The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

Mark Huber

News

News

Bell Brings Autonomous Cargo UAV To Air Medical Show

Bell pursues the medical market for its Autonomous Pod Transport cargo drone.
Bell has brought its Autonomous Pod Transport eVTOL this week to the 2022 Air Medical Transport Conference in Tampa, Florida. The company has been flying the aircraft for several years and aims for a production version that will deliver 100 pounds, 100 miles, at 100 knots per hour.
Bell Autonomous Pod Transport drone

News

News

Xwing Says Cargo Operations Are the Fast-track to Autonomous Commercial Flights, But Passenger Acceptance Is a Long Way Off

The company has acquired three cargo delivery operators as it seeks to demonstrate that its technology can support flights without a pilot on board that could make services far more cost-efficient.
Innovators like Xwing are focusing on air freight services to gain regulators' approval for flights controlled by ground-based operators rather than pilots on board. Earl Lawrence, the FAA's former executive director of aircraft certification and now Xwing's chief compliance and quality officer, told the recent Electric Aircraft Symposium that passengers are a long way from being ready to accept autonomous operations.
Xwing wants to convert existing cargo aircraft to be operated with no pilot on board.

News

News

NASA Steps Up Urban Air Mobility Automation Trials in Vertiport Lab

The U.S. agency believes that automation is the key to making the new mode of air transportation efficient and profitable.
In its high-density vertiplex project, NASA engineers and pilots have employed simulations and live flight trials in their efforts to mature automation technology. Using the agency's Langley and Ames facilities, the research team has developed a prototype urban air mobility ecosystem covering aircraft operations, airspace, and fleet management.
NASA has been evaluating how urban air mobility operations could achieve a high degree of automation.

News

News

Infrastructure Could Be Advanced Air Mobility's Greatest Challenge, Say Experts

Experts caution about the ability to fundraise and accommodate infrastructure demands for AAM
Experts gathered at the Vertical Flight Society's recent Electric Aircraft Symposium pointed to numerous roadblocks to putting the proper infrastructure in place for advanced air mobility, such as raising sufficient capital, finding acceptable locations, and completing the appropriate studies.
NASA Langley Remote Operations for Autonomous Missions lab. (Photo: NASA)

News

News

Textron Changes Course on eVTOL Aircraft Plans, Confirming Nexus Is an Active Program

The U.S. group first revealed an early design for the Nexus eVTOL in 2019 and then unveiled a more advanced Nexus 4EX design in 2020.
Textron's new eAviation division now says it has resumed work on Bell's planned Nexus eVTOL aircraft and may be ready to start test flights in a couple of years. The program, which last year appeared to be suspended, is now being advanced with support from Textron Aviation, automotive supplier Kautex, and newly acquired electric aviation specialist Pipistrel.
Textron's Nexus 4EX eVTOL aircraft.

News

News

New York Helicopter Bans Raise Questions about eVTOL Operations

Noise from helicopter flights in the New York City area has prompted support for tough restrictions on non-essential flights.
State and city legislation in New York is set to ban many helicopter flights deemed to be "non-essential" and make it easier for civil lawsuits against rotorcraft operators to succeed. The bills appear to apply to existing rotorcraft but may raise concerns about the attitudes of local officials toward eVTOL flights.
Eve's four-passenger eVTOL aircraft could operate in cities such as New York.

News

News

Helicopter Operator Joins Plans For eVTOL Air Taxi Services in Los Angeles

Helinet is joining the Urban Movement Labs project, which already involves eVTOL aircraft developers Archer, Volocopter and Supernal.
Helicopter charter group Helinet has joined the Urban Movement Labs project to prepare for possible eVTOL air taxi services in Los Angeles. The California-based company will share its experience with those missions to evaluate their applicability to eVTOLs and the attendant infrastructure requirements, including the addition of electric charging capacity. 
Helinet's Sikorsky S76 helicopter.

News

News

Airbus Sticks to Systematic Approach to eVTOL Market, Avoiding the Start-up Gold Rush

The company aims to fly a prototype of its CityAirbus NextGen eVTOL aircraft by the end of 2023, but says it won't confirm its plans for the advanced air mobility sector until it has resolved all operational and technical issues.
Airbus Helicopters CEO Bruno Even this week insisted that the European aerospace giant won't be rushed over the timeline for bringing its CityAirbus NextGen eVTOL aircraft to market, arguing that much work needs to be done on the required technology, regulation, and infrastructure to ensure that the new sector of aviation has a viable long-term future. The European company sees the new designs complementing the role of its existing rotorcraft, rather than replacing them.
Airbus CityAirbus

News

News

Hill Helicopters Founder Slams eVTOL Technology and Business Case

Arguing that the UK start-up's new single turbine light helicopters will be more competitive for new air mobility missions, CEO Jason Hill was dismissive of his eVTOL rivals.
Hill Helicopters aims to bring its HX50 and HC50 light helicopters to market from 2023, which is around the same time that the first of the new eVTOL aircraft could be achieving type certification. In a recent presentation, the UK company's founder Jason Hill was dismissive of the potential for electric VTOL technology, arguing that it won't deliver viable performance at a competitive cost.
Hill Helicopters

News

News

Marry Tesla to Uber and You Get eVTOL Transportation as a Service, Say UAM Pioneers

Senior executives from eVTOL aircraft developers Joby and Archer, and also would-be early urban air mobility adopter United Airlines, shared their vision in a Northwestern University webinar.
For many companies in the urban air mobility new wave, designing and building eVTOL aircraft is just the start. During a seminar this week, leaders from Joby, Archer, and United Airlines sought to demystify the buzzwords and business school theory behind their plans to transform the way people move around in a way that is more economically and environmentally sustainable.
Archer eVTOL aircraft