Aerospace and Aviation, Manufacturing News, Victoria

Melbourne electric aviation start-up Kite Magnetics opens Green Aviation Test Facility

Affordable, quieter, and pollution-free flights are a step closer to reality with the opening of Melbourne-based start-up Kite Magnetics’ Green Aviation Test Facility.

Kite Magnetics, a spinout from Monash University that makes electric engines for planes, officially opened their facility in Notting Hill last month to a crowd of excited onlookers.

The grand opening event showcased its rapid growth and innovation as an emerging player in the aviation sector while emphasising their commitment to a greener and more sustainable future of aviation.

Kite’s 120 kW electric engine, which is intended for use on small training aircraft, delivers power comparable to a standard small car while tipping the scales no heavier than a packed travel suitcase. At the core of Kite’s engines lies Aeroperm™; a new magnetic materials technology first developed at Monash University, that has energy losses ten times smaller than conventional magnetic material.

Dr. Richard Parsons, Founder and CEO of Kite Magnetics, expressed that Kite’s cutting-edge technology promises to enhance the cost-effectiveness of air travel, benefiting both travellers and the aviation industry.

The Green Aviation Test Facility enables us to demonstrate the enormous potential of Aeroperm to make electric engines smaller, lighter and more efficient,” he said.

“Without Aeroperm and other new technologies, electric aircraft will stay grounded, literately.”

The opening of their Green Aviation Test Facility will further enable Kite Magnetics to refine and enhance its technology, ensuring optimal performance and reliability. Beyond Kite, it represents yet another step towards the general public one day being able to enjoy lower ticket prices.

“Not only do electric planes produce no pollution, they are set to be quieter, safer and up to 70 per cent cheaper to run than traditional aircraft. It will still be some time before we are crossing oceans on electric planes, but in the not-too-distant future they will help bring down the cost of regional flights,” Parsons said.

Kite’s grand opening event also included presentations from its customers and investors, such as Breakthrough Victoria, the Victorian Government’s 2 billion dollar investment fund, who welcomed the urgency to transform the aviation industry, one that is responsible for emissions exceeding three times Australia’s total annual carbon footprint. Without rapid change, some estimates predicted as much as one-quarter of all emissions will come from aviation by 2050.

The event concluded with the first public demonstration Kite Magnetics electric engine and presentations from the founding team, offering a rare sneak peek into their ambitious plans for the future expansion of their product line to larger aircraft and beyond the aviation sector.

As the aviation sector and governments around the world set commitments to net-zero emissions by 2050, Kite Magnetics is positioned to lead the way to affordable and eco-friendly flights.

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