Autonomous Vehicles, New Mobility & the Built Environment

Electric Flight Taking Off Again at TVF 22

The Vertical Flight Society was back in San Jose in 2022 bigger and better than ever with more than 50 technical paper presentations and 50+ invited talks, plus 20 exhibitors. The hybrid nature of the online/in-person Transformative Vertical Flight 2022 meeting allowed speakers and attendees to join remotely from around the world.

The above interview with The Director of Strategic Development, Jim Sherman, captures a slice of the excitement from this multi-day event. Topics ranged from the technical, such as the acoustic characteristics of rotors, to the impact on communities of widespread electric vertical flight to different use-cases for low-cost air transport.

Interview Highlights #

  • 01:12 – One of the big announcements concurrent to the event is Elroy Air’s C1 Chaparral Aircraft. Elroy Air’s mission is to enable same-day shipping to every person on the planet. [Added 3/30/22Elroy’s mission became much more tangible with their announcement that FedEx will be testing their cargo plane for middle-mile logistics operations.] Another unique announcement that week was the Luftcar.
  • 02:01 – Sherman points out that VFS has now identified over 600 electric aircraft design concepts, which is significantly more than the 2020 conference
  • 02:42 – There are many potential use-cases for electric, vertical take-off vehicles. Vehicles that provide emergency service, whether as an ambulance, firefighting, or some other lifesaving function, will most likely be readily accepted by the public.
  • 04:32 – Speaking of public acceptance, Sherman talks about CAMI and the importance of its role in introducing the industry to the public agencies that are going to have to buy in, if eVTOL (electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing) is going to take off.
  • 05:39 – VFS has been proactively working with NASA and the FAA to ensure that they are ready for these new vehicles.
  • 07:21 – Safety is the number one priority. At the same time, noise is the number one complaint to the FAA so it is important to address.
  • 07:42 – Sustainability is another important factor playing into public acceptance. Sherman explains that there was a panel on how hydrogen may play a role in generating the needed electricity.
  • 08:33 – Finally, Sherman discusses one of the show highlights, which was a field trip to the Hiller Museum, where attendees saw a glimpse of several models and vehicles, including the Kitty Hawk

Author Ken Pyle, Managing Editor

By Ken Pyle, Managing Editor

Ken Pyle is Marketing Director for the Broadband Forum. The mission of this 25+-year-old non-profit “is to unlock the potential for new markets and profitable revenue growth by leveraging new technologies and standards in the home, intelligent small business, and multi-user infrastructure of the broadband network.”

He is also co-founder of Viodi, LLC and Managing Editor of the Viodi View, a publication focused on the rural broadband ecosystem, autonomous vehicles, and electric aviation. He has edited and produced numerous multimedia projects for NTCA, US Telecom and Viodi. Pyle is the producer of Viodi’s Local Content Workshop, the Video Production Crash Course at NAB, as well as ViodiTV. He has been intimately involved in Viodi’s consulting projects and has created processes for clients to use for their PPV and VOD operations, as well authored reports on the independent telco market.

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