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Maglev Aero selects GE Additive’s Addworks to support development of MagLev HyperDrive propulsion platform

MagLev Aero, which recently emerged from stealth mode with its proprietary MagLev HyperDrive aero propulsion platform for eVTOL aircraft, has selected GE Additive’s AddWorks consultancy team to support the development of additive technologies and materials for the platform.

MagLev Aero’s innovation enables a large rim-driven circular rotor that maximizes efficiency and control for ultra-quiet vertical lift and high-speed cruise. The MagLev HyperDrive applies the same fundamental magnetic levitation suspension principles that drive ultrafast, ultraquiet, high-efficiency maglev trains, using a magnetic bearing to support a many-bladed rim.

Permanent magnets in the passive electrodynamic suspension, combined with segmented motor control, enable redundant and efficient distributed electric propulsion around the perimeter of the rim drive. This allows the MagLev HyperDrive propulsor to operate safely with high hover lift efficiency with lower tip speeds and blade loading to reduce noise levels during hover, surpassing traditional helicopters and multi-rotor eVTOLs, the company claims.


Top down view of MagLev HyperDrive aero propulsion platform. Source: MagLev Aero

MagLev Aero’s propulsion-first business model allows its platform to be integrated into different OEMs’ aircraft concepts and eVTOLs, enabling industrial design elements and use cases previously thought impossible with traditional rotor technology.

The first generation of eVTOLs has achieved tremendous milestones, improving the viability of Urban Air Mobility. But the industry, to this point, has yet to solve the critical, real-world challenge of take-off and landing noise. MagLev Aero says that it represents the next generation of electric, ultraquiet, high-performance and safe vertical lift propulsion that’s necessary to bring clean energy flights to everyday people.

The MagLev HyperDriveä platform represents a transformative step in vertical lift efficiency and aircraft design. By working with AddWorks’ world-class consultants and engineers, we are leveraging advanced technologies and materials to achieve optimal strength and stiffness at the lightest weight on our mission to open up ultraquiet electric air mobility to the masses.

—Rod Randall, MagLev Aero’s co-founder and chairman

GE Additive is one of the first companies to be publicly announced as supporting MagLev Aero, driving the potential of additive manufacturing to unlock a new generation of eVTOL aircraft designs that achieve ultra-low noise operation—not just in high-altitude cruise, but more importantly, in take-offs and landings to achieve community acceptance from the general public, as well as widespread accessibility.

MagLev Aero is actively in talks with major OEMs and is supported by technology investors and industry leaders who have endorsed its innovative approach, including Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Material Impact, Stage 1 Ventures, Grit Capital and Moai Capital, among others.


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