EmbraerX and Pipistrel have both released images and specifications of their new eVTOL designs, both of which have competitive performance standards preparing to meet the needs for urban aviation.
Embraer has over 50 years of experience in making private jets, and is now turning to eVTOLs as the fulfillment of its dream of regional flight. Its newly unveiled eVTOL is its second iteration. The first version (pictured on the bottom left) was smaller than the new one, which an additional wing as well as an additional rotor.
The new EmbraerX eVTOL will be ‘autonomous-ready’, and according to Antonio Campello (CEO of EmbraerX) will reach full autonomy once community acceptance and regulation are at necessary levels. EmbraerX prides its new eVTOL on being made to use by anyone, no matter their age or ability. So far, it is the only eVTOL on the market advertising easy access to people using wheel chairs:
Importantly, EmbraerX notes that the most important and difficult part of developing eVTOL operations will be the integration of aircraft design, airspace management, and maintenance. Said Campello: “Now it’s not just about the aircraft, it’s about the entire ecosystem.” To this end, Embraer already rolled out last week a new maintenance platform.
EmbraerX also released last week its ‘flight plan 2030’, which outlines the path to autonomy. Read more about the Flight Plan 2030 here.
EmbraerX eVTOL Design Overview:
The Pipistrel 801 eVTOL was designed with three goals in mind: acoustics, safety and speed. “801” stands for 8 lift rotors, 0 titling parts, and 1 thrust rotor. Notably, both the EmbraerX eVTOL and the Pipistrel 801 were designed without tilt-rotors (unlike Karem Aircraft or Bell).
The Pipistrel 801 offers seating for 5 (including the pilot), with a range of 60 nautical miles and a top speed of 175mph. It’s capable of transitioning from vertical to horizontal flight in under 1 minute, and (according to Pipistrel president Dr Tine Tomažič) is “more powerful than a jetliner take-off.”
Notably, the pilot’s seat of the aircraft can eventually be converted to a first class passenger seat once full flight autonomy is realized. Pipistrel is currently working with Honeywell for its avionics, navigation, and fly-by-wire technology, as is Volocopter, Vertical Aerospace, and others.
The 801 achieves safety standards by using redundant battery packs and redundant propellors. For example, although the 801 has four battery packs, it’s capable of flying on only two. Acoustics goals are achieved by having each of the rotors turn at different frequency, which diminishes noise output.
Pipistrel was one of the first companies to make electric recreational aircraft available in the U.S and parts of Europe, and has been developing electric aircraft for over 12 years. Learn more about Pipistrel.
Why it’s important: With Pipistrel and EmbraerX’s latest announcements, other UAM companies may soon begin to release new aspects of their designs as well. eVTOLs are the first new type of commercial aircraft since the helicopter, and many developers are racing to be first in the skies. Companies like Pipistrel and EmbraerX encourage innovation, pushing the industry even further forward.