Bjorn’s Corner: Sustainable Air Transport. Part 30. Mixed architectures.

By Bjorn Fehrm

August 4, 2022, ©. Leeham News: This week, we look at two eVTOLs that don’t fit the terminology we use; Multicopters, Vectored thrust, or Lift and Cruise. The Vertical VX4 and Archer Adam are Lift and Cruise designs, but they use vectored thrusters for the cruise thrust, Figure 1.

Figure 1. The vertical VA-X4. Source: Vertical Aerospace.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Sustainable Air Transport. Part 30. Lilium Jet VTOL.

By Bjorn Fehrm

July 28, 2022, ©. Leeham News: This week, we analyze the Lilium Jet VTOL.

It’s a vectored thrust design, but it’s different enough in its characteristics from the vectored thrust VTOLs we looked at in Part 28 (Joby S4 ..) to motivate a separate article.

Figure 1. The final Lilium Jet configuration transports six passengers plus a pilot. Note the changed number of wing jets (from 24 to 20). Source: Lilium.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Sustainable Air Transport. Part 29. Lift + Cruise VTOLs.

By Bjorn Fehrm

July 22, 2022, ©. Leeham News: We analyzed vectored thrust VTOLs last week, like Joby Aviation’s Joby S4. Now we look at VTOLs that separate vertical and forward flight thrust generation into two different systems. Typical exponents are Wisk Aero Cora, Beta Technologies Alia-250, and Embraer’s EVE.

Figure 1. Wisk Aero Cora. Source: Wisk Aero.

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Bjorn’s Corner: Sustainable Air Transport. Part 27. Multicopters.

July 8, 2022, ©. Leeham News: We will start the analysis of the market’s most prominent VTOL variants by looking at the simplest version, multicopters.

When we analyze the multicopters, we can go through some fundamentals of how VTOL operates and the technology used.

Figure 1. The VoloCity multicopter of the Volocopter company. Source: Volocopter.

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Boeing invests $450m in Wisk Aero air taxi venture

By Bjorn Fehrm

January 25, 2022, ©. Leeham News: Boeing and Wisk Aero yesterday had a media briefing on why Boeing is extending its investment in Wisk Aero with a further $450m.

The main technology is not the eVTOL aircraft. Wisk is just one of many upstarts that relies on batteries and multiple electrical propulsors to create a VTOL air taxi. It’s the pilotless operation that’s the key technology in the project. As perhaps the only VTOL company, Wisk goes directly to pilotless flight.

Brian Yutko, VP of Sustainability and Future Mobility at Boeing, explained: “The pilotless flight technology is of great interest to Boeing. It’s challenging technology, but it has a wide field of applications once mastered. We are not targeting our airliners but other civil and military applications. It’s an important driver for us in the continued support for our Wisk joint venture.”

Figure 1. The fifth-generation prototype Cora, with which flight tests are done in New Zeeland. Source: Wisk Aero.

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