Necessity is the mother of inventions; we experience it now and then. But who would have thought that the necessity of transportation and scarcity of fuel will give rise to the invention of technology like eVTOL that will completely transform the aerospace industry?
In the recent report by Deloitte, it is estimated that the US passenger eVTOL market size could reach US$17.7 billion by 2040. With the burgeoning ambitious startups, the eVTOL industry is projected to reach $1-3tn.
In this article, we’ll share the benefits of eVTOL and how it is a multi-facet technology that will advance avionics and human civilization. But first, let’s understand the origin of eVTOL, that is VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing).
VTOL came into existence when we needed an aircraft that can operate in space-constrained areas and work faster against the enemy. VTOL is a sub-set of V/STOL i.e., Vertical Short Take-off and Landing. A helicopter is the best example of a VTOL aircraft. Harrier was the first VSTOL aircraft and it was developed by British manufacturer Hawker Siddeley in the 1960s.
There are two types of VTOL technology:
- Rotorcraft: In this, the aircraft uses the rotor blade that revolves around the center mass as you must have seen in helicopters, gyrocopters, and rotorcraft.
- Powered Lift Vehicle: Unlike spinning blades, this technology uses fixed wings to lift and land vertically with the help of engine power. Harrier and Bell Boeing V-22 Ospreyare examples of aircrafts that use power thrust to operate. These are also called convertiplanes.
What is eVTOL?
eVTOL is the advanced version of VTOL that uses electric power to hover, take off, and land in a vertical motion. The advancement in electric propulsion such as motors, fuel cells, batteries, and the need for air taxis (urban air mobility vehicles) are the driving forces behind this breakthrough. Aircraft companies like Boeing, Honda, Airbus, SpaceX, and NASA are working on eVTOL technology. The main selling point of eVTOL is being environmentally friendly and the ability to immensely reduce the average trip time, especially in remote areas.
eVTOL has various benefits for different industries. Here are top seven application areas of eVTOL that will transform the future as you know it today.
Top 7 must-know applications of eVTOL
eVTOL in transportation
The dream of a flying car is nearer than you think. When Uber announced its air taxi venture Uber Elevate (now acquired by Joby Aviation), it seemed like a far-fetched ambition. But recently many aerospace companies have started working on delivering air taxis to serve a certain group of travelers. Unlike ground transport, the infrastructure costs for air taxis will be much cheaper and yet more efficient. It will help massively in congested locations and where the demand to commute is more than the supply. The newest invention in the aerospace business is electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, to know more read this blog.
eVTOL in agriculture
The agriculture industry is far behind when it comes to technology implementation. Farmers still rely on traditional methods and manual resources for crop management, routine checkups for data gathering, crop dusting, and other farming operations.
eVTOL has the potential to shift time-consuming and inefficient agriculture practices to smarter, faster, and error-free methods. By using eVTOL-enabled unarmed aerial vehicles or drones, farmers can practice smart surveillance, selective pesticide dusting, and gather data to protect their crops from various threats.
eVTOL in emergency medical services
We all know that a slight delay in medical aid can cause lifetime suffering. The pandemic has shown us that the world needs more technological advancement in the medical industry as well.
According to an ongoing study by Urban Aeronautics, CityHawk Vehicle, eVTOL ambulances could cut emergency medical services response times and boost positive outcomes in more than half of cardiac arrest cases. According to a report by MDPI, advanced mobility vehicles have the potential to reduce the time of medical supply and testing from hours to 15 minutes, especially in remote areas.
eVTOL implementation in Emergency Medical Service (EMS) can enhance medical support and protect thousands of lives that get lost merely due to a shortage of time and remoteness.
eVTOL in search and rescue mission
No matter how much we prepare to save ourselves from adversities, we cannot control them. The pandemic or natural calamities are invincible. Sure, we cannot stop them from happening, but we can minimize the damage by using advanced technology.
eVTOL can perfect the search and rescue operations. Its capabilities to go into uncharted territories and added features like visual aid can find people who are stuck in debris after the accidents like landslides, fires, or earthquakes.
eVTOL in law enforcement
Like medical, eVTOL also has a future in law enforcement. The police department leverages the power of unmanned aerial vehicles to get situational awareness and prepare themselves for potential crime or threats. Indoors or outside, day or night; the usage of drones, minimizes their limitations and enables law enforcement officers with technological advancement that allows them to reduce crime rates to build safer communities.
eVTOL in national security
eVTOL has multiple benefits in the military. The flexibility to operate from anywhere, options to fly manually or automatically, lower noise levels, and independence from the need for runways, are a few to mention. Considering the current situation of the Ukraine war and scarcity of fuel; holding the airpower like eVTOL aircraft is highly appealing to showcase dominance and stronger defense power.
Many nations have already started testing eVTOL aircrafts. The leaders of these nations are preparing their defense system with a fallback plan that is dependable, adaptable, and can be used as an effective tool to eliminate the probable chances of failure. Right now, it is only the first generation of eVTOL. Battery technology is advancing every year and by the time eVTOL technology will reach its full potential, the defense system will not be the same.
eVTOL in logistics
Logistics is the most obvious industry that is going to get massive benefits from eVTOL. Google’s Wing drone delivery of essentials during the pandemic is the perfect example to prove how important a role it can play in logistics. Google Wing CEO confirmed that they made more than 1000 deliveries during the COVID pandemic, especially in the rural areas of the US.
Nuuva 300 is another example of logistic eVTOL. It can carry a payload of approx. 300 Kgs within a range of 300 KM. There are many more companies that have started investing in implementing eVTOL as cargo transportation that is efficient, faster, and a better option for deliveries to remote areas.
There is far more future for the eVTOL than we can imagine. Yes, there are some prevalent challenges like safety, infrastructures, public acceptance, and manufacturing standards; but considering the pace with which the electronic industry is transforming, eVTOL could surely overcome these challenges sooner than ever.
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