Early or late, the future is en-route and will be coming in to land sooner than the majority of people realise. A number of companies around the world are currently preparing eVTOL vehicles (electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles), which could revolutionise the way we get around big cities. Quiet, comfortable and carbon-free, eVTOLs promise to rise above congested roads, easing urban transport issues while getting passengers to their destinations in record time. Meanwhile, regulators on the ground are working hard to prepare the rules and infrastructure required to make this new form of transport feasible.

The Heaviside 2 is a single-passenger EVTOL -- electric vertical takeoff and landing -- machine designed to transport a passenger 60 to 100 miles in less than an hour. Its unusual design employs eight propellers: two on smaller forward wings and six on a pair of larger, centrally mounted forward-swept wings. Propellers can pivot downward from the trailing edge of the wings for takeoff and landing.

Wisk was founded in 2010 and later merged with Kitty Hawk, the eVTOL startup from Google founder Larry Page. Boeing stepped in 2019 with a 50% share in a spun-out Wisk Aero joint venture. The present investment is to develop a production-ready Wisk Aero aircraft and prepare this for mass manufacturing. By keeping the project off Wall Street, it can work with a long-term view and is not forced to glitzy events where over-ambitious targets are communicated to please investors.

California-based Wisk Aero announced today that it is partnering with the Long Beach Economic Partnership (LBEP) to create an AAM task force that would look at introducing autonomous eVTOL flight in Southern California. "Aerospace innovation has always been a strong part of Long Beach history,” said Mayor Robert Garcia, in a press release. “We have produced some of the world’s most modern aircraft, are leading in the space economy, and will now be home to new technologies in advanced air mobility. We look forward to our partnership with Wisk.”

NetJets has signed a memorandum of understanding to acquire up to 150 electric aircraft from Munich based Lilium. The electric regional aircraft would provide more options to NetJet owners for their private flights, said the company. The Berkshire Hathaway company said it will also support Lilium in a sales campaign to offer its electric jets in fractional shares.

Lilium has already started a transportation hub in central Florida that it says will link the state with eVTOL aircraft. Its jet is expected to be certified in 2024, and can be configured in both four-passenger (luxury) and six-passenger (shuttle) versions, with a seat for a pilot.

GlobalX’s expertise as a flag airline will contribute not only to the formulation of the infrastructure needed to permit eVTOL flights, but also the deployment of Eve’s aircraft throughout its network. GlobalX is a US 121 domestic flag and supplemental airline flying the Airbus A320 family aircraft. GlobalX flies as a passenger ACMI and charter airline serving the US, Caribbean and Latin American markets.

Backed by Embraer’s more than 50-year history of aerospace expertise and with a singular focus, Eve is taking a holistic approach to progressing the UAM ecosystem, with an advanced eVTOL project, a comprehensive global services and support network and a unique air traffic management solution.

eVTOL aircraft developers will join industry professionals from airports, cities and civil aviation authorities at London Heathrow’s Hilton Hotel for the AIRTAXI World Congress next month, as the world starts to resume face-to-face networking events for the first time in more than 12 months.

Organised by Global Travel Investments, AIRTAXI World Congress will take place from October 12th-14th and is described as the world’s first vertical air show dedicated for the air taxis and urban eVTOL aircraft.

Over the two days, there will be main stage presentation sessions which includes specific workshops, panel and roundtable discussions and spotlights on particular areas in the world which could be the first to adopt urban air mobility services.

There will also be separate rooms available for companies to promote their products and services, as well as a virtual vertical airshow where eVTOL aircraft developers can showcase their technologies in a 3D setup. Additionally, an outdoor presentation has also been planned with more details to be announced closer to the event.

Companies already attending include Airbus, Volocopter, EHang, Vertical Aerospace, EASA, Honeywell, Roland Berger, EmbraerX, Eve Air Mobility and Skyports.

AIRTAXI World Congress brought together some of the leading individuals and organisations shaping the air mobility ecosystem. Day 1 reviewed industry progress to date; UAM challenges and opportunities; and the steps that need to be taken to enable the industry’s global success.

The congress started with Ian Kiely, CEO of Drone Consultants Ireland, providing an overview of the drones and UAM landscape. He discussed the use of 4G and 5G, eVTOL connectivity and the satellite capabilities to support aircraft operations. The issue of mapping the surroundings was also covered. Kiely spoke about the need for the aerial mobility ecosystem to closely work with a number of other stakeholders, including the construction industry, to ensure access to the most up-to-date information about the built environment (e.g., in case a crane pops up overnight on the usual UAM route).

Later that day, a panel discussion on the topic of 'UAM: Hype v Reality: What is the status quo' took place. This covered a range of companies currently involved in UAM, and how a systems approach needs to be adopted, although we are still gazing into the crystal ball to predict where we will be in the next decade.

On the 12th and 13th October 2021, we attended the first AIRTAXI World Congress, which was entirely dedicated to air taxis and Urban Air Mobility (UAM)! This included a showcase of electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles, as well as the implications and challenges that are faced by this emerging industry.

