The Vertical Flight Society (VFS), a leading non-profit organisation working to advance vertical flight, has announced that the number of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft concepts being tracked in its World eVTOL Aircraft Directory has now reached 1,000 concepts from more than 430 designers.

Electric propulsion enables new aircraft concepts with enhanced performance, low or no emissions, reduced operating costs and low noise that will expand the market for vertical flight to missions not optimally served by helicopters.

After holding the world’s first eVTOL workshop in 2014, by 2016 the number of known eVTOL programmes under development was about a half dozen.

This number quickly grew after the announcement (at the Society’s third annual eVTOL Workshop in 2016) of Uber’s Elevate initiative and the first Uber Elevate Summit in April 2017.

“We realised that there needed some way for the public to keep track of all the new innovative concepts being explored,” said VFS Director of Strategy Mike Hirschberg.

“Since some innovative designs that seemed implausible at the time continued maturing into plausible approaches, we decided to catalogue every known design — from the silly to the serious.”

When the website was launched in April 2017, a total of 18 known eVTOL designs were included. All of the companies or concepts listed then are still involved today: Airbus Helicopters, Airbus A3, Aurora Flight Sciences, Bell, Carter Jaunt Aviation Technologies (now Jaunt Air Mobility), DeLorean Aerospace, Detroit Aircraft (now ASX), EHang, e-volo (now Volocopter), Jetpack Aviation (Mayman Aerospace), Joby, Kitty Hawk (now part of Wisk), Lilium, Cartivator (now SkyDrive), Uber (now part of Joby), XTI Aviation (now XTI Aerospace), Zee Aero (now Wisk) and Workhorse (now part of Moog).

Over the past seven years, designs have been added to the World eVTOL Aircraft Directory at a rapid pace, reaching 100 catalogued concepts by July 2018, 200 by September 2019, 400 by January 2021, 600 by January 2022 and 800 by April 2023.

The 1,000th entry, the Doroni Aerospace H1-X two-seat personal eVTOL aircraft, was added this month.

The Directory includes not only current aircraft under development, but also historical designs, with many defunct designs preserved for the record. For instance, Volocopter is currently working on three products — VoloCity, VoloRegion and VoloDrone — but 15 different designs have been explored, including the single-seat VC007 from more than a decade ago.Subscribe to the FINN weekly newsletter

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