ILA Part 4 – APUS and Speeder Systems

Mainly driven by the fast-growing e-commerce market, the need for efficient integrated air cargo systems is huge since air solutions can significantly reduce delivery times and costs per unit. Aircraft designer, Apus Zero Emissions GmbH, based in eastern Germany, has also been guided by this insight.
In a neighboring hall on the exhibition ground, Dutch newcomer, Speeder Systems B.V., presented its maritime transport vehicles designed for marine logistics and surveillance tasks.

Robert Adams sees great market opportunities for the APUS i-5  –  image: courtesy APUS

Apus is currently developing a cargo aircraft, branded APUS i-5, which can carry up to 1,770 kg over distances of almost 1,500 km. It is an unmanned aircraft that will be propelled by hydrogen-based powertrains and – similar to the iViation aircraft – is expected to be put in service before this decades ends, confirms Robert Adam, Head of Propulsion Systems Engineering. He sees a growing economic need for smaller freighters with a medium range, especially for connections between the mainland and offshore islands, such as in Norway or coastal regions in the UK. Governments are heavily subsidizing similar air services, putting a lot of pressure on the operators to fly CO2-neutral, says the manager. Starting from these initial commercial applications, the range of use cases for the APUS i-5 Hydrogen will gradually grow and include the e-commerce sector, states Mr. Adam. He sees another possible application: operating at night from airports silenced by curfews. Due to the very low noise emissions of the nine-bladed propellers built by provider, Rolls Royce, the freighter is usable at airports with night flight bans. As an example, the executive cites the nightly transportation of express goods from curfew-crippled Hamburg to London Heathrow; a route with plenty of demand for such shipments.

Prototype of maritime Speeder Systems vehicle displayed at ILA Berlin – photo: CFG/hs

Speeder Systems
The maritime speeder is much further along in development than the aforementioned projects. It is designed for logistics and inspection/ surveillance operations at sea and is classified as a Type B Wing in Ground Effect Vehicle with VTOL capability. Built by Speeder Systems B.V. in the Netherlands, the maritime vehicle’s electric propulsion creates 60% lower emissions compared to vessels or even 99% fewer greenhouse gases than manned helicopters. According to manager Erdem Kazakli, it achieves a velocity of 140 km/h while transporting 25 kg over a distance of 90 km, and 17 kg can be carried as far as 150 km. It is steered remotely, fully electric, and privately financed. In operation, it hovers above the water surface, gliding on an air cushion to maximize efficiency or avoid high waves. Seen this way, it is a blend of naval and aerial vehicles. Manager Kazankli states that the Speeder Systems will be operational by Q2, 2025, so in about one year from now. Supporting oil rigs in the Caribbeans with tools and spare parts or offshore windfarms in the North Sea, are just two areas of applications. Its modular design enables the Speeder to be transported at the back of a van to any shore or beach, and can be set up in just 20 minutes. He says that the vehicles can only be leased, they are not for sale.

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