Ask not for whom the eVTOLs…

The latest eVTOLs and what the future might hold for ‘flying cars’.
Alice Cooke
Are eVTOLs the future?
  • The big goal behind eVTOLs is to reduce carbon emissions.

  • Vertiia claims to have created the world's most efficient eVTOL, owing to its energy-efficient design.

  • What’s next? Revolutionizing air travel by making flying taxis that can fly like a plane, that’s what.

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Flying cars used to be the province of fantastical science fiction tales, but no longer. 

Flying cars are now very much real, and there are over 200 different models in various stages of design and development, with dozens already in the air. 

They’re known as eVTOLs (electric vertical take-off and landing), they can take around 4-5 passengers, and they’re pretty energy efficient. 

They can also take off and land vertically without a long runway – the idea being, that they replace cars one day, presumably. 

So getting eVTOLs off the ground, as it were, is a major priority.

What’s standing in the way? At the moment, regulatory expectations and safety requirements… but it’s very early days, as the concept of an eVTOL didn’t actually hit the market until 2008. 

Why are we all for it? Well… CO2 emissions from commercial aircraft went up by more than 30 percent between 2013 and 2018, and let’s not even get started on cars. 

The second goal is urban air mobility (UAM), which means using highly automated, low-altitude eVTOLs to speed up urban travel and help ease the traffic burden on roads.

So with all that in mind, here, we take a look at the latest developments on the market. 

Australian firm successfully tests its eVTOL with a 620-mile range

An Australian firm has finished its electric VTOL aircraft's first tethered test flight. AMSL Aero's offering, christened Vertiia, aims to provide a safe aircraft that will ease the burden of traffic congestion on people's lives. 

Vertiia is one of the newest VTOL industry entrants that has seen recent activity from players like Jetoptera and ARC Aerosystems.

The concept gains significance not just because it is from the other side of the globe but because it is also one of the most compact designs unveiled in this space, thanks to its box-wing type construction. "The combination of its unique aerodynamic and structural design means it travels further using less energy," according to the firm's website. 

Vertiia is intended to carry up to five passengers and is designed from the ground up to run on hydrogen fuel as well. The firm is in the process of integrating hydrogen fuel. 

A highly efficient long-range model 

The firm claims it is the 'world's most efficient electric Vertical Take off and Landing aircraft, owing to its energy-efficient design. The eVTOL will be able to cruise at a maximum speed of 180mph (300km/h) and travel 155 miles (250km) powered purely by electric batteries before recharging.

The range of the aircraft, which can take off and land like a helicopter, can be further extended to an enviable figure of 620 miles (1,000km) using hydrogen fuel. The firm intends the aircraft to be utilized for aeromedical, emergency services, and passenger markets. 

The firm will also be looking at other areas where it can become helpful in a place as large as Australia. “Taxi operation is one use, and there are lots of people throughout Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane who would love to see their commute shortened significantly by flying from their home directly to work,” Andrew Moore, the co-founder of AMSL Aero, told Financial 

An added layer of security for clients 

An eVTOL eliminates the shortcomings of a typical helicopter with many single points of failure. A can small error caused due to faulty maintenance can lead to a fatal crash. “Vertiia and eVTOL aircraft use what’s known as distributed electric propulsion, and that allows you to manage failures in a way similar to how a 747 or a large transport aircraft manages failures," Andrew told Financial Review. 

This allows such aircraft to withstand many failures and still land safely. "So really a small eVTOL aircraft can provide the levels of safety that you see in those really large airliners," said Andrew.

To further its testing and certification requirements, the firm closed a series B funding round of $23 million from some of Australia's most established investors last September. The aircraft is expected to be available for commercial use by 2026.

This seagull-looking eVTOL might be the future of urban travel

Blade and Beta marks an important step towards the mission of providing passengers with reliable urban air travel experiences.

New York City just took a giant leap into the sky! For the first time, an electric air taxi made its inaugural flight around Gotham. This aerial marvel is set to revolutionize urban transportation with clean energy and on-demand convenience - talk about flying high in style!

Blade Air Mobility and BETA Technologies achieved a milestone this Tuesday. They have successfully tested their first-ever electric vehicle, or air taxi, in the greater NYC area. 

