BLADE Urban Air Mobility recently announced that they will be extending their jet charter services to customers at operating cost to support those needing urgent on demand transportation from affected areas. From a BLADE press release: “Given the unprecedented level of uncertainty regarding commercial flight travel restrictions, mandatory health screenings for international commercial arrivals (with hours-long waits), and seemingly random...
BLADE Urban Air Mobility recently announced that they will be extending their jet charter services to customers at operating cost to support those needing urgent on demand transportation from affected areas.
From a BLADE press release: “Given the unprecedented level of uncertainty regarding commercial flight travel restrictions, mandatory health screenings for international commercial arrivals (with hours-long waits), and seemingly random decisions regarding quarantines, many of our fliers are eager to transport family, friends, and colleagues home via private air travel.”
BLADE furthered the statement by outlining that they have been coordinating with federal authorities, full-time state and local government advisors, and operator partners to help customers navigate the confusion regarding current, planned, and in-process restrictions and processes that remain critical to making informed judgments regarding private air travel at this time.
The key announcement: In an effort to best assist our community, BLADE is now providing charter availability for our entire accessible fleet of long-range jets at operating cost to anyone in need of transportation from an international location back to the United States.
Additionally, given the shortage of available aircraft, and in an effort to help as many travelers as possible, BLADE encouraged that these flights be shared, either through coordination by BLADE or by fliers themselves, assuming travelers had taken necessary precautions to ensure that they were not infected.
Why it’s important: BLADE’s reduction in cost for charters and on-demand transportation services has allowed customers access to international travel when they may not be able to access via any other means due to restrictions placed on commercial airlines. Regardless, those who are in greatest need of traveling for urgent situations, or attempting to return home to their families, still have the opportunity to do so. This announcement also falls in concert with the larger direction of the commercial airline industry being hit incredibly hard by the COVID-19 outbreaks, causing reductions in carrying capacity, crew leaves of absence, and extensive delays, cancellations, and rescheduling of airfares.
The Aerial Mobility industry is providing Next-gen technology to combat next-gen problems The role of technology and disruptive mobility solutions had a cemented station in the technology sphere across the globe, and a defined and measurable rate of progress, for the most part. Two months ago, that all changed with the rapidly spreading COVID-19 outbreak from China, straining medical personnel,...
The Aerial Mobility industry is providing Next-gen technology to combat next-gen problems
The role of technology and disruptive mobility solutions had a cemented station in the technology sphere across the globe, and a defined and measurable rate of progress, for the most part. Two months ago, that all changed with the rapidly spreading COVID-19 outbreak from China, straining medical personnel, first responders, local, nation, and global political organizations, and the economy worldwide.
Many of the advantages of the future generation of aerial mobility technology relate primarily to the unrealized functionalities, and possibility, that unmanned, on-demand aerial mobility transportation tech provides to the world in unique situations with use cases that aren’t currently defined. Here are a few ways that COVID-19 is accelerating the development and deployment of aerial mobility technology worldwide.
Surveillance Drones Enforcing Quarantines
Billion dollar industries don’t normally emerge overnight, but in Shenzhen, China, home to over 70% of the world’s civilian drones, surveillance technology that was previously used for surveying and real estate applications has been repurposed to support the enforcement of curfews. Forbes and the South China Morning Post overviewed the details of how some surveillance drones are helping to enforce the curfews that are estimated to affect some 50 million residents. Shenzhen Smart Drone UAV’s were the primary use case for reconfigured platforms.
Chairman of Shenzhen MicroMultiCopter Aero Technology, Lu Zhihui, has performed the same reconfiguration of surveying and mapping drones that can be geared with loudspeakers, thermal sensors, 40-times zoom lenses and flood lights to help enforce quarantines, if necessary.
According to SCMP, MicroMultiCopter has 100 drones to local authorities in 11 Chinese cities since the outbreak led to citywide quarantines in late January. The company is also working with government agencies that include the police, transport department and local marketing divisions that promote and advertise the restrictions. Lu stated that each drone can patrol a 10 square kilometer urban area in an hour, saving the work of more than 100 police officers in dozens of patrol cars.
Lu also added that MicroMultiCopter plans to more than double its production to 5,000 units this year, from last year’s 2,000. Lu did not comment on the list price of the technology.
Corollaries in Disaster Relief
Across continents, the benefits of using drones is clear: the European Emergency Number Association, in collaboration with drone maker DJI and Research Firm Black Channel, determined that drones find those needing rescue significantly faster than ground-based Search and Rescue (SAR) methods. This corollary doesn’t apply directly to COVID-19 response, but it does underscore the specific advantages that drones have over other aircraft and ground based system in natural disaster relief scenarios.
Rapid Transport of Medical Goods
Aerodeli, an Antwork branch company, gained the first commercial drone delivery license from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) in October of 2019. Since February 6th, 2020, the company has been utilizing their technology for safe transport of medical sample technology.
GPS World Magazine categorized Aerodeli’s work as “RA3 and tr7s drones and unmanned RH1 station [that] are ensuring that medical samples and quarantine materials can travel with minimal risk between Xinchang County People’s Hospital and Xinchang County’s disease control center. The automatic, unmanned air delivery system significantly reduces contact between samples and personnel, as well as improves delivery speed.”
Both the rate of transport of these samples, and the safety with which the samples are being moved both contribute to the value proposition of aerial mobility technology as a key enabler for addressing the complicated societal problems of the future. Drones require limited human interaction, save sample loading and unloading, and the rate of transport has been reported as up to 50% faster for current intracity trips (according to the flight statistics of these drones operation in Xinchang). This time savings is an exciting figure as the speed of transport will continue to increase in speed as the industry continues to mature due to advancements in flight path sequencing and loading/unloading flows.
