Today’s #UAMglossary entry delves into the term “eVTOL.”
What is an eVTOL, anyway?
eVTOL, or “electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft,” refers to a new type of aircraft that first burst onto the scene back in 2011. And Volocopter’s VC1 was among the first eVTOL prototypes to ever go on display.
eVTOLs are distinct in that they take off vertically, by virtue of electric propulsion – in point of fact, they’re powered by nothing else. Featuring a more sustainable type of powertrain, eVTOLs offer crucial advantages over planes or classic VTOLs like helicopters in terms of both emissions (of which there are *zero* while our VoloCity air taxi is in flight ) and noise signature.
What else is special about eVTOLs?
These days, commercial aviation is certainly one of the fastest and most practical ways to get from A to B. Not only does it slash passenger travel times, it also flies above major roads, traffic, and other challenging ground routes like uneven terrain.
Then again, similar to most mobility options at our disposal these days, it does come with a few drawbacks of its own: the sheer amount of kerosene burned in aviation releases considerable volumes of carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxides into the air, which is definitely not good news for the climate. What’s more, airports and ground infrastructure take up vast swathes of (urban) space, and they use a staggering amount of resources in so doing.
Enter eVTOLs: as an elegant, quieter-than-you’d-think, and environmentally friendly alternative to conventional planes, when utilized to the max eVTOL aircraft combine sustainability, safety, and a low noise signature with a low-maintenance infrastructure, all while offering the same advantages as normal aircraft. Plus, they take up comparatively little space – the VoloCity, for instance, needs a mere 17 x 17 meters (56 x 56 feet) to take off and land. No runways or landing strips to speak of. Neat, right?
Volocopter & eVTOLs
With upwards of a decade of experience in this nascent industry, Volocopter has specialized in the development, production, and operation of eVTOLs with several future missions in mind: passenger transportation (the VoloCity and VoloConnect), cargo (the VoloDrone), and the physical and digital infrastructure to match (the VoloPort and VoloIQ). We believe that our products can go a long way toward solving urban and extra-urban mobility issues. And bring people to their destinations via a direct air route that offers a way to sidestep congested ground routes while simultaneously relieving traffic.
Another boon is how Volocopter’s eVTOLs can easily fit in with and adapt to a cityscape. For example, the VoloCity air taxi can be rapidly deployed as part of an intra-city network by utilizing existing infrastructures like heliports, rooftops, or parking garage decks, alongside new, easy-to-build eVTOL infrastructure like our VoloPorts. Consequently, Volocopter’s eVTOLs offer a vast new range of possibilities that marry the need for enhanced transportation in megacities across the globe. What’s not to love?