The Vertical Flight Society on July 22 announced it has now cataloged 300 electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft in its World eVTOL Aircraft Directory.
“Electric VTOL aircraft hold out the promise of being much safer, cheaper, cleaner and quieter,” said Mike Hirschberg, executive director, Vertical Flight Society (VFS). “The development of these aircraft is part of a larger global trend to support investment in sustainable aviation that continues in spite of the novel coronavirus pandemic.”
VFS notes these 300 aircraft entries include everything from conceptual studies and defunct projects to aircraft that are currently being flown for certification testing. The 300 mark, representing some 215 different companies and developers, includes an increase of 50 new aircraft being added since January 2020.
For the past 30 months, the VFS World eVTOL Aircraft Directory has grown at a pace of 100 entries per year, equating to an average of two new eVTOL aircraft concepts being added each week.
VFS states approximately US$4 billion has gone into exploring the potential of eVTOL aircraft since VFS held what it describes as the world’s first meeting of the eVTOL development community back in 2014. Much of the approximately US$1 billion in annual funding for eVTOL aircraft for passenger and cargo urban air mobility and other advanced air mobility missions, according to VFS, is coming from outside of the traditional aerospace industry.
As an example of this external funding generation, VFS points to Toyota Motor Corporation which has invested some US$394 million into Joby Aviation (bringing total outside investment to US$720 million), as well as Hyundai Motor which has pledged to invest US$1.5 billion in its UAM efforts. In Germany, Lilium has now raised US$376 million from a range of high-profile investors and Volocopter has received US$140 million, largely from transportation companies like Daimler, Geely and DB Schenker.