Beyond COVID-19 Transport
Many other examples of medical goods transport via air taxi exist and are being tested at this time – including Beta Technologies’ Ava prototype, designed in conjunction with United Therapeutics to transport human organs in time critical, emergency scenarios. Tier 1 Engineering, another startup funded by United Therapeutics, utilizes energy efficient, battery powered helicopters to transport human organs in critical scenarios, and serves as a hybrid for large scale aerial mobility operations for human organ transplants until more custom solutions are certified by aviation regulatory authorities.
Delivery Drones for food and consumables delivery
Quarantine enforcement and medical good transport some of the primary applications of drone aerial mobility and drone technology to fighting coronavirus, but some additional, indirect benefits also provide the necessary support mechanisms that facilitate societal upkeep during heightened sensitivity periods to disease, infection, or natural disaster.
An often overlooked analogue is the role that drones and future mobility technology provided during the Hurricanes Katrina and Harvey – drones allowed for rapid aerial surveying, search and rescue, and medical goods supply and transport, on a limited basis. These events occurred over 10 years ago – and the maturation of mobility technology in those past 10 years have allowed for the heightened level of societal benefit from the tech itself.
On a larger scale, companies such as DHL and UPS have piloted their own drone delivery services. These services will allow at scale the free flowing movement that is highly desired of large fulfillment centers and e-commerce stores. While challenging the describe in this manner, the outbreak of COVID-19 is a fortunate event and forcing function for the progress of larger scale drone deliveries, as the benefits of a large network that could transport food, consumables, and emergency/disaster relief equipment in a scenario such as a hurricane, earthquake, or virus outbreak have been made blatantly clear.
An Aside on Enabling Technologies
While many of the technologies that are affecting and responding to the COVID-19 outbreak perform direct functions, ancillary and supporting technologies, such as low-altitude airspace management, infrastructure, battery technology, AI flight controllers, and advanced aerospace grade composite materials all contribute to the overall success of these disruptive mobility applications.
Why it’s important: While mass-scale commercial aerial mobility technology will not be viable for at least another 10 years, the societal benefits and value proposition to the everyday consumer, even if that consumer isn’t riding in an air taxi, are evident amplified due to the COVID-19 outbreak. As early as 2009, during Hurricane Katrina, drones and disruptive mobility technology has been utilized to aid in disaster relief, search and rescue, medical transport, and surveillance operations.
Oftentimes, massive global events, such as wars, natural disasters, or political turmoil provide, ironically, some of the greatest progress in technological advancements that have ever been accomplished: The Cold War and the Moon Landing, WWII and the jet engine, the industrial revolution, and so on. While the current global outlook is negative, the situation that has emerged is one ripe for taking advantage of the greatest opportunity afforded to anyone: the right to do better and do what was not possible, before it was said it could be done.
With content from Forbes, South China Morning Post, GPS World Magazine, CNN, and CNBC.
teTra Aviation, an aerial mobility design team from Tokyo won the $100,000 Pratt & Whitney Disruptor Award at the first GoFly Prize Final Fly-Off. Tasuku Nakai, a doctoral student at the University of Tokyo, was lead of the team that won the award for its teTra 3 machine. The teTra 3 was awarded for its system integration and design for safety, which exceeded the accomplishments of other...
teTra Aviation, an aerial mobility design team from Tokyo won the $100,000 Pratt & Whitney Disruptor Award at the first GoFly Prize Final Fly-Off. Tasuku Nakai, a doctoral student at the University of Tokyo, was lead of the team that won the award for its teTra 3 machine. The teTra 3 was awarded for its system integration and design for safety, which exceeded the accomplishments of other teams related to safety and accident prevention.
The Final Fly-Off was postponed to a later date due to high winds which prevented any aircraft from flying from Moffet Federal Airfield at the AMES Research Center. This also means that the award of the $1M and $500,000 prizes were postponed for the overall winner and the quietest flyer, respectively.
The GoFly competition, in total, included 854 teams that submitted 3800-plus innovators. Over 100 countries were represented as participating in the GoFly challenge, a competition that has been ongoing for the past two years.
“After much anticipation, we are thrilled to announce that teTra Aviation is the winner of the Pratt & Whitney Disruptor Award,” said GoFly Founder and CEO Gwen Lighter. “The team displayed the technical design and creative prowess that we set out to inspire when we created the GoFly Prize. teTra created a unique personal flyer and we look forward to supporting them as they take the next steps towards revolutionizing human mobility.”
“Innovation has always been at the core of our DNA at Pratt & Whitney and we applaud GoFly’s efforts to transform the industry,” confirmed Geoff Hunt, Senior Vice President, Engineering. “We’re proud to sponsor such an exceptional competition and we designed the Disruptor Award to recognize the team that challenged the status quo, delivered unique thinking into a complex issue and considered safety, reliability, durability and system integration.”
“This is beyond my imagination,” said Nakai. “The whole team is glad to celebrate this achievement. Personal flying is the future of transportation and I know there will be a day when every person will be able to take off and land anywhere. On behalf of my entire team, I want to say thank you to GoFly and Pratt & Whitney.”
Prior to the Final Fly-Off, held at Moffett Federal Airfield during Leap Day, 10 teams were named Phase I winners and were awarded $20,000 prizes for their concepts, while five teams were named Phase II winners and were awarded $50,000 for their prototype submissions. The GoFly organizers stated that “GoFly looks forward to awarding that $1 million prize in the near future.”
The GoFly Prize is supported by Grand Sponsor Boeing, Disruptor Award Sponsor Pratt & Whitney, as well as more than 20 national and international aviation and innovation organizations. All teams participating in the competition also benefited from the guidance and expertise of a dedicated Mentors and Masters program.
