Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) and Ascendance Flight Technologies have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate in the field of electrically powered aircraft and sustainable aviation.
This agreement will allow the two companies to explore potential collaborations in the coming months in four main areas, line maintenance, component repair, mechanics training and airworthiness management.
AFI believes its experience as an airline-MRO will be able to assist the young aircraft maker’s questions about the issues and challenges involved in developing maintenance policies that are operationally and financially efficient.
Jean-Christophe Lambert, Co-founder and CEO of Ascendance, said: “We are honored to receive this signal of interest from a major player in the field of aircraft maintenance. In parallel with our efforts to develop a new type of aircraft, it is very important for us to prepare the future of its operations today, in conjunction with the best experts in our industry. Maintenance is obviously at the center of our customers’ concerns and this collaboration with AFI KLM E&M is a major step towards providing them reliable solutions.”
Géry Mortreux, EVP Air France Industries, added: “At AFI KLM E&M, we have always been on the lookout for the best innovations in aviation. In particular, we are very interested in electric and hydride electric propulsion technologies, which are set to be future business drivers over the next decade. I believe that this type of cooperation is in the general interest and is a further illustration of the general mobilization of our industry to decarbonize aviation – a collective effort in which AFI KLM E&M is of course fully involved.”
Ascendance is currently working on a VTOL project, Atea, consisting of a 5-seat aircraft with a 400 km range thanks to Sterna propulsion architecture also developed by the start-up, a distributed hybrid electric motorization, with a modular energetic approach to accept conventional fuel, Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) up to Hydrogen. Certification activities on these technologies are believed to have started and an Atea prototype is expected to achieve its first flight in 2023.