Aerospace & defenseJune 23, 2023

Atea: the hybrid eVTOL accelerating sustainable flight

French startup Ascendance Flight Technologies is taking meaningful actions to decarbonize air travel. First up, it plans to launch a hybrid electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft that emits up to 80% fewer carbon emissions than gas-powered helicopters.
Avatar Rebecca Lambert

When it takes to the skies, Ascendance Flight Technologies’ hybrid eVTOL promises to make great strides in decarbonizing air travel. Called Atea, the five-seater aircraft may look like something from the future, yet its makers hope it will prove a sustainable – and quieter – alternative to conventional, gas-powered helicopters within the next few years.

Key to making Atea a viable reality is the fact it will run on hybrid propulsion technology – merging combustion and electric energy. In time, Ascendance Flight Technologies plans to phase out combustion for cleaner energy sources such as hydrogen.

“Atea is the ideal low-carbon solution for local and regional travel today,” said Benoit Ferran, co-founder and CTO of Ascendance Flight Technologies. “Its hybrid electric propulsion will significantly reduce fuel burn. The fact it mixes twin energies is a big differentiator as it supports the range, payload and speed our potential customers require.”

The result of years of research and development, Atea has already gone through multiple design iterations to create the hybrid energy aircraft its founders envisioned. With funding secured to move to the next development stage, the company is now building the first full-scale prototype of Atea. Today’s concept – a sleek and futuristic looking canard configuration aircraft featuring distinctive fan-in-wing technology – is the one Ascendance Flight Technologies plans to certify with the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and launch to market.

To make all this happen, Ascendance Flight Technologies is taking advantage of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on cloud to manage all aspects of its product development, including systems engineering, product design and governance.

“Coming from Airbus, we were familiar with Dassault Systèmes and the 3DEXPERIENCE platform,” Ferran said. “It enables us to connect all facets of our product development and manage the innate complexities that come with being a fast-growing business. It has been a huge accelerator for us.”

With strong technical capabilities and processes in place, Ascendance Flight Technologies is now rapidly ramping up its operations and recruiting new talent to stay on track with its plans for Atea to go into production by 2025 and enter into service as soon as 2026.

Read the full story to discover exactly how the company is using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on cloud to break down siloes across the product development lifecycle, achieve full traceability and compliance with industry certifications and accelerate Atea’s time to market.

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