Why it’s important: While the Final Fly-Off has not yet been completed, the Disruptor award’s impact to teTra and to the larger personal and aerial mobility industries, while small in total magnitude, can make a large difference for teTra’s advancement of their technology and future designs. While the teTra may not be the end all solution to on-demand commercial aerial mobility, the enabling technologies related to development of this machine could easily be applied to larger UAM operations for greater safety and reliability in the future.
The United States Air Force plans to release a solicitation for its Agility Prime program: an exchange of government resources in exchange for knowledge transfer, aerial demonstration flights, and potential buyouts of various aerial mobility companies that elect to participate. The Agility Prime program is the flagship eVTOL program for the USAF, as an increasing number of military organizations across...
The United States Air Force plans to release a solicitation for its Agility Prime program: an exchange of government resources in exchange for knowledge transfer, aerial demonstration flights, and potential buyouts of various aerial mobility companies that elect to participate.
The Agility Prime program is the flagship eVTOL program for the USAF, as an increasing number of military organizations across the world become more and more interested in applications of aerial mobility technology as supplemental (and eventually in replacement of) current mobility offerings for both manned and unmanned missions.
USAF Acquisition Chief, Dr. Will Roper, told reporters of the Prime Project: “It’s going to be a challenge-based acquisition plan, so we’ll have different durations of flight and payloads that have to be carried. And if you pass the hurdle then you’ll move further down the wickets of getting safety certified by the Air Force and moving on to a procurement contract.”
Dr. Roper also added that the intent of the project was to identify candidates that can conduct repeatable and regular flights of their eVTOL designs “in 2020” meaning that companies searching for seed funding, or that were earlier on the in preliminary design phases wouldn’t be ideally suited for Agility Prime.
Avionics International reports on the specific requirements the USAF has established for participating aircraft: “Aircraft applying to participate must make their first full-scale flight prior to December 17, 2020, and be capable of carrying 3-8 personnel greater than 100 miles at speeds exceeding 100 mph, with an endurance over 60 minutes — capabilities that very few currently-flying eVTOLs claim to have.”
Additionally, Agility Prime serves as an early certification pathway for many aerial mobility companies, which could potentially aid in speeding the certification process for civilian flight operations – a commonly cited hurdle in successful deployment of commercial air taxi operations. Economic validations will be conducted on the following five topics (and these criteria will be evaluated against the claim of aerial mobility becoming a more efficient means of transport than any existing medium today)”
- Lower maintenance cost due to simplified mechanical design
- Improved safety and declining personnel demands, using autonomy
- Affordable quantity, based on potential mass production
- Improved acoustics, employing distributed propulsion
- Greater flexibility and reduced infrastructure needs, with runway independence
Why it’s important: The Agility Prime program represents a large commitment from the USAF to be at the forefront of aerial mobility technology, while also serving as a method of benefit for existing eVTOL manufacturers. The offering of test ranges and Air Force certification processes represents one fo the largest tangible commitments by a large government agency to advance the aerial mobility industry to date. While the USAF’s funding is unconfirmed, reports from various independent news outlets state that the USAF has achieved the necessary funding to commence its solicitation.
From Volocopter Press Release German Urban Air Mobility company Volocopter (Bruchsal) and Southeast Asia’s super app Grab (Singapore) announced that they will conduct a joint feasibility study on urban air mobility as part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore the prospect of urban air mobility solutions in the region’s megacities. The feasibility study will look into the most...
From Volocopter Press Release
German Urban Air Mobility company Volocopter (Bruchsal) and Southeast Asia’s super app Grab (Singapore) announced that they will conduct a joint feasibility study on urban air mobility as part of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to explore the prospect of urban air mobility solutions in the region’s megacities.
The feasibility study will look into the most suitable cities and routes to deploy air taxis in Southeast Asian cities; evaluate the best use cases for air taxis, and explore the possibility of joint flight tests, among other things.
The findings will lay the groundwork for potential future cooperation between both companies which could include launching services related to urban air mobility. Both companies aim to help solve mobility issues and improve the quality of life through technological innovations.
Florian Reuter, CEO of Volocopter: “This cooperation is another important step towards the commercialization of Urban Air Mobility in one of the most traffic congested regions of the world. Together, we will learn from unprecedented insights into the economic and societal opportunity of launching our services on the hottest routes in the Southeast Asian Market. This collaboration also offers the potential for a much larger cooperation which could eventually extend intermodal mobility to the skies.”
Volocopter has been pioneering the development of urban air mobility since the company proved in 2011 that electrically powered vertical flight is indeed possible for humans. With flights in Dubai, Las Vegas, Helsinki, Stuttgart, and most recently Singapore, the technology is maturing towards certification quickly. For the flight over Singapore’s Marina Bay, the company worked closely with the local Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS). Recently, Volocopter has been certified as a Design Organisation by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and works in close collaboration with them to receive the necessary permits to start commercial operations.
Chris Yeo, Head of Grab Ventures, said: “As a superapp that operates across 339 cities in Southeast Asia, Grab has gathered traffic patterns and customer insights in the region that can help our teams come up with the most innovative mobility solutions to plug the gaps in the transport landscape. This partnership will enable Volocopter to further develop urban air mobility solutions that are relevant for Southeast Asian commuters so they can decide on their preferred journey option based on their budgets, time constraints and other needs, in a seamless way.”
Why it’s important: This partnership is hugely important for both Grab and Volocopter since the TAM in Singapore and southeast Asia for aerial mobility applications is quite large – and the pace of aerial mobility technology development in those areas is extremely quick as well. Volocopter’s continued efforts to expand their global reach and become a commonly-known air taxi and mobility company (for now in the realm of the aerial mobility industry, at least) is furthered by the announcement of this MOU.
