Transforming Aviation with eVTOLs
There are a lot of technological advancements being developed in the airport industry. One of those is the creation of eVTOL.
When big names in the advanced air mobility (AAM) sector make grandiose predictions about global dominance, some people may think that the arrival of new eVTOL aircraft will mean the end of helicopters as we know them. But some see it as an alternative to helicopters and an additional form of transportation.
Yet, what exactly are eVTOLs? Have they got the potential to revolutionise air travel?
In this article
An introduction to eVTOL
eVTOL aircrafts, or electric vertical take-off and landing aircrafts, are one of the most recent advancements in the technology that supports transportation. These AAM developments are also called air taxis and flying taxis in some places. This is because they are electric aircraft that take off and land vertically.
The emergence of eVTOL aircraft could usher in a whole new operational paradigm due to their lower noise and carbon footprint.
These new ideas for aircraft that take off and land vertically (eVTOL) are different from helicopters because they are powered by batteries. Many of these urban air mobility (UAM) solutions are still in their testing phases, but sooner or later, they will be one of the keys to a sustainable airport environment.
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The Emergence of eVTOLs in the Aviation Industry
The rise of eVTOLs will give the potential for more AAMs to be developed in the future, apart from drones and helicopters. Leaders in the AAM sector estimate that it will take only two more years to have their eVTOL aircraft certified and begin offering commercial services in a number of early adopter cities.
These quiet, safe, electric aircraft make it possible to connect cities 30 to 100 miles apart in a number of very appealing ways. They also usually save a lot of money and reduce carbon emissions. Thus, the companies, Archer (Booth B5058), Joby, Lilium, Eve, Vertical Aerospace, and Volocopter, and China’s EHang, aim to target their first flights in Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas, and New York.
In March 2023, LIFT Aircraft reported that it had flown the first piloted eVTOL demonstration flights in Japan. The Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) assessed HEXA, and the demonstrations scheduled for this week were given the green light. With the help of Marubeni Corporation and GMO Internet Group, LIFT was able to successfully complete the flights.
The LIFT Aircraft team has been working with the U.S. Air Force on a Phase 2 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract to evaluate the feasibility of their eVTOL concept in the air since 2020.
With these changes, two Gulf-area helicopter companies, Falcon Aviation and Abu Dhabi Aviation (Booth C4436), are also getting ready to enter the AAM market. Falcon plans to use Eve's four-person plane to start air taxi service from Dubai's luxury Atlantis The Palm resort. Meanwhile, VPorts at Al Maktoum International Airport continues to work towards establishing an AAM business park.
The Future of Urban Air Mobility
eVTOL is a new way to get around that combines the vertical takeoff of helicopters and the horizontal flight of planes. Although eVTOLs will likely be in use within the next several years, we still need to set policies and regulations to include them in our transportation networks.
This development still needs to make sure that passengers are safe, have their own vertiports, and improve their operations so that they work with the transportation they need. The future of air travel will depend on the policies and regulations developed after this point, as well as how well they integrate with helicopters and other aircraft.
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