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Two dozen of the world’s leading electric aircraft developers and technology experts will be speaking at the Comparative Aircraft Flight Efficiency (CAFE) Foundation’s 13th Annual Electric Aircraft Symposium (EAS) at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, on July 20 to 21 — the weekend prior to the Experimental Aircraft Association’s (EAA’s) AirVenture 2019.
The CAFE Foundation and Vertical Flight Society have been working to advance electric aviation for many years and have partnered again for this year’s EAS. Electric- and hybrid-electric-powered aircraft have the potential to significantly reduce air transportation costs, carbon emissions and community noise.
“The electric-powered aircraft industry is gaining momentum and the Symposium provides an opportunity to get a comprehensive brief on the state of the industry and meet the top leaders before EAA AirVenture begins,” said Yolanka Wulff, executive director of the non-profit CAFE Foundation. “In 2007, CAFE Foundation organized the world’s first Electric Aircraft Symposium to address emerging interest in electric propulsion, along with energy and climate issues. These meetings helped create the industry you see today.”
For example, since the 12th EAS in 2018, four regular participants — Ampaire, Bye Aerospace, Eviation and magniX — have all announced significant aircraft orders or commitments from customers in the flight training, regional airline, business aviation and recreational aircraft markets.
Registration for the 13th Annual Electric Aircraft Symposium can be found on the CAFE Foundation’s website: www.cafe.foundation.
“Advances in technology have initiated what we call ‘The Electric VTOL Revolution,'” said Mike Hirschberg, executive director of the Vertical Flight Society. “Today, we are seeing major international aerospace companies, Silicon Valley tech companies and other startups developing eVTOL aircraft, including Uber’s ambitious Elevate program to operate thousands of eVTOL air taxis (developed by VFS members) for Urban Air Mobility (UAM) applications. Electric aviation has the potential to transform society.”
This year’s EAS speakers include the following:
- Yolanka Wulff, executive director, CAFE Foundation
- Mike Hirschberg, executive director, Vertical Flight Society
- Ryan Naru, vehicle standards engineer, Uber Technologies
- Willi Tacke, founder and organizer, e-flight-expo; CEO, Flying Pages GmbH
- Gilles Rosenberger, CEO, Faraday Aerospace
- Todd Hodges, engineer (retired), NASA Langley Research Center
- Tom Gunnarson, lead of regulatory affairs, Kitty Hawk
- Gregory Bowles, head of government affairs, Joby Aviation
- Kevin Noertker, co-founder & CEO, Ampaire
- George Bye, CEO, Bye Aerospace
- Omer Bar-Yohay, co-founder & CEO, Eviation
- Bruno Mombrinie, founder & CEO, Metro Hop
- Rob Bulaga, president, Trek Aerospace
- David Ullman, emeritus professor mechanical design, Oregon State University
In 2007, CAFE Foundation hosted the first electric aircraft symposium in North America. In 2011, the Foundation managed NASA’s Green Flight Challenge, which was funded by Google. This US$1.35 million prize was awarded to Pipistrel USA for its winning 4-seat, electric-powered aircraft, the Taurus G4, which flew nearly 200 miles (322 km) non-stop, while achieving 403.5 passenger-MPG (171.5 passenger-km/l)! Its astounding efficiency was more than twice that of the piston-powered aircraft in the competition.
The Vertical Flight Society was founded in 1943 by the pioneers of the US helicopter industry to advocate for vertical flight and create a robust international technical community. VFS hosted the world’s first electric VTOL technical meeting in 2014, launched the world’s first eVTOL eNewsletter in 2016 and eVTOL website in 2017, and the world’s first eVTOL short course in 2018. The Society also supported the development of the Uber Elevate White Paper and is a Partner of the GoFly Prize competition.
VFS now includes profiles on more than 175 electric VTOL aircraft in its World eVTOL Aircraft Directory, www.eVTOL.news.
“Sixty percent of our 120 corporate members are now developing eVTOL aircraft, and VFS has become the world’s largest community for knowledge sharing on electric vertical flight,” Hirschberg added. “So, it was natural for us to partner with CAFE Foundation to help our common interest of advancing electric aviation.”
Representatives of the Vertical Flight Society and CAFE Foundation will be attending EAA AirVenture and meeting with members of the growing electric aviation community.