VFS continues record growth

VFS Press Release | January 14, 2022

Estimated reading time 9 minutes, 43 seconds.

The Vertical Flight Society (VFS), the world’s leading non-profit organization working to advance vertical flight, reports that the explosive growth of world’s electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft plus significant developments in military and civil rotorcraft have continued to expand its membership.  

Archer Aviation’s Maker eVTOL takes off on Dec. 16, 2021. Archer Photo

As of Jan. 1, 2022, a total of 163 companies are now members of VFS, a net 19% growth from a year ago and a doubling over the past five years. The number of individual members has also grown to more than 6,300 — a net increase of nearly 10% (550 individuals) over the past 12 months and a 30% growth (1,400 individuals) over the past five years. Much of this growth is due to the extensive support efforts and resources that VFS provides to the vertical flight industry, including technical resources, talent acquisition, educational opportunities and networking. 

The 36 new companies that joined VFS during 2021 are listed below. Descriptions of each company, including links to websites and contact information, are found in the VFS Corporate Member Directory. Information on the benefits and rates for corporate membership are posted on our Corporate Membership page.

AnalySwift, LLCSmall Business
ArcherSmall Business
BAAZ GmbHAssociate
CAFE FoundationAffiliate
Caldwell Intellectual Property Law, LLCSmall Business
Community Air Mobility Initiative (CAMI)Affiliate
Crown Consulting, Inc.Small Business
Cypress InternationalAssociate
Eagle Aviation Technologies, Inc.Small Business
Electric Power Systems, Inc.Small Business
Electric Power Systems, Inc.Small Business
ENSCO AvionicsSmall Business
Garudeus Aviation, Inc.Small Business
Helo Holdings, Inc.Associate
Hydroplane, LtdSmall Business
Intelligent Energy, LtdSmall Business
Intellisense Systems, Inc.Small Business
LaunchPoint Electric Propulsion Solutions, IncSmall Business
Levanta Tech, LLCSmall Business
LogistiWerx, Inc.Small Business
Mobius.energy CorporationAssociate
National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)Associate
Ohio Department of Transportation — Ohio UAS CenterAssociate
Olsen Actuators, LtdAssociate
Plug Power, Inc.Small Business
PteroDynamicsSmall Business
Real-Time InnovationsSmall Business
Sentient ScienceSmall Business
SkyDrive, Inc.Associate
SMG ConsultingAssociate
Tier 1 EngineeringSmall Business
TruWeather Solutions, Inc.Small Business
UP.PartnersSmall Business
Urbineer, Inc.Small Business
Yamato Holdings Co., Ltd.Bronze

These new corporate members include companies, non-profits and government agencies from around the world who are supporting all aspects of vertical flight. In addition to civil and military rotorcraft developments, such as the US Army’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) program, eVTOL developments increased markedly in 2021.  

“This past year saw steady technical progress and eye-popping financial investments in the leading eVTOL developers,” said Mike Hirschberg, VFS Executive Director. “VFS had estimated $4.5B of investments in eVTOL companies in 2010–2020. However, last year saw several additional developers go public and/or attract sizeable private investments; the total additional global estimate in 2021 alone was around $6B.”

As of today, the Society has cataloged over 590 different electric VTOL concepts from nearly 350 companies and innovators on its authoritative World eVTOL Aircraft Directory at www.evtol.news. When VFS launched the site in April 2017, only a dozen eVTOL programs were under development. Nearly 200 new designs were added in 2021 alone. The site currently also hosts more than 600 eVTOL news stories, including some 270 in-depth articles from the Society’s Vertiflite magazine, the leading periodical on eVTOL and rotorcraft developments. 

VFS has been at the forefront of what it calls the “Electric VTOL Revolution” since 2014 when it held the world’s first meeting of the eVTOL development community. Now, the Society’s 9th Annual Electric VTOL Symposium — being held Jan. 25–27 in-person in San Jose, California, and also virtually, as part the VFS Transformative Vertical Flight (TVF) Technical Meeting — continues as the world’s largest and longest-running event focusing on the incredible promise, progress and challenges of eVTOL aircraft.

As in previous years, the annual symposium will present the latest insights, trends and progress in eVTOL developments. This month’s symposium features plenary presentations by government leaders from NASA, the US Army, US Air Force and the FAA, as well as industry talks from Sikorsky, Hyundai’s Supernal, Lilium and Wisk. More than 50 additional VIP speakers and panelists in the symposium cover important topics regarding eVTOL, while more than 60 technical papers on rotorcraft aeromechanics, eVTOL, the Mars Helicopter, advanced air mobility (AAM) will be presented. Details are available at www.vtol.org/TVF2022. This is a hybrid event with a virtual connection for global benefit. 

When VFS launched the first TVF meeting in 2014, the idea of electric VTOL aircraft was greeted with widespread skepticism, but growing technical progress, flight demonstrations, government validation and private investment have helped reverse public perception. It is now recognized that the vertical flight market is poised for significant expansion over the next few years as eVTOL aircraft enter service that can have higher performance than conventional helicopters for certain missions, as well as lower operating costs and lower noise. 

VFS was founded as the American Helicopter Society in 1943 by the visionaries of the early helicopter industry, who believed that technological cooperation and collaboration were essential to support this new type of aircraft. Today, history is repeating itself, with VFS playing a similar role helping to advance today’s revolutionary eVTOL aircraft.

VFS holds the largest and longest-running vertical flight technical conference in the world, which this year will be its 78th Annual Forum & Technology Display on May 10-12, 2022, in Ft. Worth, Texas, USA: www.vtol.org/forum.

This press release was prepared and distributed by the Vertical Flight Society.

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