mobility (UAM), including a 1/10th scale version of a 600kW system.
Petalite successfully met all its technology milestones to develop the SDC Technology (TRL 5-6). The SDC modular power core design has begun pre-compliance testing at an external EMC laboratory. The team worked with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) sandbox to assist in creating charging infrastructure regulations for eVTOLs and created a Smart Core system to reduce peak loading to solve the challenges of high-power consumption in high-density urban environments (HDUE).
Petalite has invented a patent-pending charging platform for an innovative new supercharger "SDC". A true single-stage charging platform, with 100x higher reliability (a key requirement for fleets), 3x longer operating lifetime (up 17 years) compared to all existing chargers in the market (Full-Bridge). SDC will be a transformative platform technology enabling electrification of mobility in demanding applications such as eVTOL.
FFLIP will deliver a full-scale multi-modal demonstration at a site in Oxfordshire, including a 600kW eVTOL charger infrastructure with multiple power configurations (600kW+) to support 24-hour rapid charging of electric ground vehicles, trucks, drones, and eVTOL aircraft. Without the right charging infrastructure in place, eVTOLs cannot become a feasible form of transportation.
This consortium led by Petalite includes aerospace contract manufacturer Custom Interconnect Limited (CIL), Oxfordshire County Council (OCC), specialist aerospace technologists at Midlands Aerospace Alliance (MAA), systems integrator Vanti (trading name RTS Technology Solutions Limited), and eVTOL manufacturer, Samad Aerospace Limited (SAL).
All existing chargers (which use full-bridge topology) require power factor correction circuits and high side driving components. Introducing significant failure modes a multi-staged switching system. These installations have high CAPex, are expensive to install (due to peak loading) and have short operating lives (2-5 years). The traditional business case becomes difficult to justify without significant government subsidies.
Petalite has partnered with CIL to utilise its aerospace design knowledge for manufacturing. A cyclical verification and testing phase conducted in collaboration with OCC and SAL will ensure the prototypes meet the design performance targets, sustainability, and end-user needs. SAL will provide its eVTOL prototypes for demonstration purposes and implementation of the flight trials. The MAA will apply its aerospace experience to ensure that the new technology is architected and designed in accordance with aerospace safety and process requirements.