Although the coronavirus pandemic may have subdued the initial euphoria, it hasn't dimmed the enthusiasm for the emerging 3D urban air mobility (UAM) market. Electric vertical-and-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) for urban air mobility vehicle testing is accelerating, and in less than three years, the first type approvals and commercial deliveries may begin. It's getting more competitive to be the first to market.
The short-term outlook is only slightly better, and according to new Aviation Week Intelligence Network statistics, the demand for new aircraft production may be around 30% lower than previously anticipated over the next ten years.
First-wave UAM firms are developing business plans that are not solely focused on inner-city mobility as they progress through prototyping and certification. First responders, medical deliveries, intercity flights, and unmanned logistics are also included in the expanding market mix.
To reach its 2024 certification target, Vertical Aerospace intends to skip subscale prototyping and go straight to full-scale production. To test certain systems, it is now collaborating with providers like Honeywell, a producer of avionics. The VA-X1 is a significant technical milestone for the UAM sector.
Through its cloud-based 3DEXPERIENCE platform, various systems will provide Vertical Aerospace with the Product Lifecycle Management software.
In comparison to an earlier design that used no less than 12 overhead propellers in a multirotor configuration, VA-1X will have a more complex design that will include numerous control surfaces and vectored thrust. This design is likely to be more difficult to certify but may have more transport applications. The capacity of an airplane to change the direction of engine thrust in order to alter its attitude or angular velocity is known as thrust vectoring.
Growing populations provide serious problems, but they also present an opportunity to reevaluate our transportation systems and our attitudes about travel. According to the perspective, if the earth is full, there is nowhere to go except up.
UAM can securely transport passengers and cargo at low altitudes through cities and suburbs at a rate 10 times faster than a car by building a network of skyways out of existing and/or renovated heliport infrastructure and landing pads. UAM is positioned to address a sizable issue, which bodes well for the sector as a whole.
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