An alternative for people looking to dodge traffic

Two powerhouses in the aviation industry, Blade and Joby Aviation, have taken to the skies together. Their mission? To revolutionize air travel by making flying taxis that can fly like a plane and ascend like a helicopter available for commercial use! 

Rob Wiesenthal has high hopes that "this will be the mainstay" not just for him but for his entire industry moving forward. 

In addition to creating these fantastic new aerial options for meeting clients from one side of town to another without having significant traffic delays, Blade also connects flyers with resort destinations, such as rides to JFK Airport from Manhattan. Further, it arranges organ transplant transport flights.

BETA's air taxi- ALIA-250 EVA

ALIA-250 EVA - BETA Air Taxi has been in the works for almost three years. It was influenced by the Arctic tern design. Since terms migrate further than any other type of bird, visiting every corner of the Earth, it inspired the BETA team to construct the most efficient flying method for passengers to migrate anywhere. 

The air taxi consists of two versions- one is for cargo, and the other is for passengers. Blade is ushering in the future of urban transportation with its plan to launch 20 state-of-the-art electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft over US routes this April. 

Boasting a powerful, distributed direct drive propulsion system that can reach 250 NM in just 50 minutes of charge time, this eVTOL will revolutionize air travel – both for passengers and cargo!

A special cargo version has been developed, too; it comes loaded with 200 Ft ^3 storage space instead of seating capacity. The company also plans to install the charging infrastructure necessary to facilitate its full transition into operation.

Blade is taking a giant leap in the future of transportation, introducing electric aircraft to cities worldwide. 

According to Kyle Clark, Beta's founder and CEO: "This flight marks an important step towards our mission of providing passengers with reliable urban air travel experiences."

Reservations for this eVTOL, with a top speed of 63 mph, have started

RYSE Aero Technologies has started accepting reservations for its lightweight electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) multi-copter RECON.

Customers who are interested in purchasing the RECON can place a reservation starting today by visiting The RECON is scheduled to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2023.

The Recon is an aerial ATV that is intended for use in rural areas and in the agricultural sector. It makes it simpler to traverse vast tracts of territory with few or no paved roads. It can fly at a maximum altitude of 400 feet and a top speed of 63 miles per hour. It has a flight time of roughly 20 minutes and is powered by six batteries. According to Ryse Aero Technologies, no pilot's license is required to operate the airborne vehicle, which someone with little to no experience may operate. The company claims that it can also help with search and rescue efforts, disaster relief, and other things. It costs $150,000 and should be delivered by the end of the year.

"We have received countless requests from enthusiasts and agricultural buyers to purchase a RECON," said Mick Kowitz, CEO of RYSE Aero Technologies. "We want to begin the purchase process by allowing future buyers to secure a position in line now, so when we begin production manufacturing, everyone can know what and when to expect delivery."

The RECON is an all-electric aerial ATV that falls within the FAA's Part 103 Ultralight Rules and was created to make flying accessible to everyone, independent of skill level or pilot certification. Since the RECON's first manned flight four months ago, RYSE has completed a number of open flights and demonstrations at prestigious farming and agriculture expos, allowing for many improvements to both its capabilities and restrictions.

The Simplified Vehicle Operations Systems (SVO), which ensure a low learning curve for the pilot, the Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), which increases safety and reliability, the redundant artificial intelligence systems, and the increased battery pack capacity were among the most recent feature enhancements of the RECON that visitors to RYSE's booth at the CES 2023 were able to experience.

"As the world's largest innovation stage, CES provides an unparalleled opportunity to showcase RECON's cutting-edge technology. It's a fantastic honor to be the first person to fly an eVOTL vehicle here at CES," said Erik Stephansen, Director of Regulatory Affairs and Aerodynamics for RYSE Aero Technologies. "I'm excited to conduct daily flight demonstrations at the West Hall's outside demonstration area, giving attendees a chance to see firsthand how easy and intuitive the RECON is to operate."

The opening of the reservation system will allow customers to reserve an assembly position for the RECON, providing them an opportunity to secure their delivery date, time, and location. This manufacturing cycle will prioritize reservations for properties such as farms, ranches, and vineyards first, and then later accommodate reservations for more general property owners."

RYSE has updated its guidance based on financing arrangements and supply chain lead times to begin production delivery of the RECON in late 2023. The reservation system will enable RYSE to better manage the supply chain and more effectively meet customer needs.

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