Horizon Aircraft is partnering with Peterborough’s Fleming College and Toronto’s Ontario Tech University for a three-year research project on the aerospace company’s electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.
Based in the City of Kawartha Lakes, Ont., Horizon Aircraft continues to work on its prototype Cavorite X5, a hybrid electrical five-passenger craft which can reach speeds up to 450 km/h and a 500-km range.
The company is working with Fleming and OTU on the design and prototypes for mechanisms for the aircraft to make it more efficient, lighter and able to withstand high vibrations, stresses and large loads.
The federal Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada jointly awarded the institutions $750,000 over three years through the Innovation Link program to support the project. It is the second collaborative research project undertaken by the two institutions and Horizon Aircraft.
“We are looking to our academic research partners to assist us with their expertise in additive manufacturing, topology optimization, modelling, and prototyping,” said E. Brandon Robinson, CEO of Horizon Aircraft.
“Advanced manufacturing processes and technologies such as these are proving to be an efficient and highly effective way to prototype innovative new aerospace parts. This is pivotal to the success of our eVTOL system.”
Fleming College’s Dr. Fereydoon Diba, lead research scientist with the college’s Centre for Advancement in Mechatronics and Industrial Internet of Things (CAMIIT) is spearheading the project, providing expertise in mechatronics system design, product development, Industrial Internet of Things, advanced manufacturing, and rapid prototyping.
Toronto-based Ontario Tech University’s research team includes:
- Dr. Sayyed Ali Hosseini, assistant professor with the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and director of machining research laboratory (MRL)
- Dr. Ahmad Barari, associate professor and director of Advanced Digital Design and Manufacturing and Advanced Digital Metrology Laboratories (AD2M Labs)
- Dr. Hossam Kishawy, professor and dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.
The research teams at MRL and AD2M Labs are providing expertise in design, optimization, additive and subtractive manufacturing, modelling and simulation, and materials behaviour to the project.
“The complementary advanced manufacturing expertise of Fleming College’s CAMII and Ontario Tech University’s MRL brings many advantages and benefits to innovative companies like Horizon Aircraft,” said Dr. Brett Goodwin, Fleming’s vice-president of applied research and innovation.
“Working shoulder-to-shoulder with the aerospace engineers at Horizon, the research teams will transform how a novel aircraft will be designed, tested and manufactured in Canada and beyond.”
Dr. Les Jacobs, OTU’s vice-president of research and innovation, echoed the sentiment.
“We are excited to again work with Fleming College’s CAMIIT and Horizon Aircraft on this innovative project,” he said. “Hybrid-electric aircraft are the future for the aerospace industry. This is a great opportunity for students from both institutions to be learning from a company leading in this field.
“In addition to adding to our understanding of using advanced manufacturing technologies for the creation of a greener aerospace industry, this project will accelerate the design and development activities needed to get Horizon’s innovative new eVOTL aircraft on the market.”