What could today’s air carriers tell us about future aerial mobility operations? Recently founded Breeze airways serves as a case study for the operational framework that aerial mobility operations intend on capitalizing upon in order to connect the most people through disruptive transportation methods. David Neeleman, who founded JetBlue over 20 years ago, announced plans to start Breeze airlines, his...
David Neeleman, who founded JetBlue over 20 years ago, announced plans to start Breeze airlines, his fifth airline startup, earlier this week. Neeleman has previously launched Morris Air, WestJet, JetBlue and Azul. Breeze will be a Utah-based carrier, and Neeleman has stated that his flights intend to serve underserved and unappreciated city pairs using primarily A220 and E195 aircraft.
According to The Chicago Tribune, Neeleman’s approach is to “prioritize a customer-centric system by taking methods from Uber and Amazon and launching an app-based toolkit that would allow passengers to find tickets, change or update travel plans, and add other travel necessities such as car rentals and accommodations”.
This approach, and the larger approach from Breeze to operate underserved city pairs with more efficient commercial-sized aircraft, reflect the general sentiment of the economics of the aerial mobility industry – create a point to point nodal network of operations, in lieu of a hub and spoke model – to realize the largest benefits for reduction of connecting flights (in airline speak) or additional car or bike/scooter trips (in aerial mobility speak).
While this comparison is far from direct, it helps to emphasize the high level direction of the commercial airline industry, and underscore the acknowledgment of executive leadership in commercial aviation operations to start to shift their mindsets.
Neeleman also commented on the ease and customer experience with aptly named Breeze: “The goal is to have our customers … never having to speak with anybody, if they don’t want to,” Neeleman said. “Add a car, add a hotel, cancel a flight, make changes, it will all be there at your fingertips. Completely hassle-free flying.” This sort of approach is exactly that of BLADE UAM and other on-demand aerial mobility companies that intend on users being able to book an entire trip through an app in a matter of minutes.
Regarding flight operations, Breeze Aviation is also shifting towards aircraft that perform exceptionally well on a nodal, small to medium size passenger base route: 30 Embraer 195 aircraft from Azul are leased that are expected to start flights in May, and Neeleman has ordered 60 new Airbus 220-300 aircraft that are expected to start flights in April 2021, company officials said.
The Airbus A220, currently being operated by Delta Airlines in The States, is performing exceptionally well on medium-haul routes, leveraging recent avionics, propulsion, and customer and cabin experience technologies that gain widespread passenger approval. The E195, part of the Embraer E-Jets family, is a top performer on routes that are slightly shorter than that of the A220.
According to Neeleman, Breeze could earn more than $1 million in tax rebates on plans to make over $3 million in capital investments and hire about 370 employees.
Why it’s important: While Breeze Airways is a new short to medium haul airline, the goals that Neeleman has emphasized with regards to customer experience in booking through travel lifecycle, paired with the focus on nodal transport networks and newer, fuel efficient commercial aircraft represent a paradigm shift that many larger carriers will inevitably adopt over the coming years. The airline industry is a difficult one to navigate – and Breeze’s pathway towards profitability will likely serve as a good barometer for larger cultural shifts in the aviation industry in years to come. Aerial mobility has already adopted (and may be argued is a pioneer of) the approach that Breeze Airways is taking towards transportation.
Dufour Aerospace announced on Monday that is has been selected by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) as one of the winners of their 22nd annual Startup Competition. The startup competition hosts a team of IMD faculty with extensive experience in entrepreneurial activities will select the winning startups, with advisory support from the Swiss government Innosuisse, VentureKick, MassChallenge Switzerland and investiere. The hosts create a ‘short list’ of...
Dufour Aerospace announced on Monday that is has been selected by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) as one of the winners of their 22nd annual Startup Competition.
The startup competition hosts a team of IMD faculty with extensive experience in entrepreneurial activities will select the winning startups, with advisory support from the Swiss government Innosuisse, VentureKick, MassChallenge Switzerland and investiere.
The hosts create a ‘short list’ of candidates within 2 weeks of the close of the registration, and then steadily work to narrow down the list. Winners are officially selected in early December and expect a formal commitment by the selected ventures shortly afterwards.
Dufour stated on a short press release from their website: “We look forward to learning from the IMD’s expertise in international management, which will complement the technical leadership of our partners at ETH Zurich and ZHAW Center for Aviation in aircraft control and design.”
Based in Lausanne, Switzerland, and Singapore, IMD has been ranked in the top five for executive education worldwide for 15 years and in the top three for the last eight years by The Financial Times.
Dufour Aerospace is a young start-up on a mission to revolutionize vertical mobility by developing electric and hybrid-electric tilt-wing VTOL aircraft.
Why it’s important: IMD’s selection of Dufour Aerospace is an opportunity for the executive team at Dufour to continue to grow professionally and further advance the progress of talent development and technology maturation in relation to both existing electric aviation solutions to general aviation and future solutions to aerial mobility over the next 10 to 15 years. A number of successful startups have previously been selected by IMD in their startup competition, including AC Immune, Biowatch, Doodle, ecoRobotix, G-Therapeutics, Softwing, SpiroChem, Sysmosoft, Uepaa, VisioWave, and VWavecall.
Hybridization of aerial mobility solutions is crucial to quick progress in the industry and piloting solutions that allow designers to fail “early and often” in the implementation of eVTOL systems. When “fail” is used, it’s not in the sense of a technical shortcoming or mechanical failure, but rather in the sense that the operational platforms and the logistical challenges that...
Hybridization of aerial mobility solutions is crucial to quick progress in the industry and piloting solutions that allow designers to fail “early and often” in the implementation of eVTOL systems.