Alongside the informative and exciting presentations and exhibition, the event provided attendees with a great networking opportunity. We were extremely pleased to meet and reunite with incredible people from the UAM ecosystem, including representatives from EHang, Airspeeder, Groupe ADP, eVTOL Insights, Swanson Aviation, Vertical Aerospace, and many more!

Following on from Day 1, the conference continued exploring the theme of public acceptance, as well as UAM’s environmental impact. Day 2 also showcased a presentation from What3Words and an ‘Ask Anything’ panel discussion.

We invited electric vehicle enthusiast Robert Llewellyn from the Fully Charged Show to enjoy an exclusive tour of our full-scale #eVTOL model, the VX4. Our Founder and CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick and Team Lead Flying Qualities Sophie R. talked to Robert about why Vertical was born, the propriety technology behind the VX4, and why we truly believe this is the most exciting time in aviation since the dawn of the jet engine. Then came the really fun part; getting Robert to fly in the simulator.

Toolkit to Prepare Your Airport for Electric Aircraft

Airbus' new eVTOL aircraft, the CityAirbus NextGen, is still under development, but it should be ready for its first flight in 2023. Airbus hopes to certify the aircraft as soon as 2025 under the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Special Conditions-VTOL rules.

The new eVTOL will be equipped with fixed wings, a V-shaped tail, and eight electric propellers. Airbus says the aircraft will carry up to four passengers, including a pilot, over 50 miles at a cruise speed of 75 mph (129 km/h). This is a normal size for this type of aircraft, similar to many other eVTOL forays.

BOSTON and HONOLULU — REGENT today announced that Hawaiian Airlines has agreed to strategically invest in the company to support the initial design of its next generation 100-person capacity all-electric seaglider known as the Monarch. With this investment, Hawaiian Airlines becomes REGENT’s first U.S.-based design partner for the Monarch, which is slated for entry into commercial service by 2028.

“Innovative interisland transportation has been core to our business since 1929 when we replaced steam ships with airplanes. We are excited to be an early investor in REGENT and to be involved in developing their largest seaglider – a vehicle with great potential for Hawaiʻi',” said Avi Mannis, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Hawaiian Airlines. “We look forward to working with REGENT to explore the technology and infrastructure needed to fulfill our vision for convenient, comfortable and environmentally sustainable interisland transportation.”

As part of the agreement, Avolon, through its investment and innovation affiliate Avolon-e, has formed a strategic partnership with Gözen Holding to commercialise zero-emissions eVTOL travel and develop an industry leading urban air mobility (‘UAM’) platform in Turkey. Avolon and Gözen Holding will collaborate in a Working Group to identify and target local partners, research potential market opportunities, as well as infrastructure and certification requirements for UAM. The partnership will allow Avolon to leverage Gözen Holding’s expertise in airline operations, pilot training, airport handling and security, airline representation as well as digital platforms, while Gözen Holding will benefit from Avolon’s deep industry expertise and global platform of UAM Working Groups, which are active in Brazil (with GOL), Greenland (with Air Greenland), Japan (with Japan Airlines) and Southeast Asia (with AirAsia).

UK company Firstco, Developing Vertiport Control Room Software

The emergence of the advanced aerial mobility and Urban Air Mobility (UAM) sector has beenrapidly gaining traction, the realisation of this seemingly far-reaching idea will likely become a realitywithin a few years.There are multiple electric Vertical Take-off and Landing (eVTOL) manufactures designing and testingaircraft with various range, load, and driver vs autonomous pilotage capabilities. This new mobilitysector promises significantly shorter journey times with zero emissions. To enable this new form ofmobility, in addition to the eVTOL aircraft design and required legislation for these to be able to takeflight, a network of vertiports will need to be developed.Vertiport designs will come in various forms in accordance with location and purpose. Some will bepart of large transport hubs located at existing transport terminals such as airports or rail stations,others will be smaller, standalone operations at inner city or rural destinations.

Aaron Erwin (Systems Engineer with Firstco) says:“We believe that the typical Vertiport business case cannot support on site services often found atairports, instead, Vertiports will need operations like that of rail stations. They will need to rely onremote control and monitoring of their infrastructure systems from a centralised operations roomthat supervises multiple Vertiports.”

The nine-seater Alice is the world's first flight-tested all-electric commuter aircraft. Built from a clean-sheet design, the Alice produces no emissions and costs significantly less to operate per flight hour compared to light jets or high-end turboprops. It is powered by two magni650 electric propulsion units developed by magniX, the global industry leader in flight-proven electric propulsion systems.

Aerus is a new market entrant committed to sustainable and carbon-free technology. Launching commercial operations in 2023, Aerus will utilize Monterrey Airport (MTY) as its regional hub, offering an expanded flight schedule and covering routes that no other airlines currently operate. By introducing electric aircraft into its fleet, Aerus aims to reduce its carbon emissions by 50% by 2033.