Trends in eVTOL Aircraft Development: The Concepts, Enablers and Challenges
By the second quarter of 2022, over 500 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft concepts have been unveiled. However, less than 30% of the concepts have achieved first flight due to the infancy of this industry. To keep track of these developments and the emerging urban air mobility landscape, a technical research database has been developed to categorize the concepts based on their propulsion architecture and compare them for performance and safety metrics based on published data and independent analyses. This paper presents the results of a study on 120 eVTOL aircraft concepts announced between 2014 and 2020. It reviews the current global eVTOL landscape and explores the technological progress enabling the development of these aircraft. Data on global eVTOL aircraft development show that eVTOL start-up companies are developing a majority of concepts at 68%. The USA, Europe and China account for over 70% of the concepts in development. The intensity of public announcements of new eVTOL aircraft concepts appears to have peaked after an exponential rise in the number of concepts unveiled between 2016 and 2018. This study intends to inform readers about the trends in eVTOL development and the dominant concepts that may be considered in trade studies.
Author affiliationSchool of Engineering, University of Leicester
SourceAIAA SCITECH 2023 Forum 23-27 January 2023 National Harbor, MD & Online
- AM (Accepted Manuscript)