Limosa Inc. was established with the goal of creating a zero-emission, fast, and affordable transportation system through the development of an all-electric Vertical and Conventional Take-off and Landing (eVTOL+eCTOL) aircraft, which is called LimoConnect. LimoConnect has the capacity of one pilot plus seven passengers, is configurable to be autonomous, and carries cargo. It offers a very easy and safe means of transport without generating air pollution. Its noise level is designed to be within the public acceptance range. It has the capacity to pick up people and goods in cities without any airport. It will help provide access to areas without any land roads. In general, Limosa Inc. is contributing to introducing a new mode of transportation by using air as the third dimension to transport people and cargo in congested urban areas as well as regional transportation.
Tell us about yourself?
I accomplished a Ph.D. program in Mechanical Engineering specializing in composite materials and structures at Concordia University, Montreal, QC, Canada. My doctoral project was to research the application of composite materials in the yoke of helicopters. The project was funded by Bell Helicopter (now Bell Flight). I entered the Bell Flight facility at Mirabel as an intern, where I learned the process of manufacturing helicopters and made a network with the Bell team.
After that, I began my role as a lead Materials and Process Specialist (M&P) on Bombardier Global 7500 business jets program.
In the last six years, I have been closely monitoring the market for new flying electric vehicles and found a great opportunity to contribute to the eVTOL industry. This is the essence that led me to establish The Limosa Group Inc.
I have great confidence in the intellectual capacity and creativity of the local workforce, and the feasibility of this project in Montreal as the city is well located in the aerospace industry in terms of technical knowledge, access to relevant specialists, supply chain, and factories of manufacturing.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
We have an expression used in our country, saying that: “One hand solely cannot make any sound. To clap, there needs to be at least two.” This expression always reminds me of the importance of being collective. Making a good team is always challenging, but that is the only way that one can solve challenging problems. A good leader is not to manage people but to give them the opportunity to express their best freely. These are the things that I have hung on my ear in my daily life, and I am trying to learn and practice with my team.
What problem does your business solve?
We are tackling two major problems. The first and foremost is Green House Gas (GHG) emissions. More than 30 per cent of GHG emissions are attributable to transportation systems. Carbon fuels are the main issue, and industries need to find a better option to replace them. Our project as an all-electric aircraft will help to reduce GHG emissions and help operators succeed in their commitment to making aerial transportation green by 2050.
The second problem is related to the time people waste in traffic. According to reports, Americans waste more than 4.7 billion hours in traffic every year. The current mode of transportation does not have any answer to overcome this challenge. A new mode of transportation should emerge, and we believe that is using air as the third dimension to transport people and goods, especially in congested areas. Our vehicle, which is called LimoConnect, can fly and land vertically and horizontally. LimoConnect is 100 times quieter than helicopters and is a good answer to address this problem.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
As an aerospace engineer, I often look at the sky and wonder about birds. They are indeed wonderful machines designed by nature and optimised for the most efficient flight journey. Unlike other airplanes or helicopters, they produce almost no emissions and can land and take off from anywhere.
Let’s not forget we are currently living in a time where dozens of hours are wasted in traffic every day. Global warming has become a life-threatening crisis, and your choice of flight is only limited to airports.
Inspired by nature and determined by these challenges, more than a year ago, I decided to gather a team of talented and experienced engineers to build a new full-electric aircraft, hoping to give people the freedom of choice for emission-free urban and regional commutes.
We knew from the beginning that our solution should be a win-win case for the people and the operators. Carrying more people on each trip will help reduce the travel cost, which is why we targeted our aircraft to be a one-plus seven-seater while the importance of pilot training is taken into account.
Unlike most other solutions, we have not only focused on future vertiports because social acceptance and required investments are still very important issues, and we know that taking advantage of current infrastructures, such as existing airports, can open the door to many applications. That’s why LimoConnect will not be an eVTOL only but also an eCTOL making it able to fly from runways like other airplanes.
What is your magic sauce?
The concept of LimoConnect is inspired by a bird called Limosa (Godwit family). This bird could travel the longest distance in a single flight. LimoConnect works in the combination of tilting and fixed rotor (Vector Thrust) systems that give the ability to take off and land vertically like a helicopter and conventionally like an airplane with fixed wings.
The following three main features distinguish LimoConnect from others:
- LimoConnect can fly and land vertically like a helicopter and horizontally like a fixed-wing aircraft. This feature gives the capability to give service in urban areas. Furthermore, it is a good fit for regional transportation. In the latter case, it uses 30 per cent less energy, so it can fly farther as compared to other aircrafts of its own category using the same amount of energy.
- LimoConnect targets the air transportation market corresponding to the Ground-SUV-Market of automobiles by having a spacious cabin for one plus seven passengers. Most competitors are developing air vehicles for a maximum of five passengers.
- LimoConnect has the most ergonomic design compared to other competitors because its design is based on the features of a bird called a Limosa.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
Our roadmap calls for this project to be completed within eight years. We have already completed the preliminary design of the aircraft and have made the one-tenth-scale prototype. Currently, we are working on designing the full-scale prototype. The flight test of this as the technology demonstrator is planned for mid-2024. We have started discussions with Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) to begin the certification process.
We believe we will obtain the Type Certificate (TC) for this aircraft by mid-2029.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced so far?
Everyone knows that building a new aircraft is a big challenge. The case is more complicated when it comes to a new type of design. The electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft is a new-technology air vehicle and is not supported by any certification agencies. The main aerospace regulators, such as Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA), and European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), are working to develop the requirements for the certification of these aircrafts. To date, there is no code of certification to type certify these new-technology vehicles.
Besides experience and knowledge, building a new aircraft requires a lot of funds. That is why we are currently seeking to raise $5 million. These funds will allow us to reach the next step, which consists of designing and manufacturing a full-scale prototype (Technology Demonstrator) and ensuring that the certification process evolves with the development of the aircraft. For the next step, we will need $10 million to develop the flight envelopes of our aircraft, registering of patents, designing different configurations of the aircraft, and following the certification process. Finally, we would need a significant amount of funding to set up the manufacturing and integration facility to manufacture and flight-test of full-scale Flight Test Vehicles (FTVs). Type Certificate (TC) for this aircraft will be obtained by mid-2029.
We are actively approaching different market segments to obtain pre-orders or letters of intent for 210 units of LimoConnect. A down payment of $1M per unit will bring $210M to the company.
Why do we believe in this project?
Because we have made invaluable strategic tractions.
This industry has two main divisions: aircraft development (OEM) and infrastructure (Vertiports). As the OEM, we are collaborating with vertiport developers by discussing the requirements, especially for power and charging capacities required for our vehicle.
We have also advanced in selecting our partners for the main components of LimoConnect, such as electric motors, aero-structures, systems and avionics, and batteries.
How can people get involved?
If you have any questions about this new technology, please feel free to contact us at +1 514 345 0620 or visit our website at www.limosa.ca