Safran gets on board new air mobility solutions
New mobility is on everyone's lips, but what exactly is it? What technological challenges lie ahead for this new market's players? What technicological solutions are already operational? Safran Electronics & Defense takes a closer look.
The term "new air mobility solutions" covers several forms of mobility: the air taxi (the one with the most media coverage!), both with and without a pilot, the interurban commuter (hybrid or electric regional aircraft), and the drone, for long-range surveillance or logistics, in both civilian and military spheres.They all share several challenges: high forecasted volumes; uncertainty over schedules for development, entry into service, and increase in production rate; major certification issues, etc. Building on its decades of expertise in designing, supplying, and maintaining critical equipment for certified aircraft, Safran Electronics & Defense is already committed to serving suppliers of these mobility solutions for the future.
An emerging market with new requirements
Traditional players in the aerospace industry (and the situation is identical in the automotive sector) must compete alongside new arrivals in the new mobility market. These new players are often different in nature to traditional aircraft manufacturers, if only by their size: they are primarily middle market companies, sometimes even startups, as a minimum in the initial phase of their project.
That being said, they are all looking for a solid partner capable of accompanying them through certification. This asset becomes even more vital in an uncertain environment: these players need long-term support. Safran Electronics & Defense's legitimacy in the sector is founded on the decades-long deployment of our equipment in platforms certified to the highest level of stringency.
Our second advantage with regards to meeting the high volumes required in this new mobility sector is the complete control of our industrial chain. Our installed production capacity and proven expertise in managing the necessary ramp-up in production are one of the significant advantages that Safran Electronics & Defense can guarantee its customers.
Finally, in these still highly uncertain markets, new players require partners who can adapt: not only adapting their existing technologies but also adapting development lead times and even business policies. The agility that adapts to the customer throughout the project and according to the customer's evolving needs is a crucial success factor. Safran Electronics & Defense has made a point of turning this vital responsiveness into a strength, and our employees prove each day that we deserve this new form of trust: our customers tell us so!
Safran Electronics & Defense aims to equip all forms of new air mobility, from piloted aircraft like air taxis and interurban commuters to pilotless solutions such as civilian drones for surveillance and logistics and, ultimately, autonomous air taxis.
Safran Electronics & Defense already has several references in new air mobility solutions. Here is a selection of our recent projects.
SkyNaute™ navigation system
This inertial system is a vital piece of equipment that ensures a safer flight even in a GNSS‑denied environment. It is even more critical for aircraft to navigate with instruments. In addition to its excellent precision and reliability, SkyNauteTM offers a killer argument: it is 30% lighter and more compact than other systems in its category, making it particularly suitable for new air mobility solutions.Discover SkyNaute™
Another critical safety feature for these new mobility solutions is flight control. As an integral part of an automatic chain of development and software validation, the remarkably powerful, optimized, and scalable avionics computer, UCAP (Ultra-Compact Avionics Platform), provides flight control functions. Lightweight and modular, it can be interfaced with the customer's architecture, making it an appropriate solution for new urban mobility solutions.Discover UCAP
Ultima AF beacon
The off-the-shelf (COTS) Ultima AF emergency locator beacon is perfect for new air mobility solutions, particularly with regards to certification: it meets ETSO C126c. It spans certification requirements for CS-25, CS-23, etc. standards.
Discover Ultima AF
Pilot controls and cockpit systems
Safran Electronics & Defense is renowned for its long-running expertise in this field. For these new markets, we must build on our technologies and innovative technical solutions to create a cockpit tailored to their specific needs: in particular, available volume, size, and type of control.
And other forthcoming equipment!
We are also working on expanding our offer for new mobility by providing other equipment, including:
- Exterior lighting, of particular importance for air taxis, which must remain aerodynamically and esthetically attuned to the aircraft;
- Flight control actuation systems, for which we are drawing on our technological expertise in critical electric actuation, based particularly on control actuation for many civilian and military helicopter models.
Safran Electronics & Defense's new air mobility market strategy is fully in line with a Group-wide approach adopted in conjunction with other subsidiaries for our customers' technological and commercial benefit!