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H2020

ESCaPE Report Summary

Project ID: 735318

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ESCaPE (A game-changing light aircraft enabled by advanced materials and novel production menthods)

Reporting period: 2016-07-01 to 2016-11-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

This is the Phase 1 final report and feasibility study for the SMEInst-10 project ESCaPE: “A game-changing light aircraft enabled by advanced materials and novel production methods”. ESCaPE, an advanced composite aircraft, will set a new standard in the growing Light Sports Aircraft Market for experience, safety and comfort without compromising on performance or introducing high costs.

The overall objectives of the project are to improve:
1. The IPR strategy
2. The commersialisation strategy
3. The understanding of regulatory requirements
4. The risk register
5. The project budget
6. The financing plan

The conclusions are:
1. We have strengthened our strong, unique market position.
2. We have improved our regulatory approach
3. We have improved our IP and IP strategy
4. We have improved our innovation
5. We have improved our risk awareness and strategies
6. We have performed preliminary project planning for phase 2
7. We have confirmed that we can secure the co-funding for phase 2
8. We have identified further actions to take prior to starting phase 2

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During this 5-month study, we have performed technical, commercial and financial feasibility activities for ESCaPE. We have focused on: identifying and reducing risks; analysing the path to regulatory approval; protecting the IP; and determining the best market position and entry point. Our results are:
1. We have strengthened our strong, unique market position - We are highly competitive both with regards to the novelty of our product (the unique ESCaPE approach), and compared with our nearest competitor’s market strategies.
2. We have improved our Regulatory approach - The complex regulatory environment is in a state of change at present, so committing large time or cost resources in phase 2 would not be wise. We will restrict phase 2 activity to the minimum necessary for permission to perform flight testing, and perform the bulk of the regulatory and certification activity during Phase 3.
3. We have improved our IP and IP strategy - gaining a stronger understanding of the value of our IP, and how to position our IP during ESCaPE’s path to market.
4. We have improved our innovation - Risk of premature exposure of our expanded IP lead us to postpone some end user evaluation work beyond the time scope of the phase 1 project., but also lead us to investigate a novel alternative method for user-testing of our aircraft: pioneering high fidelity virtual reality flight simulators.
5. We have improved our risk awareness and strategies - Our chief risk appears to be securing the right competence to pursue ESCaPE in the short time available before starting the next phase.
6. We have performed preliminary project planning for phase 2.
7. We have confirmed that we can secure the co-funding for phase 2.
8. We have identified further actions to take prior to starting phase 2 - continued first aircraft optimisation: further IP protection: investigating VR prototyping, methods, tools, and end-user evaluation synchronisation.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The added value of the ESCaPE-aircraft attract customers to choose our innovation in front of other existing aircraft on the market. We raise the level so strongly within the areas of experience, safety and comfort that we in practice introduce a new standard and we do this without neglecting performance and still providing good value for money. That way, our innovation will be game-changing and competitors will seem obsolete. ESCaPE will not only take a large share of the existing market but also expand the market towards non-pilots who are attracted by the introduced experience/safety/comfort-features.

Light Sport Aircrafts can contribute transport without increasing congestion in existing transport infrastructures as they require only small landing fields. The ESCaPE aircraft will contribute to the growth of alternative transportation means while making them safer and more environmentally friendly (noise emission, carbon emissions). Light Sport Aircrafts are also a source of European know-how and growth.

The ESCaPE aircraft will provide a European manufactured innovation generating 260 jobs and €67M by 2026.

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