Aerospace & defenseFebruary 23, 2024

How Dassault Systèmes is powering the future of sustainable business travel

ELECTRON aerospace is the latest in a long line of aviation changemakers leveraging the 3DEXPERIENCE platform
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Spending on business travel is expected[i] to exceed pre-pandemic levels this year. But let’s face it; business travel is painful. Even if we have the luxury of business-class flights, we must get to the airport, wait around for several hours once we get there, and then commute to the final location once we have landed.

And then there’s the impact this type of travel has on the environment: corporate travelers in Europe comprise about 12% of customers but are responsible for 30%[ii] of emissions.

One company wants to instigate change.  

Making zero-emission, on-demand travel a reality

ELECTRON aerospace[iii], based in The Netherlands, is developing the Electron 5, a zero-emission electric plane that can transport four passengers up to 500 kilometers. “We want to be the Uber of the skies and totally change the way we travel,” said Marc-Henry de Jong, ELECTRON’s co-founder. “They only way we will achieve that is by leveraging fixed-wing, battery-powered aircraft.”

Passengers will be able to book a trip through an app and then board the private air taxi from a regional airport – which are often situated much closer than their larger international counterparts.

“ELECTRON realized that most people traveling for business across Europe are doing so in relatively small parties and they are traveling relatively small distances,” said Fred de Graaf, partner success manager at Dassault Systèmes. “By offering a door-to-door mobility service, where they use local airports, they can deliver a much better passenger experience. Not only that, but by developing an electric plane that benefits from conventional take-off and landing, they can create a quiet, energy-efficient mode of travel.”

To meet its goal of developing a certified aircraft by 2027, ELECTRON needs the best tools. That’s why it has chosen to take advantage of Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE for Startups offer. “A startup like ELECTRON needs the right tools from the very beginning,” said de Graaf. “That’s why we have developed an offer to meet their specific needs. The 3DEXPERIENCE for Startups offer provides full access to the functionalities of CATIA, SIMULIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA and other industry-leading product development solutions, but at a discount so that they can focus on building their business without worrying about their budget.”

“When the head of engineering joined ELECTRON, he asked us a critical question,” de Jong said. “He asked: ‘Do you want to be a startup, or do you want to be a professional aerospace company?’ Obviously, we want to be a professional company, and that means choosing an industry-standard system. That’s exactly what the 3DEXPERIENCE platform is. It has helped us be professional from day one. It’s so comprehensive – it gives us everything we need so we don’t have to work with multiple software providers.”

Local partner TECHNIA played a key role in the engagement. “TECHNIA steered us through the selection process and helped us evaluate the different options,” de Jong said. “They have been incredibly supportive.”

The platform empowering pioneers in aviation

There’s no doubt that the 3DEXPERIENCE platform has become a benchmark for innovation in the aviation industry. Fokker Next Gen, considered a trailblazer in sustainable aviation, chose the platform for its ambitious endeavor to develop the groundbreaking Fokker Next Gen hydrogen powered aircraft which it hopes to unveil later this year. Fokker Next Gen is not just using the platform to design its aircraft, but also to create a holistic digital ecosystem for its entire value network. The platform facilitates multidisciplinary development, guided by systems engineering principles, to generate a virtual twin of the aircraft and its manufacturing facilities.

Collaborating with Dassault Systèmes, with help from local partner Keonys, will help significantly accelerate Fokker Next Gen’s industry maturity. “Our collaboration with Dassault Systèmes and Keonys represents a significant stride towards achieving our mission,” said Juriaan Kellermann, CEO of Fokker Next Gen. “With their cutting-edge technology and unwavering support, we are confident in our ability to redefine the aviation industry and pave the way for a sustainable future.”

Meanwhile, UK aviation startup Vertical Aerospace is set to launch the world’s first certified winged eVTOL – all developed, defined and managed through the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud. Meanwhile, industry giant Airbus is, as part of a five-year Memorandum of Agreement, using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to create the newest members of its family of long-range jetliners. And Hybrid Air Vehicles, a UK-based leader in sustainable aircraft technologies, has also recently announced that it will integrate the 3DEXPERIENCE platform into its business.

Our commitment to the aerospace industry  
At Dassault Systèmes, we are committed to serving the needs of the entire aerospace industry. As part of this commitment, we have recently joined trade association NAG, which has more than 100 members who together represent 95% of the Dutch aviation industry’s revenue. Together, we are working to create a more sustainable future for aviation.

It’s an exciting time to be working in this industry – and we look forward to collaborating with even more innovative companies in the future.




Want to learn more about the 3DEXPERIENCE for Startups offer? Click here.
Learn more about Dassault Systèmes’ presence in Aerospace & Defence




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