Electric aircraft visionary is METSTRADE’s keynote speaker

METSTRADE has announced that TED Fellow and ICAS Aerospace Innovation Award recipient, Cory Combs, will deliver the breakfast keynote speech on 15 November 2022.

Combs is the co-founder of aviation electric propulsion pioneer, Ampaire, known for its rapid evolution of hybrid powered small passenger and freight planes. He’ll deliver a presentation on how the leisure marine industry can become a model for introducing innovation in sustainability. The speech will be followed by the announcement of the 2022 DAME Design Award winners.

“The marine leisure industry shares many challenges with aviation, especially small aircraft, in terms of public perception and difficulty in going green,” says Combs. “In aviation, there is the flight shaming movement and recently there has been no small amount of boat shaming too.

“The marine leisure industry, like aerospace, will stick out like a sore thumb unless we show the way towards a cleaner future. At Ampaire we’ve learned big lessons on electrifying aircraft that are applicable to marine applications. Both industries are well positioned to kickstart the technologies and supply chain required to achieve sustainability. The only option neither sector has is business as usual.”

In the speech, entitled ‘Paragon or pariah? Sustainability challenges and opportunities from the sky to the sea’, Combs will explain a key takeaway from his experience at Ampaire – to start small and iterate with the technology and infrastructure that exists today, rather than waiting for silver bullet solutions.

Ampaire’s testbed Electric EEL, based on the proven Cessna 337 Skymaster, is demonstrating fuel savings of 40 per cent. Ampaire has already secured orders from airlines for hybrid adaptions of existing small commuter planes which are planned to enter service within the next three years.

Combs graduated from Stanford University with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering. He worked as an R&D engineer for a clean-tech start-up and then on X-plane projects for Northrop Grumman prior to co-founding Ampaire in 2016.

Udo Kleinitz, secretary general at ICOMIA, says: “METSTRADE and ICOMIA constantly aim to be at the forefront of sustainability across the sector. Both aviation and leisure marine industries are exploring de-carbonisation strategies and face similar challenges. I am excited to hear about lessons learned and discuss how to better achieve sustainability across the entire marine industry.”

The Breakfast Briefing will take place on the morning of Tuesday 15 November in the Auditorium of the RAI Convention Centre prior to opening of METSTRADE 2022. It welcomes exhibitors and VIP guests by invitation. 

Last year’s Breakfast Keynote Speaker was renowned sailor, Dee Caffari.

Keep up to date with all the key marine industry events and boat shows in 2022 with MIN’s regularly updated list.

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This article was written and/or edited by the UK-based MIN team.