A new safety system for eVTOLs uses specialized airbags, a balloon-integrated parachute, and even retro rockets.
One of the many benefits of Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP) as seen in many personal eVTOLs is the design’s redundancy. If one rotor fails, there are still four or more available to make a safe recovery.
However a completely failed eVTOL dropping can be even more dangerous than losing power in an airplane. This is especially true for eVTOLs without fixed wings, such as the eHang184 or the Workhorse SureFly.
A new company called AVCP-Active VTOL Crash Protection was incorporated on July 3rd 2017 with the goal of providing additional safety solutions for emerging eVTOL aircraft. AVCP points out that the parachutes in current eVTOL designs often still allow for impact speeds that can cause serious injuries. At heights of 100ft, some of these parachutes won’t even have time to fully open.
AVCP provides a ‘complete suite of active and passive safety technologies’. This product suite is made up of a system of retro rockets, under-belly airbags, energy absorbent structural materials, and a parachute integrated with a balloon. When the accident first occurs, the parachute is activated in one second with the assistance of the balloon. A retro rocket fires when the VTOL nears the ground, accompanied by the inflation of several basketball sized under-carriage airbags. Structural designs and ‘stroke seats’ will then help to further cushion passengers against the impact.
AVCP sees now as a crucial time for the industries’ acceptance, as well as the time when injuries are most likely to occur. It’s mission is to do all it can to protect the reputation of the eVTOL industry.
Why its Important: Solutions like AVCP add validity to the VTOL industry, and increase the chances of approval by government entities. One of the greatest concerns of any emerging industry is safety, and AVCP does much to assuage those concerns. The existence of AVCP also indicates the growth of the industry. As the industry grows , more third party solutions for safety, propulsion systems, aero-design, manufacturing, interior, and more will begin to emerge.