When “fail” is used, it’s not in the sense of a technical shortcoming or mechanical failure, but rather in the sense that the operational platforms and the logistical challenges that must be met to scale commercial air taxi operations to hundreds of thousands. This approach to scaling the customer experience and the supporting infrastructure in eVTOL operations is an easily overlooked task – but will play a large role in the longer term success of aerial mobility applications.
Questions such as “how do I board” or “how is this different than an airplane” must be addressed (and are currently the content of a number of surveys) but on an even larger scope the general customer funnel from knowledge of eVTOLs as a form of transportation to customer acquisition and re-activation needs to be understood through acquired data of consumer trends. Companies such as Uber are at a great advantage in this regard, already being the owners of a massive pool of rider data, as are customers who have large airline or corporate aviation fleets and the experience to understand how to custom tailor routing and operational profiles to maximize efficiency and filled seats.
This same trade study is ongoing in aerial mobility, with one important caveat: the ability to fail is impeded by the requirements of inducing a possible failure mode of an airspace management and integration platform for thousands of flights per day in a specific urban environment, just as the requirements of “testing” operations with an eVTOL landing every minute at a vertiport, performing a quick turn during which passengers and a fresh battery are loaded, and then turning around for a brand new flight with a to be determined destination are virtually impossible to simulate.
What then, if any, conclusions can be drawn today from the aerial mobility industry’s past progress? Hybridization of propulsion, of flight crew integration, airspace integration, and infrastructure use are key to enabling early failures and sorting out problems today that will increase in scope and scale of required investment for resolution in the future.
Why it’s important: At the highest level, using hybridized solutions to aerial mobility applications will allow greater technology maturity than would targeting a fully developed system. If this approach is adopted, such as use of cargo drones, optionally piloted PAV’s, or multi-purpose heli/vertiports, a larger amount of discovery of problems at scale will occur which enable resolution of key eVTOL integration question earlier than they would be reached with a fully developed system.
The “Global Electric VTOL (eVTOL) Aircraft Market: Focus on Technology, Components, Operations, Energy Source, Infrastructure, Applications, and End User – Analysis and Forecast, 2025-2035” report was released on Friday by Research and Markets, a report that projects the market to grow at a significant CAGR of 13.75% during the forecast period from 2025 to 2035. The report argues that the North America region is expected...
The “Global Electric VTOL (eVTOL) Aircraft Market: Focus on Technology, Components, Operations, Energy Source, Infrastructure, Applications, and End User – Analysis and Forecast, 2025-2035” report was released on Friday by Research and Markets, a report that projects the market to grow at a significant CAGR of 13.75% during the forecast period from 2025 to 2035.
The report argues that the North America region is expected to dominate the global eVTOL aircraft market in 2025, whereas Asia-Pacific is expected to have the highest growth rate during the forecast period.
Additionally, the report indicates that from 2025, the market is expected to begin particularly in the megacities, including the U.S., Germany, France, Singapore, Dubai, and others, since the systems are under testing at various locations, which is surprising and a confirmation of previously known calculations on the economy of scale of aerial mobility applications.
The report hypothesizes that the U.S. is one of the most prominent countries with a potential for the growth of the global eVTOL aircraft market. In 2025, the U.S. is expected to dominate the global eVTOL aircraft market, acquiring the maximum market share, globally. However, the geographical analysis of this market unveils an immense potential for its growth in the Asia-Pacific region as well.
Additionally, R&M continues to expound on why China is expected to acquire the largest market share, and Singapore is expected to witness the highest growth rate in this region during the period 2025-2035. Similarly, the Europe market is also likely to witness numerous growth opportunities during the forecast period.
Scope of the Report
The eVTOL aircraft market research provides a detailed perspective regarding the applications of the technology, its value, and estimation, among others. The purpose of this market analysis is to examine the eVTOL aircraft outlook in terms of factors driving the market, trends, technological developments, and funding scenario, among others.
The report further takes into consideration the market dynamics and the competitive landscape, along with the detailed financial and product contribution of the key players operating in the market. The eVTOL aircraft market report is a compilation of different segments including market breakdown by technology, energy source, application, end-user, component, infrastructure, and region.
- The eVTOL aircraft market (on the basis of component) is further segmented into sensors, airframes, camera, radar, LIDAR, battery, motor, INS/IMU, and GPS/GNSS. The airframes component is expected to dominate the global eVTOL aircraft market in 2025 and is anticipated to maintain its dominance throughout the forecast period (2025-2035).
- The eVTOL aircraft market segmentation (on the basis of technology) has been done into rotorcraft, vectored thrust, lift+cruise, and hoverbikes. The rotorcraft is expected to dominate the global eVTOL aircraft market in 2025 and is anticipated to maintain its dominance throughout the forecast period. Moreover, there are other segments in the global eVTOL aircraft market which includes energy source, end-user, application, and infrastructure.
- The eVTOL aircraft market segmentation by region is segregated into four major regions, namely, North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific (APAC), and Rest-of-the-World (RoW). Data for each of these regions is provided by technology and by application.
Additionally, the report highlighted a select consortium of high-performing aerial mobility companies, a shortlist of the aerial mobility industry:
The key market players in the global eVTOL aircraft market include Airbus, Airspace Experience Technologies, Aurora Flight Sciences, Bell Helicopter, The Boeing Company, EHANG, Embraer, Karem Aircraft, Kitty Hawk, Lilium, Neva Aerospace, Opener, Pipistrel, Volocopter, and Workhorse Group.
Why it’s important: This report showcases the global reach of the aerial mobility industry and also highlights some of the key trends that are already taking hold in terms of geographical development of industry and the pain points that are encountered on local and large scales. While this report makes a number of assertions that indicate a very rapid growth of the market, TransportUP encourages cross-referencing information and assumptions incorporated in any prospectus to the greatest degree possible.
