An Electric aircraft, a drone logistics company and a solar space initiative are the latest exhibitors to be confirmed for a new “Future of Aviation” exhibition at next Easter’s Warbirds Over Wanaka International Airshow.
The first exhibitor confirmed back in October was Wisk, which is currently trialling its all-electric, self-flying air taxi in the McKenzie Country. The air taxi will be on display at Wanaka.
Wisk has now been joined by three Christchurch-based companies – ElectricAir, Kea Aerospace and SwoopZero.
ElectricAir operates the first and only electric passenger plane in New Zealand and its flying display at Warbirds Over Wanaka will be a first for a Kiwi airshow.
The Pipistrel Alpha Electro is a two-seat light sport aircraft designed for pilot training. It is entirely composite with carbon fibre wings and fuselage, making it light and strong. It’s around 70% quieter than a petrol equivalent and of course produces zero exhaust emissions. The Electro can fly for about an hour plus reserves at a fuel cost of approximately $2. The aircraft is based at Rangiora and Christchurch and is used for flight training and trial flights.
Kea Aerospace has also confirmed it will be exhibiting at Wanaka. The company is developing a solar powered, remotely piloted aircraft that will fly continuously in the stratosphere for months at a time to collect frequent high-resolution aerial images.
The zero-emission Kea Atmos will operate at an altitude of around 65,000 feet (20 kilometres), flying far above the weather and conventional air traffic. With a wingspan of 32-metres, the Kea Atmos will be the largest un-crewed aircraft designed and built in the Southern Hemisphere.
Also joining the line up in the “Future of Aviation” hangar will be Swoop Aero, an Australian drone-powered logistics company founded in 2017.
Swoop Aero is aiming to provide services accessible by one billion people in 2030, across a range of industries including health, transport, disaster management, and search and rescue. Swoop Aero has already played a significant role in using its drones to get Covid-19 vaccines to remote communities around the world.
Warbirds Over Wanaka is being held at Wanaka Airport next Easter (April 15th, 16th and 17th). For more information and tickets go to www.warbirdsoverwanaka.com