EVTOL Technology – What is it?

An eVTOL is a type of aircraft that uses an electric power system to enable vertical takeoff, hovering, and landing. eVTOL technology provides an answer to the problem of urban air transportation that has captivated several generations in a row, and aims to reimagine how we commute in cities, offering offer promise of quiet, zero-emissions transport, replacing polluting cars on the road and noisy helicopters in the skies.

What does eVTOL stand for?

eVTOL stands for ‘electric vertical takeoff and landing’.

What are eVTOL Companies?

You would be excused if you found it difficult to recall the names of all the aspirational eVTOL manufacturers. There were more than 500 designs under development by Q2 2022. It is reasonable to assume that not everyone will find great success, and that there will most likely be market consolidation in the years to come.

There are however some key players to be aware of:

Vertical Aerospace

The UK’s Vertical Aerospace is looking for certification before the end of 2025, and they are making significant strides in the market. In September 2022, its VX4 completed its first successful test flight. With conditional orders for more than 1,400 aircraft, the firm is in the lead in the eVTOL sales race. With a range of more than 100 miles (160 km) and a top speed of 202 mph (325 km/h), the VX4 will accommodate four people including a pilot. Furthermore, it features technology from Honeywell’s F-35 fighter plane and was created in partnership with Rolls-Royce.

Archer Aviation

The eVTOL of choice for United Airlines is Archer. Archer is aiming for an end-of-2024 certification for Midnight – its five-seat (four passengers and a pilot) aircraft. With current battery technologies, Midnights will be able to travel up to 100 miles (160 km) at speeds as high as 150 mph (241 km/h).

Joby Aviation

Joby Aviation will most likely be one of Archer Aviation’s biggest rivals in bringing the first certified eVTOL to the US market. Early in its development, Joby began collaborating with NASA. Since then, it has received support from JetBlue Ventures alongside a $200 million investment from Delta Air Lines. They have also partnered with Uber to provide ride-sharing services in exchange for a $75 million investment from the taxi service. The aircraft itself will accommodate one pilot and four passengers, have a max range of 150 miles (approx. 240 km), and a top speed of 200 mph (322 km/h).

Lilium

Lilium has developed and tested five generations of technology demonstrators since its foundation in 2015, which has resulted in substantial advancements. Having made deals with operators across the world, in contrast to most eVTOL innovations, the Lilium jet is based on a jet instead of a helicopter, which makes it unique. Lilium says it envisions the six person cabin will range between 40 km (about 25 miles) and 200 km (124 miles) at launch, with these numbers increasing long term.

There are numerous additional eVTOL startups, with a number of different models and specifications. Some prominent names include Germany’s Volocopter (VoloCity), Chinese startup EHang (EH216), Beta Technologies (Alia), Airbus’ CityBus NextGen and many more.

What are the Benefits of EVTOL technology?

Noise reduction: Because a large portion of eVTOLs’ forward flight relies on wing-borne lift, which pulls the aircraft forward once it reaches a certain velocity, eVTOLs are quieter. In addition, noise levels are decreased because the rotor speed is lower than that of helicopters.

Safer to use: Because eVTOLs often have a huge number of rotors, the rotor design of eVTOLs lends itself to safety. There are a lot of them to fall back on if one of them fails. Similarly with its batteries, eVTOLs won’t be dependent on a single battery bank, making onboard energy still accessible even in the event of a battery bank failure.

Easy to use: eVTOLs have a greater level of usability due to computerised flight control systems that enable the aircraft to act more like a drone or fly-by-wire system that transforms controller movements into instructions for the aircraft’s components.

Environmental impact: eVTOLs are anticipated to produce reduced carbon emissions and other harmful substances, or even none at all. They will also be more cost-effective to operate than non-autonomous aircraft that use fuel, making it more accessible to consumers in general.

What could this mean for the future of urban transport?

eVTOL aircrafts are designed to solve some of the current transportation problems that people face daily, aspiring to solve the continuous issue of traffic congestion by introducing and implementing the concept of urban air mobility. Traffic congestion, noise pollution, and expensive air travel are soon to become a thing of the past.

How can TriMech Enterprise support eVTOL companies?

Our Reinvent The Sky Package supports startups, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in developing disruptive solutions; from small, light aircraft to electric vertical take-off and landing, as well as space launchers and satellite propulsion.

Companies seeking new ways to integrate technology into product development can leverage the solution on the cloud to accelerate the product lifecycle from concept to certification and gain a critical first-to-market advantage.

Key Benefits:

  • Accelerate the time from concept to prototype with less IT hardware and staff by leveraging a single platform on the cloud
  • Provide full traceability for OEMs or certification authorities and drive execution across teams or organizations by leveraging real-time key performance indicators
  • Keep programs on track and manage continuous change over the lifespan of the program

Key Functionality included in the package:

  • Systems Modeling and Simulation
  • Multidiscipline Trade-Off Analysis
  • Concept Synthesis
  • End-to-End Change Management
  • Collaborative Planning, Execution, and Analysis
  • Composites Engineering
  • Sheet Metal and Machined Part Engineering
  • Generative Design and Engineering
  • Electrical Wire and Harness Engineering
  • Rotorcraft and VTOL Aerodynamics and Aeroacoustics Engineering
  • Mechatronics Systems Engineering
  • Battery Module and Pack Engineering
  • As well as tools for simulating and planning your manufacturing processes

Get in touch today to speak to one of our advisors about how you can Reinvent the Sky.

Don’t just take our word for it: See how Vertical Aerospace leverage 3DEXPERIENCE to Reinvent the Sky

Vertical Aerospace is building its revolutionary electric aircraft and defining its processes on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the Cloud with the Reinvent the Sky industry solution experience. This gives the company access to enterprise-level design, engineering and simulation software in a single, secure, standards-based environment.

With all its operations running on the cloud, Vertical Aerospace has the agility it needs to accelerate product development. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform supports the company’s efforts to develop its product and processes in parallel and build a virtual twin of its aircraft that incorporates all disciplines and operations. This will help the company to navigate the complex certification process and maintain full traceability throughout the lifecycle of the aircraft.

We’re in the process of writing a new chapter in the aviation industry,” Eric Samson, Head of Engineering said. “We’re working with emerging technologies, including intuitive and safe flight control technologies from Honeywell. At the same time, we’re defining a new certification basis and collaborating with leading companies around the globe. The 3DEXPERIENCE platform will help us to develop and share the critical steps of requirements, ensure we’re developing the aircraft according to those requirements, do validation and also manage the certification of the aircraft with the authorities. It’s a one-stop-shop and single source of truth for Vertical Aerospace and our business partners that allows us to work concurrently wherever we are in the world.

Read the Full Case Study.

Are you ready to Reinvent the Sky? Get in touch today.