electric Vertical Take-off and Landing (eVTOL) vehicle
Electric Vertical Take-off and Landing (eVTOL) vehicles refer to types of aircraft that can take off, hover and land vertically. Contrary to more traditional aircraft, their propulsive power is generated through batteries.This has been made possible with the new developments in battery technology allowing the use of alternative fuel sources.
Use case scenarios
eVTOLs are being designed for piloted and/or autonomous flight for the transport of passengers and goods from one destination to the other; tourism activities such as sightseeing, therefore A-A trips and others. Advanced Air Mobility (AAM), including Urban Air Mobility (UAM), aims to encompass the use of eVTOLs for its varied operational usage as passenger and cargo transport between urban, rural and suburban areas.
Utilisation as air taxis, medical assistance, goods delivery, as personal air vehicles (PAVs) are many of eVTOLs civil uses. These vehicles also have military and commercial applications, with a number of companies and countries determined to invest in opportunities to utilise this future flight technology. One such example is Agility Prime, a program part of the US Air Force looking to de-risk and accelerate the AAM/UAM vehicles implementation.
eVTOL design landscape
VTOLs comprising an electric architecture include multicopters, quadcopters, hybrid fixed-wing and propellers, tilt-wing and fixed-wing vector thrust concepts.
Multicopters incorporate the use of more than 4 fixed propellers to generate lift with current capacity to carry between 2-4 passengers reaching speeds between 80-100 km/h (50-62 mph), such as the Volocopter.
Quadcopters incorporate four fixed propellers in a quad push-pull propulsion group, to generate lift with current capacity to carry between 2-6 passengers reaching speeds between 120-150 km/hr (75-93 mph), such as EHang 216, City Airbus. Vertical Aerospace VA-X4 is designed to follow the hybrid concept of forward facing propellers and vertical propellers for forwards and vertical flight.
The hybrid concept has a capacity to carry 4-6 passengers reaching speeds of 150- 200 km/h (93-112 mph).
Vertical Flight Societies eVTOL directory provides a listing of over 300 registered eVTOL designs.
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