22 May 2023
The UKi Future of Transportation World Conference was held 5-6 July in Cologne, Germany. The session on "Getting Transportation Off the Ground" focused on how electric VTOL and "personal airborne transportation systems (PATS) will shake up personal transportation before 2030.
Mike Hirschberg (AHS) moderated the kick-off session and presented on "The Future of Vertical Flight," which gave the background of the Transformative Vertical Flight initiative and an overview of the promise and progress of electric VTOL. [pdf slides]
CityAirbus model in flight (Airbus photo)
Flexcraft (Almadesign image)
Italdesign gave an update of the Pop.Up project, and Airbus shared more details about the progress on their CityAirbus and Vahana eVTOL programs. Significant progress has been made on each, with sub-scale models of CityAirbus and Vahana having already flown.
e-volo GmbH, based in Bruchsal, Germany, announced that they are officially changing their name to "Volocopter GmbH". They discussed their upcoming demonstrations for Dubai’s Road and Transport Authority (RTA), as well as the new Volocopter 2X serial model. [pdf slides | video]
Portuguese company Almadesign presented the very-Short Take-Off and Landing (vSTOL) Flexcraft designs, which will pair a hybrid-electric powerplant for fan-in-wing propulsion with a flexible, modular cabin for different missions. This 8-passenger concept sprang out of their NewFACE project. NewFACE is an initiative of Almadesign, INEGI, SET and Embraer Compósitos, while Embraer S.A. is part of the advisory board; Flexcraft also includes the Technical University of Lisbon. Different propulsion schemes are being considered, as well as fuel cells for energy storage. Almadesign is an innovative product design company with numerous electric vehicle and aviation projects in service.
Urban Aeronautics announced that is beginning the development of the Falcon XP, a 12-passenger (plus 2 pilots) version of the 4-passenger (plus 1 pilot) Urban Aeronautics/Metro Skyways CityHawk. "The vehicle will initially be powered by jet fuel, but will be designed from the outset to convert to liquid hydrogen and eventually also to 700 bar compressed hydrogen, once such options become commercially feasible."
The Falcon XP is a 14-seat model of the 4-seat Urban Aeronautics/Metro Skyways CityHawk (Urban Aeronautics image)
Updated and corrected 1/1/18.