Path to decarbonisation of air travel-Ascendance Flight Technologies shows the way forward

Cofounded in 2018 by Jean-Christophe LAMBERT, Benoit FERRAN, Clément DINEL and Thibault BALDIVIA , Ascendance Flight Technologies is located in Toulouse – at the heart of Europe’s aeronautical industry.

Comprising a dedicated team of engineers and experts with a passion for the environment and technology, the company has revealed an updated design for a VTOL, dubbed “ATEA”- which would reportedly kickstart the decarbonisation of air travel right away.


ATEA-The future of Vertical Mobility

Designed as a clean, quiet and efficient advanced air mobility solution, Atea is a vertical take-off and landing aircraft with a range of 400km+ and a turn-around time of only 10min, thanks to their unique hybrid propulsion system.


The Atea is to be powered by Ascendance’s proprietary Sterna hybrid-electric powertrain. The company says that Sterna’s modular design and “embedded intelligence” will allow it to support various energy sources, including sustainable aviation fuel or hydrogen.

The hybrid propulsion system uses a mix of kerosene and batteries for optimized fuel consumption and is touted is to fly cleaner with a reduction in carbon emissions of up to 80%.

 It will use electrical power for takeoff and landing, with a turbine engine powering the cruise phase of flight when less power is needed. This approach is mainly for reducing noise and emissions.

Reduced acoustic signature

The integration of the vertical rotors in the wings with a disruptive duct shape and powered by the hybrid-electric propulsion system brings a drastic improvement in the noise signature of the aircraft with 4 times fewer noise emissions than a helicopter.


This, in turn, unlocks an entirely new range of missions with flights closer to cities, previously inaccessible due to noise constraints.

Safety margins

According to Ascendance, a mix of two energy sources in the hybrid propulsion system provides redundancy by design to further improve the safety and operational range of the aircraft. It is also touted to meet the same level of safety requirements as current conventional aviation and can continue a safe flight and landing in the event of any single failure.

User-cases of Atea

  • access remote and isolated places
  • create a decentralized aviation network from city to city
  • directly link major cities between one another on a regional scale

Additionally, it also aims to provide a sustainable air mobility solution to many other sectors- Medical Emergency Services for instance. Atea can be fully equipped with medical equipment and carry medical staff for this kind of emergency while being a safe, efficient and cleaner mobility solution.


In its cargo version, the Atea cabin layout will be adapted to carry parcels up to 450kg that will be then delivered to a more local distribution hub which will take care of the final distribution.

Reportedly, the last version of the aircraft will be made for coastal surveillance.

The company aims to get the Atea hybrid-electric VTOL aircraft certified by 2025.

About the company’s founders


The four partners, all graduates of France’s top aerospace engineering and business schools, have 26 years of combined experience and expertise working on hybrid and electrical aircraft – from Airbus on the E-FAN all-electric aircraft to Atea today.

Driven by a common goal to transform aviation to fly cleaner, quieter, and further, they focus on leveraging the vast potential of electric technologies to develop sustainable flight solutions for today and tomorrow.


COVER: Ascendance Flight Technologies