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Fleming College Partners With Ontario Tech University And Horizon Aircraft For Three-Year Aviation Research Project


Peterborough ON – (May 17, 2022) – Fleming College and Ontario Tech University have been awarded funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to collaborate on a three-year research project with Horizon Aircraft.

With this funding, researchers from both institutions will assist the local aerospace engineering company with the design and prototyping of innovative mechanisms for the company’s electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.

Based in the City of Kawartha Lakes, Horizon Aircraft has developed the prototype Cavorite X5, a hybrid electric eVTOL aircraft capable of potential speeds of up to 450 km/h, a 500-kilometre range, and five- passenger capacity. Like others in the aviation and aerospace industries, Horizon is searching for ways to make their vehicles more efficient, lightweight, and able to withstand high vibrations, stresses, and large loads.

Photo courtesy of Horizon Aircraft

“We are looking to our academic research partners to assist us with their expertise in additive manufacturing, topology optimization, modelling, and prototyping,” says E. Brandon Robinson, CEO of Horizon Aircraft. “Advanced manufacturing processes and technologies such as these are proving to be an efficient and highly effective way to prototype innovative new aerospace parts. This is pivotal to the success of our eVTOL system.”

Fleming College and Ontario Tech University were jointly awarded $750,000 over three years from NSERC’s Innovation Link program, under the Tri-Agency College and Community Innovation Program.

Leading the project is Fleming College’s Dr. Fereydoon Diba, lead Research Scientist at Fleming’s Centre for Advancement in Mechatronics and Industrial Internet of Things (CAMIIT). The CAMIIT research team’s strengths and expertise include mechatronics system design, product development, Industrial Internet of Things, advanced manufacturing, and rapid prototyping.

Ontario Tech University’s research lead is Dr. Sayyed Ali Hosseini, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, and Director of Ontario Tech’s Machining Research Laboratory (MRL). He is accompanied in this research by Dr. Ahmad Barari, Associate Professor and Director of Advanced Digital Design and Manufacturing and Advanced Digital Metrology Laboratories (AD2M Labs), and Dr. Hossam Kishawy, Professor and Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. The research teams at MRL and AD2M Labs are contributing their expertise in design, optimization, additive and subtractive manufacturing, modelling and simulation, and materials behaviour to the project.

“The complementary advanced manufacturing expertise of Fleming College’s Centre for Advancement in Mechatronics and Industrial Internet of Things and Ontario Tech University’s Machining Research Laboratory brings many advantages and benefits to innovative companies like Horizon Aircraft,” says Dr. Brett Goodwin, Fleming College Vice-President of Applied Research and Innovation. “Working shoulder-to-shoulder with the aerospace engineers at Horizon, the research teams will transform how a novel aircraft will be designed, tested, and manufactured in Canada and beyond.”

This is the second collaborative research project undertaken by the two institutions and Horizon Aircraft.

“We are excited to again work with Fleming College’s CAMIIT and Horizon Aircraft on this innovative project. Hybrid electric aircraft are the future for the aerospace industry. This is a great opportunity for students from both institutions to be learning from a company leading in this field.,” says Dr. Les Jacobs, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, Ontario Tech University. “In addition to adding to our understanding of using advanced manufacturing technologies for the creation of a greener aerospace industry, this project will accelerate the design and development activities needed to get Horizon’s innovative new eVOTL aircraft on the market.”

About Fleming College
Fleming College respectfully acknowledges that we are situated on Michi Saagiig Anishinaabeg lands and territory. Located in the heart of Central Ontario, Fleming College has campus locations in Peterborough, Lindsay, Cobourg and Haliburton. Named for famous Canadian inventor and engineer Sir Sandford Fleming, the college features more than 100 full-time programs in Arts and Heritage, Business, Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences, General Arts and Sciences, Health and Wellness, Justice and Community Development, Skilled Trades and Technology, and Continuing Education. Fleming College has more than 6,800 full-time and 10,000 part-time students, and 80,000 alumni.

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