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Supernal Partners with UMBRAGROUP on New Light-weight Actuation Technology for eVTOL Vehicles

Light-weight Actuation Technology for eVTOL Vehicles

Supernal and UMBRAGROUP to leverage innovative technology that will enhance flight control operations in electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles.

Supernal and UMBRAGROUP announced today at the Paris Air Show a continued partnership to leverage innovative technology that will enhance flight control operations in electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles. UMBRAGROUP will supply actuators and motor control electronics needed to deploy a safe system architecture for Supernal’s future vehicles, which the Company plans to launch for commercial flights in 2028.

The collaboration aims to create new actuation standards, both for rotary and linear applications, that will deliver for Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) manufacturers, which are concerned about size, weight, power, reliability — and, most importantly, safety. Traditional rotary actuators use a gearbox connected to a power source that then operates an aircraft’s flight control surface. UMBRAGROUP’s new line of actuators eliminates the use of the gearbox, making its product smaller, lighter and more efficient. Based on ball screws, this assembly can last beyond 20 years in commercial aircrafts and is ideally suited for the AAM market where vehicles are often characterized by thin wings and limited component space.

“Supernal’s approach is to drive innovation — not only at the aircraft level, but also at the system level,” said Adam Slepian, chief commercial officer, Supernal. “UMBRAGROUP’s actuation solutions will help us optimize our eVTOL vehicle design for maximum reliability in daily operations and enable Advanced Air Mobility to reach the same levels of safety as the commercial aviation industry.”

UMBRAGROUP brings unique capabilities in developing linear jam-tolerant actuators, which have a mechanism that can resolve a failure within an actuator and are a new solution in eVTOL vehicles. Supernal and UMBRAGROUP’s partnership marks the first time this type of technology will be integrated with electro-mechanical actuators (EMA), making them appropriate for primary and critical flight-control surfaces.

“This is a new and exciting challenge for UMBRAGROUP. Becoming part of this project and being a supplier of advanced technologies for Supernal and the Hyundai Group is an honor for us,” comments said Matteo Notarangelo, CEO, UMBRAGROUP. “Being selected for the electromechanical implementation on such a revolutionary platform makes us proud and elevates us among the leading players in Advanced Air Mobility. We strive for excellence in all vertical markets we serve, and we distinguish ourselves by offering innovative and sustainable solutions to our customers to help them become more competitive.”

In 2022, UMBRAGROUP’s actuator technology for rotary actuators earned the Airbus Helicopter Supplier Innovation Award.

This partnership is part of Supernal’s vision to work with reputable suppliers that have a history of building aerospace-grade components, enabling the Company to design safe, reliable and redundant systems for its aircraft — a key attribute for its 2028 entry into service.

Supernal and UMBRAGROUP held a signing ceremony for the partnership at the Paris Air Show today.

SOURCE: Supernal

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