Swiss startup Daedalean, a developer of software for autonomous flight control, vision-based navigation, terrain guidance and landing, and Honeywell, a leader in the aerospace industry for avionics hardware, have announced that they have entered into a join technological and financial partnership. This partnerships facilitates cooperation between the two companies as they endeavor to develop fully autonomous AI pilots for general...
Swiss startup Daedalean, a developer of software for autonomous flight control, vision-based navigation, terrain guidance and landing, and Honeywell, a leader in the aerospace industry for avionics hardware, have announced that they have entered into a join technological and financial partnership. This partnerships facilitates cooperation between the two companies as they endeavor to develop fully autonomous AI pilots for general aviation and aerial mobility operations. While AI pilots are the ultimate goal for these two companies, their current hardware solution bridges the gap between fully crewed and complete autonomous flight decks.
The partnership is two-pronged: Honeywell Ventures has joined the Swiss startup’s pool of investors (terms and quantity of investment still unknown) and Honeywell and Daedalean plan to engage in joint testing and technological partnership to develop solutions for autonomous takeoff, landing and GPS-independent navigation and collision avoidance for GA aircraft and aerial mobility aircraft as well.
Luuk van Dijk, founder and CEO of Daedalean, stated that “Developing flight control software requires lots of flight data. That’s why the collaboration with prominent industry partners such as Honeywell is critical for us to speed up the development of our technology. We are preparing for the joint flights testing our solutions for various types of aircraft, and excited to carry out trials on the planes we haven’t tried before.”
This partnership aims to effectively solve the flight controls hurdles that must be overcome in order for the aerial mobility industry to become successful on larger commercial scales than the current charter helicopter industries.
It’s reported that Honeywell’s hardware package is roughly the size of a paperback book.
Daedalean is a Swiss company that has expertise in robotics, computer vision and machine learning. Daedalean intends on using those innovations to advance the flight control methodology and systems architecture for both general aviation and electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. The key development and IP of this partnership is a flight control systems’ ability to process visual images, similar to human-like situational awareness, which could theoretically simplify pilot operations greatly and allow pilots to focus on the most mission critical decision and Aeronautical Decision making tasks that are required of professional pilots.
Why it’s important: This collaboration leverages the considerable resources of Honeywell and the technical expertise of a niché company like Daedalean. The approach of hybridizing current crewed operations for flight with the ultimate goal of fully autonomous operations will become increasingly popular in the coming years as the aerospace industry finds a medium between a massive operation leap and smaller steps towards an ultimate goal of redefining the typical methods for manned flight operations.
- Vertical Aerospace Confirms Partnership with Honeywell
- Honeywell Releases Their New Compact Fly-By-Wire System for UAM
- Honeywell to Equip Volocopter with Autonomous Landing Systems
- Pipistrel and Honeywell to Collaborate on UAM Tech
Source // Inside Unmanned Systems
The Aerospace controls design and manufacturer found a good deal in SureFly TransportUP reported in December that Workhorse’s SureFly Octocopter was planned to be purchased by Moog, Inc, a Torrance, CA based aerospace controls manufacturer. Following the sale and Workhorse’s filing of a 8-K/A report with the SEC that disclosed the price paid by Moog for SureFly, the story has...
The Aerospace controls design and manufacturer found a good deal in SureFly
TransportUP reported in December that Workhorse’s SureFly Octocopter was planned to be purchased by Moog, Inc, a Torrance, CA based aerospace controls manufacturer.
Following the sale and Workhorse’s filing of a 8-K/A report with the SEC that disclosed the price paid by Moog for SureFly, the story has changed somewhat. Approximately $4 million was paid for the sale of SureFly, seemingly a good deal for Moog, Inc. Original estimates for the sale were pegged to $30-million plus, but other compensation or agreements that might not be public information may have aided Moog in closing their deal at such an attractive price.
The other portion of the deal is HorseFly – a last-mile delivery UAS that Workhorse has split 50/50 with Moog. HorseFly’s IP may be valuable enough to Moog (considering the outward facing publicity of said hardware focused on the hardware itself, not the drone) that the smaller sum paid for SureFly was more palatable a transaction for Workhorse after all.
In many instances, the intellectual property and systems integration of last-mile delivery services are commonly cited as the value-add tech in these scenarios – the physical drone could easily be replaced for less than $1,000 with an off-the-shelf model (albeit some modifications required).
Why it’s important: Investors initially reacted very energetically to the deal between Workhorse and Moog – the $30MM valuation of Workhorse’ SureFly technology was large enough to turn many heads, especially in an industry such as aerial mobility, where funding is not as readily attainable as other industries with lower capital requirements and start up costs.
The Chinese Aerial Mobility and Drone Company flatlined during their IPO on the NASDAQ last week. EHang’s projected valuation of up to $800 million USD was in fact a projection – the company closed the trading week on the NASDAQ at a valuation just over $662 million USD, after a net change of 0.08% during the trading day resulting in...
The Chinese Aerial Mobility and Drone Company flatlined during their IPO on the NASDAQ last week.
EHang’s projected valuation of up to $800 million USD was in fact a projection – the company closed the trading week on the NASDAQ at a valuation just over $662 million USD, after a net change of 0.08% during the trading day resulting in a price of $12.49 per share.
According to an EHang press release, the company will use the funds to conduct additional technological research and development, expand its global sales channel and production capacity, develop urban air traffic solutions, and for investments and acquisitions.
EHang issued 3.2 million American depositary shares at US$12.5 per share in the IPO and granted underwriters “greenshoe” over-allotment rights to subscribe for up to 480,000 ADSs within 30 days after the issue. The total amount raised was half of the US$100 million EHang disclosed as being its target in its first prospectus issued at the end of October. Greenshoe over-allotment rights allow for underwriters to sell more shares than originally issue if there is greater buying demand than expected.
