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The Vertical Flight Society (VFS) recently added the 200th electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft concept to its online World eVTOL Aircraft Directory. The directory, launched in 2017, is the world’s most comprehensive compendium of electric and hybrid/electric-powered VTOL aircraft in development by aerospace companies, entrepreneurs and inventors around the globe.
“We recognized in 2013 that there was a rapid convergence of technologies — including advances in electric motors, batteries, power management systems, fly-by-wire flight controls and lightweight composite structures — that would enable what we call the Electric VTOL Revolution,” said Mike Hirschberg, VFS executive director.
VFS held the world’s first technical meeting on eVTOL in 2014 and the Society’s seventh Annual Electric VTOL Symposium will be held in Silicon Valley in January. “Electric VTOL is one of the most exciting developments in aviation since the birth of the helicopter more than 75 years ago. It holds the promise of being even more transformative than the advent of turbine engines.”
Thousands of people are now engaged in eVTOL aircraft development — including more than 60 percent of the VFS’s corporate members — and the Electric VTOL Revolution is being propelled by many of the world’s leading aerospace, technology, automotive, transportation and distribution companies, as well government agencies, militaries and academia. Missions enabled by electric VTOL technologies will likely include urban air mobility (UAM), regional air mobility (RAM), cargo delivery, personal air vehicles (PAVs), emergency medical service (EMS) and many others as yet unknown.
“The advent of distributed electric propulsion (DEP) has led to radical new eVTOL aircraft configurations that don’t resemble traditional fixed-wing aircraft or rotorcraft. DEP provides developers with exciting new opportunities to radically reduce the operating cost, noise and complexity of vertical flight,” said Hirschberg.
The Society began compiled the World eVTOL Aircraft Directory in late 2016 when only a half-dozen electric-powered VTOL aircraft were known to exist and the term “eVTOL” was only used by a small segment of the aerospace community. The VFS Directory on www.eVTOL.news — the world’s first and foremost website on electric VTOL — also features more than 200 feature articles and news items, and is updated daily by VFS staff. The free online directory logged its 50th eVTOL aircraft in January 2018, its 100th in July 2018 and its 150th in January 2019.