Lots of good News of eVTOL’s evolution
Investments, mergers, orders –all by credible sources
Early accident would be disastrous- SMS safety precaution a must
The news surrounding the development of electric Vertical Take Off and Landing is uniformly exciting. The uses of this disruptive technologies are only limited by human imagination – with boundaries for environmental considerations, technological developments, siting infrastructure and public acceptance (particularly about unmanned flight).
As a preface to this bibliography, it should be noted that this future could be impacted by an accident as discussed below.
Here are few of the headlines contributing to these expectations:
American said it expects to make a “pre-order” up to 250 aircraft — suggesting a price tag of $4 million per aircraft — with an option for 100 more. The order hinges on Vertical meeting certain terms, which the companies did not detail.
The deal is the latest move by a major airline to demonstrate interest in developing technology around electric aircraft and alternative fuels
SOURCE: American said the aircraft, which are electric and take off and land vertically like helicopters, could zip customers around congested cities to get to and from airports. But that could be a long way off: Vertical plans to conduct the first test flight of its VA-X4 aircraft later this year, and American’s order is contingent on the aircraft’s approval by regulators and other milestones.
Vertical said its aircraft will hold four passengers and a pilot and fly at speeds of up to 200 miles an hour with a range of over 100 miles. Vertical said it aims to begin commercial operations in 2024 once European regulators sign off.
The airline said it will help electric-aircraft startup Archer develop an aircraft capable of helicopter-style, vertical takeoffs and landings. Archer hopes to deliver its first aircraft in 2024, if it wins certification from the Federal Aviation Administration…
Cowen analyst Helane Becker said United could use Archer’s aircraft could operate between New York City and United’s hub operation at Newark Liberty Airport in New Jersey, or from downtown Chicago to O’Hare Airport, allowing airline customers to avoid traffic.
Chicago-based United portrayed the move as part of a broader plan to invest in technology behind cleaner modes of air travel. CEO Scott Kirby said Archer’s design “has the clear potential to change how people commute within major metropolitan cities all over the world.”
– Order for up to 500 electric aircraft valued at US$2 billion
– Avolon-e becomes a launch customer for Vertical’s VA-X4 eVTOL
– The VA-X4 eVTOL will revolutionise air travel with zero emissions
– Order underscores Avolon’s commitment to combat climate change and the electrification of air transport
The agreement will combine Avolon’s scale and deep industry relationships with Vertical’s leading technological position in the eVTOL space and will see both companies collaborate throughout the development, road map to certification and subsequent commercial roll-out of the VA-X4. Avolon will join Microsoft, Rolls-Royce, Honeywell, and American Airlines as equity investors in Vertical, working also with Virgin Atlantic who will be a VA-X4 launch airline customer in Europe.
Embraer’s Eve Urban Air Mobility Solutions subsidiary is negotiating a possible merger with Zanite Acquisition Corp, a special purpose acquisition company that started trading on the Nasdaq market in November, raising an initial $230 million. Late on June 10, in a statement from Antonio Carlos Garcia, the Brazilian aerospace group’s executive vice president of finance and investor relations, Embraer responded to a Bloomberg report earlier in the day that Eve and Zanite are preparing to announce a $2 billion merger.
Joby Aviation has agreed to G1 certification conditions with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) for its electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, the company announced on Feb. 9. The company also announced that it has achieved its next milestone in the Agility Prime program by beginning to generate revenue.
The certification agreement between Joby and the FAA will lay out requirements for Joby’s eVTOL aircraft to be certified for commercial operations marking a major step in the company’s goal of operating aircraft in 2024.
Billions invested, orders placed, alliances formed, and other news show major commercial commitments to the eVTOL technology development. Witness Boeing’s withdrawal from an SST project demonstrates the significance of money. Perhaps the most encouraging of these articles is the one reporting that Joby Aviation has a certification agreement with the FAA. That’s an impressive milestone on a path to an aircraft found airworthy and certificated.
SAFETY must be the paramount concern for all who are involved in the early eVTOL operations. All decisions which involve risk must be made with objective, hard data—weather, MX, crew fatigue– must override the “need” to show the reliability of this new mode of transportation.
You Never Get a Second Chance to Make a First Impression. This aphorism should be in the ready room of every eVTOL operator. An early accident will be the subject of intense media scrutiny, and a caustic report about an Air Taxi crash could permanently damage these operations and future sales. Every precaution must be taken to lower risk.
SMS is the TOOL for managing aviation risks. Its methodology compels the operator to assess in a comprehensive logical fashion. For a new eVTOL, this methodology to define its manuals, processes and policies. The establishment of an initial safety culture would benefit from SMEs who has extensive experience in inculcating this approach throughout the organization.
Quantitative analysis provides a reliable standard to determine the safest paths. The carrier compiles its own data and can use this SMS information to monitor its crews and equipment on a real time basis.
It would be highly recommended that the eVTOL operators share their data to identify trends before they become a risk.
Electric VTOL (vertical takeoff and landing) aircraft are considered by many to be the future of civil, private, and military aviation. Based on electric propulsion, this technology makes it possible to develop air mobility and open up the possibilities for exploiting this new space (flying taxis, deliveries, etc.).
However, for air taxis to gain public approval amidst this environment of increased scrutiny, regulators and manufacturers will have to convince the public they are safe – both for passengers and those on the ground.
The Canadian company Horizon Aircraft says the early eVTOL passenger models used in commercial operations should have safety records equal to those in the commercial aviation sector to prevent accidents and fatalities. According to the company, the global spotlight on the first air taxis will be sufficiently intense that any accidents and safety risks would set the industry back years in terms of passenger confidence and regulatory approval.
-  Air Operator Certification (AOC) under 14 CFR Part 135
- Communications and Data Security
- Concept of Operations
- Detect and Avoid Technology
- Heliport/Vertiport Qualifications
- Operational Risk Assessment
- Safety Management System
- Type Certification (TC) and Production Certification (PC)
- UAS/UAM Air Traffic Management (ATM)
JDA has extensive experience with both small and large scale systems integration including certification of pilots, facilities, ATM, operations, maintenance and aircraft. The most critical item is that safety cannot be compromised for any commercial UAS and UAM operation so “safe but economical” will require a unique approach. Aviation regulatory and safety principles be instilled from the onset, then equivalent but more commercially viable criteria be developed as the system matures and experience grows.
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