Brussels-based startup Cosmic Aerospace announced on February 6, 2024, that it has closed a €4.5 million seed funding round to continue development of a battery-powered electric aircraft with a range of up to 1,000 km (around 620 miles).
AeroTime spoke with Cosmic Aerospace’s founder and CEO Christopher Chahine ahead of the announcement to learn more about the project, which aims to overcome the range limitations hindering the development of electric aviation.
With a background as an engineer, Chahine has devoted much of his career to the study of fluid dynamics, obtaining a PhD from Oxford University in the United Kingdom (UK). He has conducted advanced research in this field in both the UK and Belgium.
Cosmic Aerospace’s approach is to focus on aerodynamic and aerostructure efficiency to squeeze more range out of existing propulsion and battery technologies. One feature that sets its prototype electric aircraft apart from other clean-sheet electric aircraft projects of this type is the location of the engines. These are encased in the wings, which act as a nacelle for the ducted fan turbine. The aircraft will be powered by Lithium-ion batteries placed inside the fuselage.
The airliner will be able to carry up to 24 passengers and three crew members.
Chahine stated it could be flying by 2026. The aim is to have the aircraft certified by 2029.
So far, Cosmic Aerospace has completed a full-scale engine prototype, with which it has been able to perform ground testing since March 2023.
Swedish early-stage investment firm Pale blue dot, which specializes in climate technology investments, led the funding round, which included other seed capital investors such as Aera VC, Visionaries Club TOMORROW, Fifty Years, Possible Ventures, Syndicate One, Course Corrected, Understorey Capital and Samurai Incubate.