Smart charging for eVTOL at Snowdonia Aerospace Centre 

Aerovolt’s certified system will enable new electric aircraft systems, whether crewed or uncrewed  to use point-to-point flying and re-charging across the UK. 

The Snowdonia Aerospace Centre in northern Wales is a large-scale drone testing facility which will soon add electrical vertical and landing (eVTOL) testing to its portfolio. As part of this, the centre has chosen electric aircraft charging company Aerovolt to provide multiple charging systems that will accommodate aircraft development and future technologies. 

Aerial view of Snowdonia Aerospace Centre

Photo courtesy of Snowdonia Aerospace Centre

Proponents says that sustainably powered eVTOLs, which are designed to take off and land in the same way as helicopters, could operate as air taxis, offering efficient, green (and exciting) modes of transport between airports and urban centres. The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) recently undertook a consultation as part of wider work to ensure such technology is safe and secure. 

Aerovolt is expected to install its smart charging systems at the Snowdonia site from the beginning of March. This is based on the AS6968 protocol currently used by a range of certified and in-development aircraft worldwide. That means new electric aircraft systems, whether crewed or uncrewed, will be able to benefit from point-to-point flying and re-charging across the UK, expanding their mission scope and operational ability. 

Founded in 2022 and showcased at the Royal International Air Tattoo in 2023, Aerovolt is currently engaged with nearly 70 UK airports, installing smart charging facilities for new electric aircraft.  

What’s more, the team at Snowdonia Aerospace Centre says that the installation will include the UK’s first thermal runway detection system for airside charging facilities. This will include a bespoke wireless thermal monitoring and alarm system. 

It’s all part of the centre’s plans to develop the UK’s first eVTOL vertiport facility, following new guidelines issued by the CAA last month on the framework for the forthcoming market in advanced air mobility (AAM). 

The plan is for the vertiport to accommodate the automated take-off, landing and terminal area manoeuvring of drones and eVTOL aircraft. In addition, Bristol-based drone logistics company SLiNK-Tech hopes to use the vertiport to capture data on eVTOL noise and rotor downwash which can then be used in certification testing for this new class of air vehicle. The company is in consultation over this with experts from the CAA. 

With this, the Aerovolt charging system and Snowdonia’s pre-existing Permanent Airspace Danger Area and in-house air navigation service provision (ANSP), the aim is to position Snowdonia Aerospace Centre as the UK’s leading flight test centre for eVTOL.

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