An electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft is a variety of VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft that uses electric power to hover, take off, and land vertically. This technology came about thanks to major advances in electric propulsion (motors, batteries, fuel cells, electronic controllers) and the growing need for new vehicles for urban air mobility (air taxi). Examples are being developed by aircraft companies such as Boeing, Airbus, Embraer, Honda, Toyota, Hyundai and NASA.
The Electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft is the future of everyday transportation, moving commuters off the ground and into the air. This vehicle is currently in the conceptual design stage and there is a lot of competition to create the first vehicle of its kind. SIMULIA of Dassault Systèmes is recognized as offering best in class simulation technology to optimize engineering designs for eVTOL. SIMULIA helps eVTOL manufacturers assess conceptual designs in the areas of aerodynamics, noise, propulsion, efficiency, and power consumption, to name a few. Beyond the safety and efficiency of the vehicle, Dassault Systèmes can also help to optimize city planning and infrastructure development with 3DEXPERIENCity. Urban Air Mobility and the future of mass transit is made possible with SIMULIA technology.
Few eVTOL Company List/Highlights;
Eve Air Mobility
Eve is a new independent company founded by Embraer dedicated to accelerating the Urban Air Mobility (UAM) ecosystem. Benefitting from a startup mindset, backed by Embraer’s more than 50-year history of aerospace expertise, Eve is taking a holistic approach to progressing the UAM ecosystem with an advanced electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle (eVTOL), comprehensive global services
Volocopter is a German urban air mobility (UAM) developer that functions as an aircraft manufacturer, an airport, and an aerial pioneer all in one.
The city is also home to three test and development sites focused on the progress of its VoloCity air taxi.
In addition to Bruschel, Volocopter also operates in Munich, where it focuses on the VoloDrone for heavy cargo transportation and the development of the electric VoloConnect for longer flights.
Looking ahead, Volocopter is working on launching one of the first eVTOL urban air taxi services in the world in Singapore within the next three years. https://www.volocopter.com/
The Chinese eVTOL developer EHang is poised to roll out a new autonomous aerial vehicle with triple the range of its current model. The EHang 216 eVTOL has a range of around 35 km.
UK-based Vertical Aerospace. Like Joby, it’s focusing on a longer-range eVTOL. Its VA-1X has a range of 100 miles with a cruise speed of 150mph.
In 2020, Vertical Aerospace won funding from the UK government to push its technology forward. Part of this will go towards improving battery technology, which it plans to finish by October 2022. Despite lacking a physical prototype, VA hopes to be on the market by 2024.
Urban Aeronautics is based in Tel Aviv, Israel, and has quite a different eVTOL concept. Unlike others on this list of eVTOL companies, it has no wings and its propellers are hidden in the body.
The CityHawk, its eVTOL, is unsurprisingly an urban model. Its range is 93 miles with a speed of 145mph. It has a hybrid powertrain with hydrogen fuel cells to improve range. In mid-2020, Urban Aeronautics signed a deal with American Hatzolah Air to produce medical eVTOLs.
Flying Whales is a French aeronautic start-up. It develops an environmentally-friendly airship, the LCA60T, designed to transport heavy loads, such as wood logs or specific gear like wind-turbine blades, without structure supports.
Lilium is another Germany-based entry on this list of eVTOL companies. Its Lilium Jet sits in the medium-range bracket but has a better range than its competitors. The Jet has a range of 186 miles with a cruise speed of 186mph.
It looks very much like a “normal” plane with wings (but no tail). The rotors are hidden in its wings, powered by 36 motors and a massive lithium-ion battery. The Lilium Jet will carry 4 passengers and a pilot and plans to launch in 2025. Like Joby, Lilium has already launched its IPO.
The Sabrewing Rhaegal RG-1 is another plane-looking eVTOL. For an electric aircraft, its maximum payload is impressive but is nothing compared to the Flying Whales. It’ll carry up to 5,400lbs. for 1000 miles at speeds of 22mph.
But its main advantage over the competition is its claim to fly in all weathers. As we’ve discussed elsewhere, this is a major barrier for most eVTOL designs, so it could give Sabrewing a massive leg up. Unfortunately, it hasn’t explained how it’ll do this, yet. https://www.sabrewingaircraft.com/
USA-based Beta Technologies has one of the most reputable contracts on this list of eVTOL companies. It’s already signed a deal with logistics giant UPS to produce a fleet of drones. The first will enter service in 2024 and, by the end of the order, UPS could have as many as 150.
But these are just “simple” drones. Beta also has the Alia-250c, a piloted logistics eVTOL with a maximum payload of 6,999lbs and a range of 250 miles. The wing and rotor design is quite different to other eVTOLs and was apparently inspired by the Arctic tern.