VFS Makes an Impact at AIRTEC

EF Global VTOL

09 Feb 2023


VFS brings vertical flight to a leading European B2B aerospace trade fair focused on sustainability and mobility.

Bavarian State Minister Dr. Florian Herrmann at the VFS-TUM exhibit stand, flying the FSD flight simulator with VR googles under the guidance of TUM graduate research students. The monitor shows his view from the virtual cockpit.

The Vertical Flight Society hosted four sessions on “Future Air Mobility” at the AIRTEC trade fair in Munich, Germany, which was held Oct. 26–28.

Bavarian State Minister Dr. Florian Herrmann at the VFS-TUM exhibit stand, flying the FSD flight simulator with VR googles under the guidance of TUM graduate research students. The monitor shows his view from the virtual cockpit.

This past year’s AIRTEC was the 15th annual edition of the international business-to-business (B2B) aerospace trade fair. In close cooperation between industry, science and politics, AIRTEC is an annual aerospace showcase for forward-looking discussion and solutions for climate-friendly air transportation. Exhibitors, keynotes, conference topics, B2B meetings and workshops focused on core areas such as emerging aerospace concepts, components and systems, materials and production, design and structures, research and development, legal framework and certification, and information and communications.

By the Numbers

AIRTEC 2022 featured 2,160 participants from 22 countries, up from the previous year during the rise of COVID-19. A total of 60 lectures were given; in addition to the VFS Future Air Mobility sessions, other topics covered Zero Emission & Climate Neutral Flying (e.g., hydrogen), Value & Supply Chain, and New Space (e.g., satellites).

Hundreds of exhibitors showcased the breadth and depth of aerospace technology. VFS partnered on a large exhibit space with the chairs of two institutes from the Technical University of Munich (TUM): Prof. Florian Holzapfel, Chair of the Institute for Flight System Dynamics (FSD) and Prof. Ilkay Yavrucuk, Chair of the Institute for Helicopter Technologies and VTOL Aircraft (HTVTOL).

A future VTOL engineer and her family checks out TUM HTVTOL’s working Lego rotor hub model.

At the joint VFS-TUM exhibit stand, TUM’s FSD institute exhibited its full-motion flight dynamics simulation used to VFS Makes an Impact at AIRTEC develop the flight controls of different aircraft, including for several electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) companies. TUM’s HTVTOL institute displayed several helicopter flight test models and videos, as well as a remote-controlled rotor head model built from Lego bricks.

The first day of AIRTEC kicked off with an introduction by AIRTEC Exhibition Manager Diana Schnabel. AIRTEC Advisory Board member Dr. Saskia Horsch, Lilium’s Head of Global Regulatory and Public Affairs, also gave an inspiring welcome.

AIRTEC 2022 was officially inaugurated by the Federal Government Coordinator of German Aerospace Policy, Dr. Anna Christmann, and the Bavarian State Minister and Head of the Bavarian State Chancellery, Dr. Florian Herrmann. Herrmann visited the VFS-TUM booth and had a chance to fly the TUM flight simulator.

Roland Weigert, Under-Secretary of State in the Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy, gave a welcome speech on the second day.

Companies from Australia, Austria, Germany, England, France, Italy, Finland, Indonesia, Japan, Switzerland, Spain, United States, South Korea and many more were represented as exhibitors and participants.

With the event being held within the city of Munich, there were also ample opportunities for networking beyond the fair. A special Bavarian evening reception and dinner were held at a rustic Munich brewery.

Future Air Mobility Sessions

The VFS sessions on Thursday, Oct. 27 featured 17 speakers and three moderators. The sessions were organized as Overview & Operations, Urban Air Mobility (UAM), Regional Air Mobility (RAM), and Suppliers & Supply Chain.

Chelsea Ding, an advisor to Jandakot, Australia-based Electro.aero, showed off its portable 80-kW electric aircraft rapid charger. Its 200-kW charger will be available in 2023.

The presentation room for the VFS sessions was full the whole day, with excellent presentations from the invited speakers, which included VFS corporate members Airbus, AutoFlight, Eve Air Mobility, GKN Aerospace, Honeywell Aerospace, Hydroplane, Joby Aviation, Lilium, Odys Aviation, Pipistrel Aircraft, Rolls-Royce and Volocopter.

Electric conventional takeoff and landing (eCTOL) startups Væridion and Electra Aero also presented their innovative approaches, as did a representative of Austria-based aerospace component developer and manufacturer, FACC Operations GmbH.

Social media photos and more information from AIRTEC 2022 (and plans for AIRTEC 2023) are linked from the VFS web page, www.vtol.org/airtec, and more photos are posted in the VFS Photo Gallery, www.vtol.org/gallery.

VFS extends a heartfelt thanks to our moderators from TUM, Professors Yavracuk and Holzapfel. Their support with the exhibits and the presentations were invaluable.


VFS was a partner for AIRTEC 2022 and now has a position on the Advisory Board of AIRTEC. With TUM and the VFS Germany Chapter, the Society plans to expand the program for AIRTEC 2023, which will be held Oct. 25–27 in nearby Augsburg, Germany, again with support from the Bavarian government, industry and academia: www.airtec.aero.