The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

Eve Prepares to Fly Full-Scale eVTOL Prototype As Order Book Swells

Eve Urban Air Mobility aims to be ready to fly a full-scale proof-of-concept prototype for its planned four-passenger eVTOL aircraft within the next few months. During a February 16 press conference at the Singapore Airshow, co-CEO André Stein revealed that ground testing of the all-electric aircraft is underway as the company works to complete type certification in 2025 and start commercial flights in 2026.

According to Eve, which is a subsidiary of Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer, it now holds provisional sales commitments covering 1,785 aircraft that would generate income of around $5.4 billion if they are firmed up. While many of these letters of intention (LOI) agreements have come from Eve's strategic investors, initial deposits accompany many of the orders, Stein said.

The backlog includes the latest LOI, signed this week covering an order for up to 40 aircraft by Microflite, which plans to begin flying urban air mobility (UAM) operations in Australia in 2026. Eve also announced a new partnership with a pair of companies called Aviair and HeliSpirit that it said "contemplates an order" for up to 50 aircraft. Aviar and HeliSpirit are part of tourism group HMC, which already operates a fleet of 50 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters our tour operations in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Microflite and Eve will work together initially with helicopters to prove parameters for future eVTOL operations, something that Eve has done with other prospective operators. Eve also has developed “concept of operations” plans that include air traffic management considerations for a variety of locales.

“After working closely with Eve over the past few months, we have identified a network of potential routes and we look forward to working with commercial partners and communities to prioritize these routes and trial selected operations with our existing fleet,” said Microflite CEO Jonathan Booth. The company bases its operations in Victoria and offers tours, charter, pilot training, and emergency services.

Earlier this month Eve reported that Brazilian aviation authority ANAC has approved the basis for type certification for its eVTOL design. “We’re focused on putting in the right building blocks,” Stein told reporters, which he said has entailed expanding early simulation testing that used actual flight control software, flying subscale models, and continuing work on proof-of-concept prototypes. Eve is also working closely with the FAA and EASA on the certification roadmap.

The volume of provisional orders that Eve has logged so far will require a high rate of production, something that the aviation industry has not been able to accomplish efficiently. “This is different than we’ve ever seen,” admitted Stein. “But it’s a few years before we need to freeze the setup for production.” The plan calls for spreading the work to manufacturing and supply partners globally and “scale as needed to help with cash flow,” he explained.

Meanwhile, Eve is focusing on developing four key core technology areas that underpin its eVTOL efforts. These include design and production, service and support, fleet operations, and urban air traffic management.

The vehicle itself will be all-electric, initially seating four passengers and one pilot but eventually transitioning to fully autonomous operation and five-passenger capacity. The aircraft's range at entry into service will extend to 100 km (62 miles), which the company says addresses 99 percent of UAM missions in cities and metropolitan areas. Operating costs will run six times lower than a comparable helicopter and noise footprint up to 90 percent lower.

According to Eve, a typical Singapore eVTOL mission might involve a flight from Jurong West to Changi Airport. While just 41 km on the ground, the drive typically takes an hour. By air, Eve’s eVTOL could make the 30-km trip in only 20 minutes. The "sweet spot" for UAM flights ranges from 30 to 100 km, which would take 12 to 37 minutes, respectively, according to Eve.

Singapore should be able to accommodate more than 200 eVTOLs operating from 30 vertiports and accomplishing 3,000 flights per day while carrying 3 million passengers per year.

By 2035, the Asia-Pacific advanced air mobility market will become the world’s largest, Eve predicts, with around 25,000 eVTOL aircraft flying 400,000 flights per day and 500 million passengers per year.