The Vertical Flight Society, the world’s leading advocate for advancing vertical flight technology, announces that it will host a two-hour panel discussion on “The Electric VTOL Revolution” on March 6, 2019 at the Helicopter Association International (HAI) Heli-Expo 2019 convention at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, Georgia. The session is sponsored by Vertical Magazine and will be moderated by Elan Head, Special Projects Editor.
Five years ago, the idea that large numbers of electric- and hybrid-electric-powered vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft will one day be traversing the skies above major world cities would have been viewed as a wild-eyed fantasy. Today, according to the VFS “World eVTOL Aircraft Directory” (www.eVTOL.news), “…more than $2B has been invested in 150 innovative eVTOL aircraft designs that hold the promise to be much faster, quieter and less expensive to operate than conventional helicopters.”
The VFS expert panel at Heli-Expo will feature seven industry leaders from helicopter aircraft and engine manufacturers, flight operations, heliport and infrastructure experts, and the world’s leading scheduled helicopter airline. Seating is limited but the event will be livestreamed; details will be posted at http://tinyurl.com/vfs-heli-expo-2019. The session details are as follows:
The Electric VTOL Revolution
March 6, 2019, 9:00 am – 11:00 am
Room B310, Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, Georgia
Moderated by Elan Head, Vertical Magazine
· Mike Hirschberg, Executive Director, Vertical Flight Society
· Scott Drennan, VP Innovation, Bell
· Zach Lovering, VP of Urban Air Mobility Systems, Airbus UAM
· Thierry Grison, VP Business Development Hybrid New Market, Safran
· Danny Sitnam, President/CEO, Helijet International, Inc.
· Rex Alexander, President, 5 Alpha
· Michael Dyment, Managing Partner, NEXA Capital Partners
“The vertical flight industry is seeing an unprecedented investment in disruptive new eVTOL aircraft that has caught many in the helicopter operations industry by surprise,” says Mike Hirschberg, Executive Director of the Vertical Flight Society. “VFS, however, has been briefing the transformative potential of eVTOL at Heli-Expo for the past four years and just held our sold-out 6th Annual Electric VTOL Symposium last month.”
VFS added its 150th eVTOL aircraft concept to its authoritative World VTOL Aircraft Directory this week. At Heli-Expo 2017, only 13 active eVTOL aircraft development programs were known to exist.
“The convergence of extraordinary advancements electric motors, batteries, hybrid-systems, control systems, low-cost design and manufacturing, autonomous systems and ‘green’ technologies is being leveraged by innovators in the automotive, drone and aerospace industries to create disruptive new eVTOL aircraft configurations that utilize distributed electric propulsion (DEP) systems rather than conventional rotors for vertical flight,” says Hirschberg. “These technology advancements — plus the democratization of computer modeling and simulation tools, and the openness of regulators to new types of aircraft — open the door to a revolution in future vertical flight aircraft capabilities.”
The Electric VTOL Revolution began about ten years ago when a handful of innovators saw this convergence and began developing new eVTOL concepts, mainly in secret. Since then, the emerging market has attracted strong interest from leading aerospace companies like Airbus, Bell, Boeing, Safran, Honeywell and Thales, as well as from potential customers like Uber that plan to develop a scalable intermodal air taxi network conducting tens of thousands of eVTOL air taxi flights per city each day.
“It’s easy to dismiss eVTOL aircraft until you realize that the technology is within reach,” says Hirschberg, who leads the world’s oldest and largest vertical flight organization. VFS counts as members more than 100 vertical flight organizations and nearly 6,000 of the world’s top vertical flight engineers, scientists and leaders, as well as students, military leaders and innovators.
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 VTOL aircraft.
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