The original press release for EHang may be read here. Trading of the ADS’s began in mid-to late December and closed December 16th. Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC, acted as the sole bookrunner for the offering, and Needham & Company, LLC, Tiger Brokers (NZ) Limited and Prime Number Capital, LLC acted as co-managers for the offering.
Why it’s important: The reception to EHang’s IPO can’t be drawn as a direct corollary to the public or investor sentiment of the aerial mobility industry, but it can serve as a general barometer for attitude towards exposure to risk and investment in new technologies. Since a very large portion of the company’s revenues come from the manufacturing and selling of consumer drones, EHang is able to take a measured approach toward involvement in aerial mobility, both in technological breadth and financial leverage.
NARI’s workshop aims to address potential aerial mobility growing pains before they occur The NASA Aeronautics Research Institute (NARI) is planning to host a Sustainable Aerospace Supply Chain & Manufacturing Workshop on February 4th and 5th, 2020, at the AMES Conference center at Moffett Field, California. The workshop has three desired outcomes, as listed on NASA’s overview of the event that...
NARI’s workshop aims to address potential aerial mobility growing pains before they occur
The NASA Aeronautics Research Institute (NARI) is planning to host a Sustainable Aerospace Supply Chain & Manufacturing Workshop on February 4th and 5th, 2020, at the AMES Conference center at Moffett Field, California.
The workshop has three desired outcomes, as listed on NASA’s overview of the event that can be read here:
- Clear identification of national aerospace supply chain and manufacturing current bottlenecks and what is required to meet future needs for large, medium, and smaller size aircraft including drones and eVTOL
- Clear identification of capabilities and supply chain and manufacturing assets that can be redeployed or transitioned to identified needs (e.g., from auto industry)
- Clear action plan to develop and enrich the national talents and skills to meet future aerospace supply chain and manufacturing needs
Addressing the concerns of future scaling for supply chain and manufacturing processes is crucial to the long term performance of any manufacturing-centric industry. For Aerial Mobility, there is no difference – and facilitating these discussions now that will clearly lay out a plan for future expansion is a key component of consideration in the larger eVTOL ecosystem.
An additional focus of the conference that should be reassuring to the mobility-inclined public is the inclusion of discussions that’ll focus on the development of future talent to support the growing needs of the aerospace industry in years to come, both from private and public sector resource demand perspectives.
Attendees should represent US-based original equipment manufacturers from aerospace, avionics, electrical, sensing, autonomous flight path control, or other supporting technology companies.
Why it’s important: NARI’s Workshop is another instantiation of working groups that are conducting the necessary pre-planning and due diligence to ensure that no forecastable portion of the manufacturing process for the emergent industry of Aerial Mobility is overlooked. Registration is still open for the workshop, and questions may be directed to organizers via the response form on the information page linked above.
Wingcopter builds drones for humanitarian, parcel delivery, and logistics applications German drone start-up Wingcopter announced last Friday that they’ve secured seven-digit financing. The investment as gained from Singapore-based Corecam Capital Partners. Wingcopter develops and produces autonomously flying delivery drones for social and civilian applications that align with the companies’ overall principle: “Technology with a Purpose”. Wingcopter features a patented tilt-rotor...
Wingcopter builds drones for humanitarian, parcel delivery, and logistics applications
German drone start-up Wingcopter announced last Friday that they’ve secured seven-digit financing. The investment as gained from Singapore-based Corecam Capital Partners. Wingcopter develops and produces autonomously flying delivery drones for social and civilian applications that align with the companies’ overall principle: “Technology with a Purpose”. Wingcopter features a patented tilt-rotor mechanism that intends to blend the advantages of commercial drones, helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, to increase overall efficiency.
Wingcopter is led by founders Tom Plümmer (CEO), Jonathan Hesselbarth (CTO) and Ansgar Kadura (COO), who intend to bring grow their 35 person team, speed up the development of the next Wingcopter generation, and expand the global maintenance and sales network available for their technologies. Wingcopter currently serves various clients in 10 countries.
Martin Lechner, Managing Partner of Corecam Capital Partners, commented on the investment:
The investment in Wingcopter is the ideal addition to our existing portfolio in the fast-growing drone technology market. Their unique tilt-rotor mechanism as well as the strong global patent protection and the interest of blue-chip customers were decisive for us”
Wingcopter cites the fusion of multiple drone types, in that Wingcopter drones can take off and land vertically in the smallest of spaces while tiltrotors enable accelerated forward flight. This smooth transition enables ranges of up to 75 miles/120 kilometers in one flight and a Guinness world record speed of 150 miles/240 kilometers per hour. Even in strong winds of up to 55 mph/90 km/h or bad weather condition, Wingcopter was able to complete test flights with acceptable results. The long-range drone is targeted for use in life-saving deliveries of medical products such as medicines, vaccines, blood or lab samples as well as for the delivery of parcels or food.
Wingcopter CEO Tom Plümmer commented on the financing round:
We are pleased to have won Corecam as a renowned investor with extensive experience in the drones sector. The financing will help to significantly speed up our growth, meet the already high domestic and international demand and focus on the most promising markets with regards to global expansion. Our vision is to sustainably improve the lives of people around the world with our technology.
Wingcopter has carried out various projects in which medical supplies were delivered over long distances to remote regions, including a six-month pilot project with DHL and the German development agency giz in Tanzania and a project on the South Sea island of Vanuatu, where Wingcopter, on behalf of the local Ministry of Health and supported by UNICEF, successfully tested the supply of vaccines for children over several months. In both tests, the Wingcopter reduced the patients’ waiting time from several hours or days to a few minutes.
