The Vertical Flight Society (VFS) has announced that its annual conference on electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft will be the world’s largest event ever on the emerging industry.
This 11th Annual Electric VTOL Symposium — being held Feb. 6–8 in Santa Clara, California, as part of the VFS Transformative Vertical Flight 2024 — is the world’s largest and longest-running event focusing on the incredible promise, progress and challenges of eVTOL aircraft.
The overall TVF 2024 event — which covers eVTOL, drones, helicopters, advanced rotorcraft and other types of advanced air mobility (AAM) — has a packed agenda with nearly 150 total speakers (in 3 tracks), plus 37 exhibitors, including two eVTOL aircraft on display. TVF 2024 includes the Society’s 6th Decennial VFS Aeromechanics Specialists’ Conference, which marks the 50th Anniversary of the VFS San Francisco Bay Area Chapter’s first forum on emerging aeromechanics challenges and solution methods for future VTOL aircraft.
“TVF 2024 will showcase the latest eVTOL developments and the challenges that remain,” said VFS Executive Director Angelo Collins. “VFS has been instrumental in bringing the community together and developing broad research, investment and regulatory support for eVTOL developments over the past decade. We are very proud of the progress shown by our corporate members, as well as our members in academia and government agencies, around the world.”
In aircraft development, aeromechanics encompasses the technical disciplines of dynamics, aerodynamics, acoustics and flight mechanics, all of which are strong drivers in the vehicle design process. Some 70 technical papers are being presented in areas related to crewed and uncrewed rotorcraft/VTOL aeromechanics, using conventional and/or electrified propulsion systems. This is the world’s only event focused on advancing the understanding of aeromechanics of helicopters and other vertical flight aircraft.
More than 600 attendees are expected to attend the event. Details, including the technical paper presentation schedule, invited speakers and the exhibit hall floor plan, are posted at www.vtol.org/TVF2024.
TVF 2024 features a half-day opening plenary session with more than 15 leaders from industry, academia and government addressing developments in both aeromechanics and eVTOL aircraft. Plenary speakers represent the US Army and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), ONERA — The French Aerospace Lab, universities from the Netherlands and Singapore, and top aeromechanics engineers at AIBOT, Archer Aviation and Joby Aviation.
The 11th Annual eVTOL Symposium then kicks off with VIP talks by Robert A. Pearce, NASA Associate Administrator for the Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate; Howard McKenzie, Chief Engineer and Executive Vice President for Engineering Test and Technology, The Boeing Company; Dr. Brian Yutko, CEO of Wisk Aero; and Daniel I. Newman, Chief Technology Officer of Honeywell AAM.
Other sessions include top executives from leading eVTOL developers such as AIR EV, Alaka’i Technologies, Beta Technologies, Dufour Aerospace, Elroy Air, Jaunt Air Mobility, Joby Aviation, MightyFly, Overair, Piasecki Aircraft and Pivotal. Government speakers include representatives from NASA, the US Air Force AFWERX, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
VFS has been the world’s largest technical community of engineers, technologists and specialists developing vertical flight aircraft for more than 80 years. A growing number of professionals are entering the vertical flight industry and VFS provides them with numerous opportunities to increase their knowledge and exchange ideas. In addition to the presentations, TVF 2024 also includes its annual Short Course on Electric VTOL Design, which has had a major impact on the development of today’s eVTOL leaders.
As of today, the Society has cataloged more than 950 different electric VTOL concepts from more than 400 companies and innovators on its authoritative World eVTOL Aircraft Directory at www.evtol.news. When VFS launched the site in April 2017, only a dozen eVTOL programs were known to be under development. Neary 200 new designs were added in 2023 alone. The site currently also hosts more than eVTOL news stories, including more than 380 in-depth articles from the Society’s Vertiflite magazine, the leading periodical on eVTOL and rotorcraft developments.
VFS has been at the forefront of what it calls the “Electric VTOL Revolution” since 2014 when it held the world’s first meeting of the eVTOL development community. At the time, the idea of electric VTOL aircraft was greeted with widespread skepticism, but growing technical progress, flight demonstrations, government validation and private investment have helped reverse public perception. It is now recognized that the vertical flight market is poised for significant expansion over the next few years as eVTOL aircraft enter service that may be better suited than conventional helicopters for certain missions, such as lower operating costs, lower noise and greater design safety.
VFS was founded as the American Helicopter Society in 1943 by the visionaries of the early helicopter industry, who believed that technological cooperation and collaboration were essential to support this new type of aircraft. Today, history is repeating itself, with VFS playing a similar role helping to advance today’s revolutionary eVTOL aircraft.
VFS also holds the largest and longest-running vertical flight technical conference in the world, which this year will be its 80th Annual Forum & Technology Display on May 7–9, 2024, in Montréal, Québec, Canada: www.vtol.org/forum.