Do you remember life before Uber? Well, how could anyone forget sticking their arm out of a street corner to flag a cab down?
And while it seems like a distant memory now, the same is true of how the delivery of products has evolved over the years. In fact, companies like Amazon have become leaders in in-home delivery. And they deliver anything and everything you could possibly want to buy off the internet!
This has consequently placed us on the precipice of a new revolution, which uses technology to get things from point A to point B - but the latest revolution is soon to happen above the road and is called eVTOL.
What is eVTOL?
eVTOL is basically short for electric vehicle takeoff and landing. It's not an entirely new concept. But if manufacturers have anything to say about them, they are soon to be taxis of the future or, more accurately, "electric air taxis."
Some might refer to eVTOL as "flying cars"; however, they are more accurately referred to as electric helicopters. A standard helicopter is a VTOL as it takes off vertically or takes off up-and-down instead of rolling down a runway like an airplane. So if you make it electric, then it's in eVTOL.
You might not have known that miniature eVTOLs are actually a reality. So everything from DJI drones or Skydio, an autonomous drone much like an eVTOL, already exists.
These small drones carry small cargo like vaccines and cameras. However, eVTOL aircrafts are planning to get much bigger and better to serve more significant purposes in the near future.
How does eVTOL Work?
Electric aircraft are more viable today than ever before. This is thanks to advances in science, which have improved battery technology and electric motors. Depending on the cost as well as payload requirements, electric aircraft are anticipated to safely transport passengers and cargo for anywhere between 150 to 250 miles. This is on a single charge.
Consequently, eVTOL is able to operate thanks to three mechanisms. So let's take a closer look at them below:
eVTOL works on a multi-system much like your miniature drones that you fly around your neighborhood. However, a number of fixed rotors are offering forward thrust and upward lift by tilting the vehicle forward. This is done by combining several propellers with electric motors and large onboard batteries.
You'll also find a lift and cruise version. This includes several propellers that provide a lift much like a helicopter. Additionally, the second fixed motor provides the full propulsion.
Current eVTOL manufacturers also use the tilt-thrust method. In this case, the position can be changed from offering all the lift required to getting the aircraft aloft in a forward-facing position. Ultimately, this generates propulsion while more traditional wings offer the lift.
The methods mentioned above have their advantages and disadvantages.
Ultimately, they promise longer-range travel capabilities and higher payloads than other designs. Still, tilt trust is one of the most popular options used by eVTOL manufacturers for moving cargo and passengers over long distances. While there may have been some issues with engineering complexity, this has been solved. This is thanks to the recent progress in electric motor design.
What is the Primary Use of eVTOL Aircraft?
Well, none of us can be completely sure what the future holds for eVTOL; however, you may consider it an electric flying helicopter. The anticipated uses of eVTOL are similar to current day helicopters. But the hope is that they will be significantly cheaper to fly than current aircraft and they are more eco-friendly.
Some of the possibilities include moving cargo and passengers between cities. And they may also be used for a wide range of scientific and military applications. So to put it simply, if you need to put someone or something in the air, eVTOL could probably do it.
How Soon Will I Be Able to Fly in an eVTOL?
While flying in an eVTOL could be a reality sooner than we think, there are still lots of obstacles to overcome, and the biggest one is regulation. This is because approval still needs to be given for commercial passenger travel. And aircraft manufacturers need to prove beyond a doubt that these aircraft are incredibly safe.
The Proposed Benefits of eVTOL Aircraft
The purpose of eVTOL aircraft is to eliminate some of the existing transportation issues experienced by people on a daily basis. So by introducing and implementing the concept of urban air mobility, eVTOL aims to eliminate the ongoing problem of traffic congestion for one. The goal is also to eliminate noise pollution by enabling key noise cancellation features, one of them being smaller rotors.
According to research, eVTOL developers have achieved four times the safety level of helicopters. This translates to double the safety standards of autonomous aircraft.
Electric-powered aircraft are not only cheaper but cleaner than gas turbines. Additionally, carbon emissions are reduced at the point of operation. And while more progress needs to be made, it's safe to say that aerial mobility will take off sooner rather than later.
eVTOL manufacturers also aim to eliminate the need for an air traffic controller and pilot. This will make the operation completely autonomous. In fact, many autonomous flights have already taken place, and you can have a look at them here.
The Future of Travel
Thanks to some incredible breakthroughs in aviation, eVTOL aircrafts are soon to be a reality. Traffic congestion, noise pollution, and expensive air travel are soon to become a thing of the past. Airacer, as one of the leading groups in the aviation industry, has partnered with key industry leaders to develop eVTOL of our own. If you'd like to be the first to experience the new frontier in urban mobility, stay tuned for more news and developments in this exciting new possibility in aviation！
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