In Ireland, Wingcopter partnered with Vodafone and local customer SIS to deliver insulin beyond visual line of sight for the first time in Europe and over a distance of 14 miles/21 kilometers during harsh wind conditions. Further successful projects have been carried out in Japan, England, Malawi, Ethiopia, Norway, Canada and the Arctic, where the drone’s performance has been demonstrated under extreme conditions (- 44 °F/- 42 °C).
Wingcopter is currently planning to test a new delivery application in the USA together with a tier-one partner, and is in talks with select investors for their next round of financing.
Why it’s important: Wingcopter’s announcement of a significant fundraising round is grounds for highlighting the companies’ recent successes in creating a feasible multi/tilt-rotor configured eVTOL drone. While the current physical scale of Wingcopter’s drones do not support transportation of heavier payloads (commercial passenger operations) further maturation of the technology could ultimately result in products that allow for transport of greater quantities and volumes of goods, with eventual application to passenger transport. Furthermore, the demonstration of value of Wingcopter’s technology to those in remote communities that greatly benefit from the services provided by these drones is crucial to reinforcement of the societal benefits that eVTOL technology brings to disruptive transportation.
The urban air mobility infrastructure provider announced the Series A funding round last week Skyports, an urban air mobility infrastructure provider and drone delivery operator, announced on December 5th that they’ve raised £5.35 million in Series A funding. The funding round was jointly led by Deutsche Bahn Digital Ventures (DBDV) and Groupe ADP. Levitate Capital also participated in this funding round following their seed...
The urban air mobility infrastructure provider announced the Series A funding round last week
Skyports, an urban air mobility infrastructure provider and drone delivery operator, announced on December 5th that they’ve raised £5.35 million in Series A funding. The funding round was jointly led by Deutsche Bahn Digital Ventures (DBDV) and Groupe ADP. Levitate Capital also participated in this funding round following their seed investment in the company in January 2018.
Skyports’ mission is to “connect the world through our skies by building and operating critical infrastructure for urban air mobility and managing end to end drone deliveries” and is based in London, with projects in Asia, Africa, North America, and Europe.
This capital allows Skyports to continue its mission plan: acquire sites for passenger and cargo vertiports in cities around the world, including Singapore and Los Angeles, and develop said sites. Following the Singapore showcase of the world’s first passenger vertiport in October – the VoloPort – in partnership with air taxi manufacturer Volocopter, Skyports has received substantial interest from landlords in the city state and other cities around the world.
Duncan Walker, Chief Executive Officer of Skyports, commented on the recent close of the Series A round:
“We are delighted to welcome strategic investors with a long-term vision for the company. Our investors bring expertise in mobility, infrastructure and airport operations. Their significant balance sheets and strong leadership in their respective markets allow Skyports to consolidate its leading position in the industry in these early stages and through to permanent commercial operations in multiple markets.”
“Vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicles are a new expression of airport activity – infrastructure, vehicle handling and passenger experience – and we are setting ourselves up to play a leading role in the development of Urban Air Mobility in the Paris Region and internationally through our 25 airports worldwide,” said Edward Arkwright, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Groupe ADP. “This strategic partnership will allow us to develop a deeper understanding of the emerging VTOL market and will provide strong synergies through Skyports’ expertise in urban areas.”
The urban aviation market is anticipated to be worth $1.5 trillion by 2040, $850 billion of which due to passenger vehicles and $400 billion by the transportation of goods by drone, according to a Morgan Stanley study. Significant investment has gone into the vehicles and research and development enabling technology whilst urban air mobility (UAM) infrastructure is under-invested. Without the take-off and landing infrastructure in place, the nascent UAM industry will fail to realize its market and socio-economic potential.
DBDV and Groupe ADP will take seats on the Skyports Board. Skyports has the option for a second close in the Series A round in the near future.
Deutsche Bahn Digital Ventures
Deutsche Bahn Digital Ventures (DBDV) is the corporate venture capital unit of Europe’s largest passenger and cargo railway operator, Deutsche Bahn. DBDV invests in new data-based business models in the fields of smart mobility, smart logistics and smart cities which utilize Big Data, Artificial Intelligence (AI) or the Internet of Things (IoT). The start-ups are not only gaining venture capital, but also get access to experts, DBs data, customers and markets.
Groupe ADP develops and manages airports, including Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Paris-Orly and Paris-Le Bourget. In 2018, the group handled through its brand Paris Aéroport more than 105 million passengers and 2.3 million metric tonnes of freight and mail at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly, and more than 176 million passengers in airports abroad through its subsidiary ADP International. Boasting an exceptional geographic location and a major catchment area, the Group is pursuing its strategy of adapting and modernizing its terminal facilities and upgrading quality of services; the group also intends to develop its retail and real estate businesses. In 2018, group revenue stood at €4,478 million and net income at €610 million.
Levitate Capital is a venture firm focused on next-generation air mobility. They see the coming revolution in how people use and experience aviation for transportation, logistics, and other use cases as one of the profound transformations of modern society. Their investments cover a broad range of ventures, from enabling systems that will let these craft fly electrically, autonomously, quietly and safely to building and operating the new air vehicles as well as business models that will complement aerial mobility networks of the future.
Why it’s important: This additional financial commitment to Skyports will allow the company to further advance its developments of vertiports across the world, and also reinforces the latent demand for construction of the infrastructure to support sustained, scaled commercial air taxi operations in the 5-10 year time frame. The unveiling of the Voloport in Singapore generated a significant buzz amongst industry members and the general public alike, as it was one of the first instantiations of a physical vertiport that allows individuals to understand what a potential customer experience of an air taxi flight would look and feel like. Expect Skyports to ascertain whether future additional funding is prudent, or whether the company devotes all focus to development of further refinements to their vertiport technology.