Emerging eVTOL


Preamble
  • UAM infra moving ahead or in tandem with transporters ('flying car') is good. Unlike EVs (electric vehicles) where the vehicle (eg. Tesla) is path finding alone. Aviation is more dynamic and have come up with proposals for hubs, flight control and nano-vertiports.
  • For drone-like transporters, not much progress is seen, but tilt-rotor eVTOL is where it is happening.
  • Tilt rotors differ from drones by having wings for lift and tilting rotors (propellers point up to fly up, forward to fly forward). 1st vid

eVTOL Startups

Sample Backers via
  • Archer - United Airlines, Stellantis
  • Lilium - Tencent, Atomico
  • Joby - Toyota, Uber, Intel, JetBlue
  • Vertical - American Airlines, Rolls Royce, Microsoft, Honeywell

Notes
  • The CityAirbus (announced 2 days ago on 21-Sep-2021) seems to be comparatively lightly spec-ed. But what aren't shown are turnaround times, acquisition and running costs, air traffic integration etc. These may be Airbus' forte given its commercial aviation experience.
  • Flight distances are typically 50 km, so high speed is not necessary. Here's what Joby said is a use case: LAX to Newport Beach (50km distance, 15 min UAM, 1 hour 16 min by car), and Vertical: Heathrow to Canary Wharf (32 km, 13 min UAM, 1 hour 22 min by car).
  • Locally and regionally, eVTOLs could be ideal for providing virtual cable cars or bridges. Example: Bukit Bintang-Genting (55 km) or Marina Square-Batam Island (30 km).