AHS International, The Vertical Flight Technical Society, applauds Uber Technologies for its bold plan to transform urban transportation with electric Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL) aircraft. Uber is convening its Elevate Summit this week (April 25-27) in Dallas, Texas, featuring more than 50 speakers over three days, many of whom are AHS members
The Uber White Paper “Fast-Forwarding to the Future of On-Demand Urban Air Transportation,” published in October 2016, forms the basis for the Elevate Summit. Uber, which revolutionized on-demand mobility with its ride-sharing mobile app and innovative business model, has unveiled its vision of how it hopes to transform on-demand mobility from solely a ground-based to the third dimension. AHS International provided expertise to Uber during the development of the Elevate White Paper.
Uber is holding the Summit “to build awareness about the Elevate mission, detail Uber’s role in the ecosystem, identify and accelerate opportunities to collaborate within the community, and define a path towards initial urban eVTOL operations.”
“The incredible promise and progress of eVTOL aircraft over the past four years has been phenomenal,” said AHS International Executive Director, Michael J. Hirschberg. “Electric and hybrid-electric propulsion systems have made tremendous advances. While still in its infancy, we are getting closer to the day when eVTOL aircraft will be able to deliver viable commercial services.”
Development of innovative eVTOL aircraft is being made possible by continuing advances in battery and electric motor technology, lightweight composites, additive manufacturing (3D printing), innovative new aircraft configurations, and autonomy.
Electric VTOL facilitates unconventional configurations, including distributed electric propulsion / multicopter designs. By using electrical power and propellers instead of rotors, eVTOL concepts obviate the need for mechanical shafts, gearboxes, transmissions, swashplates and other heavy, complex and high maintenance safety-critical systems that have traditionally precluded successful novel VTOL configurations.
AHS International to Honor Uber Technologies’ Engineering Director of Aviation
This year, AHS International bestowed its prestigious Paul E. Haueter Award to Mark D. Moore, Engineering Director of Aviation at Uber Technologies. The Haueter Award is given for an outstanding technical contribution to the field of vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft development other than a helicopter or an operational vertical flight aircraft. During a 30-year career at NASA, Moore was a driving force in transformative VTOL aviation research and electric propulsion, and continues his leadership today at Uber.
Moore will be recognized at the Grand Awards Banquet on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, during AHS International’s 73rd Annual Forum & Technology Display in Fort Worth, Texas, USA. Nearly 250 technical papers and 40 VIP speakers will discuss the Future of Vertical Flight, including special sessions on military and civil applications of electric and hybrid electric propulsion. More information is available at www.vtol.org/forum.
Through AHS, Moore helped organize and lead a series of joint AHS-AIAA-SAE-NASA Transformative Vertical Flight Workshops over the past four years supporting electric and hybrid electric VTOL aircraft development. At the most recent workshop in September 2016, Uber announced its plans for moving urban transportation to the skies with electric VTOL.
The workshops have brought together a growing community of aerospace professionals that have explored the technical, regulatory, and business aspects of on-demand, distributed electric propulsion, and vertiport-capable aircraft. The workshops have succeeded in engaging industry, academia and government agencies in developing a preliminary roadmap for emerging technologies and approaches. For information about past and future workshops is available at www.vtol.org/transformative.
“As a result of our leadership in advancing vertical flight, nearly a dozen eVTOL companies from around the world — including Uber — have joined AHS International to take advantage of the resources and benefits that the Society provides,” said Hirschberg. “The exchange of innovative concepts and ideas is having a ripple effect across the entire helicopter / vertical flight industry.”
Founded as the American Helicopter Society in 1943, AHS International is the global resource for information on vertical flight technology. The Society advocates, promotes and supports global vertical flight technology and professional development.
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