Since its foundation, 2022 was the most challenging year Pie Aeronefs has faced for a wide range of different reasons. However, all the issues the company has dealt with are now part of its identity and the experience gained in solving problems will be useful in the future. So, as the beginning of a new year is the appropriate moment to plan the future and to make a recap of the last 12 months, we would like to start 2023 by listing the objectives achieved and the company’s good resolutions for the new year.
What Pie Aeronefs achieved in 2022
The most important goals achieved in 2022 by Pie Aeronefs regard the manufacturing and the design of UR-1, the first Swiss fully electric race plane which is expected to fly and to compete in the Air Race E championship this year. This is in fact the main project the company plans to accomplish in 2023.
During the last 12 months our workflow was slowed down due to the will to perfect the design of our aircraft and the manufacturing procedures of our aircraft. The motto of the last 12 months was: “Slow and steady wins the race”. Indeed, quality always takes time.
In any case, to be more precise about our 2022 achievements, the "magpie" team was able to attain the following milestones in manufacturing its first electric aircraft:
- Completion of the tail with the control surface integrated,
- Assembly of the canopy,
- Completion of the molds for the fuselage,
- Electric batteries close to be installed in their own boxes,
- Wing almost completed with the electric batteries arranged inside it,
- Design of the arrangement of avionics is on the right path.
Obviously, the engineering team has worked side by side with the manufacturing one in order to obtain the best outcome. Without the work carried out in designing parts, in testing and optimizing them during the year, it would have been impossible to reach these outcomes.
Concerning purely the design of UR-1, the team was able to perfect it and to inspect every manufactured part of the UR-1. In addition, the company also accomplished the first partial-power test of the motor unit and also took care of EAS (Experimental Aviation of Switzerland) tests on the wing which turned out to have excellent outcomes.
Accomplishments aside, the bravest decision the team made in 2022 has concerned an important change: in place of spending efforts in manufacturing another race plane, UR-2, Pie Aeronefs chose to directly begin the design of the first genuinely practical battery-electric aircraft for civil aviation, UG-2. The shift from the idea to manufacture a racing plane to the project to begin the design of a civil aviation aircraft from scratch was not easy to take, but we are convinced that it was the right decision for the future of the company.
What Pie Aeronefs aims to achieve in 2023
If things will go the way we want them to, the most important milestone we plan to achieve is the completion of our UR-1 within May. After that, we will get ready to do the first flight in June. We expect also to be involved in the first Air Race E competition.
More in detail, during the first quarter, the company plans to carry out static tests and in flight tests on UR-1, the outcomes will serve our team to predict the behaviour of the plane.
Regarding the communication side, we will be present with a stand in the Aero Friedrichshafen exhibition in April. We are quite excited to be one of the exhibitors of this internationally renowned show for general aviation.
Another good resolution for 2023 regards the UG-2. We expect to be able to proceed in testing the design of the high-lift system of our second electric aircraft during the first months of the year. If we are lucky, we will also be able to start the manufacturing stage this year. We aim also to begin the testing stage of the UG-3 design.
In addition, we expect to open the door of our workshop to several companies in need of our technical expertise and equipment.
Pie Aeronefs' Team
As announced at the beginning of 2022, our company became “bigger” during the last year: We have hired specialists and young fresh thinkers, as a result our team has almost doubled. This year we plan to expand our team even more and our family is going to welcome another baby!
In addition, at the end of 2022, we have expanded our headquarters by renting another floor in the building in which we are currently installed. So, thanks to this new space, we had the opportunity to use the ground floor essentially for the workshop and to move the engineering team and part of the manufacturing one to the first floor. This subdivision serves the purpose to have more space to produce our aircraft.
In conclusion, we are writing our story day by day and in 2023 we look forward to obtaining some positive outcomes from the efforts made in 2022.