UK tech startup leading the charge towards sustainable air travel

Sustainability is the topic that has been leading the conversation across sectors, but especially within aviation. Finding more sustainable ways of moving people and goods has been a challenge many are trying to tackle, and one of the companies leading the way is UK technology startup, ARC Aerosystems.

Its vision is to revolutionise the way humans and goods fly around the world through electric powered aircraft which do not require conventional infrastructure to operate.

Having successfully designed, built and tested prototypes for its C150 and C600 models, the company is working alongside partner organisations to continue working to develop a more sustainable aviation sector.

ARC’s focus is on a hybrid concept - one that combines the practicality and functionality of helicopter travel, with the speed and efficiency associated with planes. Powered by electric engines, and cutting the need for traditional airports, these aircraft could substantially impact the sustainability of air travel for the future.

ARC’s ARC C600 has already proven successful. The aircraft is designed to revolutionise air cargo delivery operations, free from runway dependence, and is able to carry heavier payloads, and has also completed the crucial 100% scale transition test stages.

The ARC C600 will now go on to be part of the second phase of Sustainable Aviation Test Environment (SATE) - the UK's first low-carbon aviation test centre embedded at a commercial airport.

Based at Kirkwall Airport in the Orkney Islands, SATE is a consortium of industry partners, public sector bodies and academics working to apply state-of-the-art aviation technology to deliver targeted economic growth

ARC is collaborating alongside leading aerospace companies to test technologies which will reduce the overall environmental impact of aviation, including electric propulsion systems. The C600 will now be based at Kirkwall, to take part in within Visual Line of Sight (VLoS) testing.

“Our C600 is one of the largest civilian UAVs in the world, capable of carrying payloads of up to 100kg across long distances, all without the need for airports due to its vertical take-off and landing capabilities,” stated ARC CEO, Seyed Mohseni. “It’s our goal, alongside SATE, to help reduce the environmental impact that aviation has.”

The market for electric vertical take-off and landing crafts has grown over the past few years and is predicted to continue expanding, with estimates suggesting the market will grow from US$162m to US$411m from 2025 to 2030.

Last year, ARC Aerosystems received £6m from a combination of investments including an overseas investor and British Business Bank. The company invested the money by expanding the team and further developing and testing various size prototypes.

With the help of further investment, its team of engineers are ready to embark on the next stages of testing and certification to bring the ARC C150 and ARC C600 aircraft to the wider world, alongside its new model - the LINX P9, a sustainable passenger craft. This has made it an incredibly exciting time for new investors to come on board, as both a company and a wider industry on the cusp of big developments to the world of air mobility.

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