Exclusive: Seaplane Hong Kong announced today (13 AUG) the launch of the development of new Urban Air Mobility (UAM) aircraft in Hong Kong.
A press conference was organised at Sky 100, the tallest building in Hong Kong and where the company headquarter is located. Travel Radar was invited as one of the media correspondents to witness the launch of the project.
The new aircraft, named DRAGONFLY X, uses the new Hydrogen Fuelled batteries. The company expressed that traditional nickel-based batteries will significantly decrease battery life and safety. The only waste emission from the combustion is water vapour. The same technology is widely used in aerospace technology, including the Chinese Long March Rockets and the automobile industry.
With the enhanced design, the noise level can be reduced to below 65 decibels and capable of travelling 360 kilometres after a 2 minutes charge of hydrogen, providing higher capacity for passengers and cargo. Shortening the travel time and improve congestion in the city centres. It is estimated that it will take only 8 minutes to travel from Tuen Mun to Central. Lowering costs and provide affordable, safe, fast, and environmentally-friendly alternative transportation and logistics services for the public, the company has estimated the first stage of getting the permit to fly and start the logistics service no later than 2024.
High Standards and Recognition.
Seaplane Hong Kong Chairman Steven Dominique Cheung said, “We are thrilled and very honoured to cooperate with leading partners to develop and build hydrogen fuel”. The company will establish partnerships and collaborate with world-class partners in Hong Kong and the Greater Bay Area to conduct a Research & Design (R&D), and manufacture process in developing the aircraft. The development process would be aligning the requirement from the European Aviation Safety Agency ( EASA) & Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The mentioned authorities have been actively participating in setting up new standards in UAV Operation and representing the highest safety standards in the aviation industry.
Operation and Finances Planning
Concerns regarding local regulations and infrastructure may not be mature enough for implementing this revolutionary technology. Cheung mentioned the partners are actively seeking opportunities to contact local authorities regarding the development plan operations in Hong Kong and the greater bay area. However, the team has approached city administrators in Malaysia, the Philippines and received positive feedback on the project plan. For the location of the production facilities, the team has consulted with the local property owners and continuously explore the sites for building the production line.
Cheung supplemented that Seaplane Hong Kong has successfully received support from the Hong Kong Science Park through the IDEATION program. In addition to a financial grant, it also receives coaching support and access to Science Park’s facilities, which are helpful for the future business development. The IDEATION program assists talents and entrepreneurs with tech-focus to turn ideas into reality.
About Seaplane Hong Kong
Seaplane Hong Kong, established in January 2021 by an ex airlines pilot, aims to introduce clean technologies, such as zero-emission Urban Air Mobility and Electric Seaplanes, improve quality of life, and build an efficient and sustainable society. The company is expected to initiate aerial sightseeing services, transportation solutions, and developing hydrogen fueling infrastructure facilities in Hong Kong,