VFS eVTOL Directory Hits 600 Concepts

VFS eVTOL Directory Hits 600 Concepts

24-Jan-2022 Source: VFS

The Vertical Flight Society (VFS), the world’s leading non-profit organization working to advance vertical flight, announces that the number of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft concepts being tracked in its World eVTOL Aircraft Directory has now reached 600 designs from nearly 350 companies worldwide. The directory is part of the VFS Electric VTOL News website, www.eVTOL.news, the world’s oldest and most extensive online resource on eVTOL aircraft and technology.

After supporting the eVTOL community beginning in 2013, VFS launched the website in April 2017, when the list of known eVTOL programs that were under development reached about a dozen. “We realized that there needed some way for the public to keep track of all the new innovative concepts being explored,” said Mike Hirschberg, VFS Executive Director. “Since some innovative designs that seemed implausible at the time continued maturing into plausible approaches, we decided to catalogue every know design — from the silly to the serious.”

Since then, designs have been added and an ever-increasing pace: nearly 200 new designs were added in 2021 alone. The free site 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.

The number of design concepts catalogued (both active and defunct designs) has doubled over the past 18 months. 2021 also saw a doubling of the amount of funding being invested in eVTOL aircraft developers. 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, bringing the total to more than $10B today.

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 as a hybrid in-person/virtual event as part the VFS Transformative Vertical Flight (TVF) Technical Meeting in San Jose, California — continues as the world’s largest and longest-running event focusing on the incredible promise, progress and challenges of eVTOL aircraft. In-person attendance has now sold out — limited to 50% of the facility’s maximum capacity for safety and comfort — with only virtual registrations possible now. Full details and registration is available at www.vtol.org/TVF2022.

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 50 technical papers on rotorcraft aeromechanics, eVTOL, the Mars Helicopter, advanced air mobility (AAM) will be presented.

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.

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