VerdeGo Aero – Powering the Electric Flight Revolution
In 2013 I had the incredible opportunity to lead of one of the early electric aircraft programs at the genesis of a new industry. We learned quickly by necessity, being on the bleeding edge of a new wave of technology. Design, construction, and testing of our aircraft moved at a rapid pace, but the Achilles heels were always the endurance of the batteries and the lack of mature powertrain systems to support our program. We demonstrated huge improvements in quietness, efficiency, and sustainability; while also finding that there were significant gaps in the availability of the technologies necessary to be commercially successful. Building a new electric aircraft in 2013 required building an entire vertically integrated industry simultaneously, leading to huge inefficiencies. There had to be a better way.
As an aviator, multi-million mile business traveler, and aerospace executive I have a passion for ensuring that the next century of flight is as exciting as the first one. Erik Lindbergh (co-founder of VerdeGo Aero) and I met when I was able to offer him his first flight in an electric aircraft. We share a common desire to ensure that the trillion-dollar aviation industry we all depend on to move around the planet, is able to address the sustainability challenges it faces in the second century of flight. We both entered this market early, long before it was mainstream, and we both see the immense opportunity for electrification to have as big an impact on flight as it has had on the automotive industry.
VerdeGo Aero was born out of the battle scars and unique insights that only flow from having an insider’s view of the collisions between technological and market disruptions. We landed our focus squarely on the multi-billion dollar need for high performance electric powertrain systems that enable this entire industry to leap forward into electrification, with an emphasis on supporting the most disruptive aircraft designs that will have the biggest impact on how we all travel. While our customers design new aircraft, we provide them with technologies behind the scenes that make a diverse array of missions and market segments possible, sustainable, and profitable.
Electric power is the key to Urban Air Mobility (eVTOL) flights that will enable all of us to hop over congested urban areas in minutes instead of hours. Think of the next generation of the helicopter; cleaner, quieter, safer, and more economical. By the mid 2030s, this market is projected to need more than $10B of aircraft annually, with propulsion systems representing 1/3 of that total value. Moving cargo around cities is another huge market for VerdeGo’s powertrain hardware. Other early-adopter aviation markets for electrification include short range commuter airlines and short-range corporate/private flights that are highly efficient. While much of the media attention has been focused on aircraft manufacturers, the technologies that go inside these aircraft create a huge business opportunity to build the “picks and shovels” that enable the entire gold rush of aerospace into electrification.
In any cutting-edge new technology market, it is difficult for anyone but the experts with the deepest technical knowledge to distinguish between hype and reality, and there is plenty of both in this market. VerdeGo’s team has decades of experience both in aerospace and with bringing new innovations to market successfully. Our position as a vendor to the entire industry enables our world-class team to have a broad understanding of how electrification impacts different aircraft types and market segments. VerdeGo’s expertise has been widely recognized by experts in aviation. In addition to developing our proprietary powertrain hardware in support of VerdeGo’s long term strategy as a technology vendor, our team has also been hired by both large corporations and new startups to assist them with the unique challenges of developing electric aircraft.
Our expertise has also been acknowledged by strategic aerospace industry investors who have already partnered with VerdeGo. Continental Aerospace Technologies is a leading aircraft engine manufacturer with more than 100 years of experience designing, certifying, and manufacturing aircraft engines. Seyer Industries is an aerospace manufacturing company with more than 60 years of heritage producing subassemblies of aircraft for Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, Gulfstream, Bell, and many others. VerdeGo is very happy to have both companies as investors, with Continental assisting with our FAA certification process and Seyer providing supply chain support. These partnerships are instrumental in VerdeGo’s plans to efficiently enter the market.
VerdeGo’s strategic advantages flow from our team’s expertise, our intellectual property, strategic relationships, and the FAA certification process that builds significant barriers to imitation. We focus on the metrics that make our customers’ aircraft competitive. Our hybrid powertrains have 35% lower fuel consumption and emissions vs. competing approaches, with more than 4X the endurance of state of the art battery-electric systems. As the pressure on the global $1T aerospace industry to decarbonize increases, VerdeGo is uniquely positioned to address this need.
In addition to VerdeGo’s hybrid electric systems, we have also developed a high-power battery solution aimed at safe, reliable, lightweight niche applications such as smaller aircraft or drones where battery power is sufficient. Covering both hybrid and battery technologies positions VerdeGo to lead in the initial wave of new aircraft designs, while being ready for further growth as the market transitions from hybrid to batteries. One way to look at this is that our two product lines enable VerdeGo to support the launch of the “Priuses” of the aviation world right now, while we prepare the technologies that will also power the “Teslas” of flight.
VerdeGo is now building full-scale prototype powertrain hardware in our Daytona Beach, FL R&D center, and we are scaling up as we accelerate development of both battery packs and hybrid powertrains, to start low-volume commercialization of both systems. Our current round of funding will enable accelerated development and certification of our hybrid systems, and development of a promising new rotor noise reduction technology that dovetails beautifully with our electric powertrains.
As legacy aerospace companies have become very short term focused due to the COVID-related downturn in the airline market, and are taking their eyes off the ball, VerdeGo is increasing our technology leadership. There is a window of opportunity to build a multi-billion dollar business that is a foundation for the electrification transformations that will accelerate over the next 20+ years. We are excited to be in a position to change the trajectory of an entire industry; and we are looking for the partners and investors who share our vision for a cleaner, quieter, safer future for flight.
Join VerdeGo Aero’s team for a Family Office Network webinar on June 10th. Learn how you can be a part of this high impact investment in revolutionizing clean, quiet, electric air travel.
For more information contact: Eric Bartsch [email protected]