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VTOL On Demand Mobility

Archibald

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Here’s Lilium’s SPAC investors pack;-


And here’s a pretty accurate assessment of it;-


This has the potential to kill off the whole eVTOL business.

(The sixteen seater seems to have about the same wing area as the seven, yeah right as if that’ll fly)

Best part was this...

plus a planned PIPE (Private Investment in Public Equity) investment

Followed by a Direct Rotorcraft Energy Aircraft Management - system.

Hence the whole thing will soon be considered (drums rolling) a PIPE DREAM...

(Note that pipeau in French started as "fife" but took a second meaning "c'est du pipeau" = "bollocks !"

I take my coat...
 
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alberchico

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TomcatViP

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- Organs transplant air cargo operations: rare occurrences, very urgent need, minimally constrained airframe in term of schedule and routing, absolute safe delivery of payload needed...
Probability for a novel design to take over the market= null... Probability that a light weight design might be able to fulfill the on-demand objectives=null (think weather, gust winds and intra-city navigation)... Probability that an AI piloted design reaches commercial operations (that mean doing some profits) while still being able to efficiently re-route with minimal constraint at any time and still ensure the absolute safe delivery of a critical payload= negative to zero...

There is a reason why Italian cops where given sport cars for that mission.

I don't know who put that business model forward but that's probably not the best investment opportunity you'll be given in the next 10 years.

Last but not least, imagine yourself on the operating table being stitched-up by the post operation team after having a kidney removed as a donor. Next thing you know, the surgeon re-enter the scene and announces that the delivery
drone had a collision with a building when the AI had its nav messed-up by the strong crosswind. The payload is lost. That's what you hear him say before the anesthesic gas is pump back on...
Last thing that reached you before the abysses:
We gonna have to repeat the process...
 
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yasotay

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To be optimistic, I suspect that this form of transportation will follow the same path as others. At first it will be doubted (few buggy whip makers drastically changed their line of work when the first automobiles sputtered around the dirt roads), then the affluent will accept it. Over time as the infrastructure is developed, more will gain access and the technology will be driven by the market. The charlatans will run with the money or from the police and those with legitimate capability will vie for the market/production.

Heck I had a Tesla recharge overnight at my house a couple weeks ago. Never thought I would see that in my lifetime; in the deep south of the US.
 

DWG

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- Organs transplant air cargo operations: rare occurrences, very urgent need, minimally constrained airframe in term of schedule and routing, absolute safe delivery of payload needed...

And can they do it better than a courier on a powerful motorbike? The applicability is slightly higher in the States due to larger distances between population centres, but there's few projects can afford to just write-off the European market.
 

shin_getter

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Another horror:

View: https://youtu.be/5oiWtYLA-Go


When will we have breathalyzers mandatory for drafting tables?
Chances of this (or any other roadable air vehicle I've seen) being ruled street legal seem like slim to none considering modern pedestrian impact requirements etc. And it's worse still for eVTOLs which can't afford the weight for crumple zones etc.
Street legal is kind of overrated. I'd think the ability to use existing parking infrastructure is a pretty important feature for widespread flexible utilization. This would be a concern after all the legal and safety problems gets worked out though, so is still pretty far in the future.

To be optimistic, I suspect that this form of transportation will follow the same path as others. At first it will be doubted (few buggy whip makers drastically changed their line of work when the first automobiles sputtered around the dirt roads), then the affluent will accept it. Over time as the infrastructure is developed, more will gain access and the technology will be driven by the market.
Alternatively, the regulatory regime just shuts this "frivolous and genocide" technology (clearly the solution to transport problems is more trainnnnns) down and it never reach scale for effective technological development while a set of social forces locks that status quo in place. Just look at the cost curve for General Aviation.

Who knew an air vehicle could be a speculative investment!
 
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VTOLicious

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DWG

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The rivalry's getting nasty. As usual the lawyers are the only ones guaranteed to make money.
 

VTOLicious

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Omg, Lililum introduced a 7-seater... Those tiny fixed pitch fans are cute! ...Not sure if the variable nozzle will do the trick.

https://lilium.com/jet
Found a pic that shows the fan units. 36 of them are installed on the aircraft.

Btw, the "jet" doesn't have any conventional control surfaces. It seems that they envisage to accomplish pitch and roll control in forward flight by adjusting the "fan flaps" accordingly.
That's especially interesting because they recently stated that the variable nozzles are mechanically linked to each wing's flap mechanism and aren't controlled separately.

In any case the engineers will have a lot of fun by tuning the flight control system over the ranges of speed and altitude the type certification is sought for.
 

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mboeller

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looks ok, but a range of 300km is, from my point of view a little bit too much to be believable.
 

Zoo Tycoon

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looks ok, but a range of 300km is, from my point of view a little bit too much to be believable.


Finally the outsize person carrying quadcopter dies.

It’s staggering that these guys built billion dollar companies based on an architecture that is so fundamentally flawed. A few of us, with a bit technical understanding, spotted this years ago and wouldn’t waste time on such a klug. But they’re the Billionaire’s and we’re not.

It’s a fine line between selling a dream and downright investor deception. A few who walked that line seem to have done very well.
 

AeroFranz

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Configuration studies have shown that for ultra-short ranges the multicopter might be okay. YMMV, but I'm talking 20-30 km give or take. Incidentally, this is why the configuration is still viable for intra-urban package delivery. Beyond that, having a wing makes the vehicle efficient enough that it pays for its weight. At longer ranges it's not even close.
 

Zoo Tycoon

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A winged eVTOL can preform the same mission as a multicopter, but faster, using less power and do more cycles per recharge. So why would anyone buy a multicopter?

It’s a bit like comparing a unicycle to a bicycle. Nobody’s ever made a commercially successful company out of a unicycle that’s anywhere close to those in the bicycle world.
 

mboeller

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Configuration studies have shown that for ultra-short ranges the multicopter might be okay. YMMV, but I'm talking 20-30 km give or take. Incidentally, this is why the configuration is still viable for intra-urban package delivery. Beyond that, having a wing makes the vehicle efficient enough that it pays for its weight. At longer ranges it's not even close.
IMHO: the big problem with the low range is that you burn out the battery very fast with 10-20 cycles per day
 

AeroFranz

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A winged eVTOL can preform the same mission as a multicopter, but faster, using less power and do more cycles per recharge. So why would anyone buy a multicopter?

It’s a bit like comparing a unicycle to a bicycle. Nobody’s ever made a commercially successful company out of a unicycle that’s anywhere close to those in the bicycle world.
The key here is range, in this case short. I'm not advocating for multicopters, but you can find technical papers from several independent sources that will confirm that at least from a vehicle point of view (forget about the larger operational considerations), on very short missions it pays to not lug a wing around, live with the lower resulting L/D, and make up for it by having a larger battery that you can afford because you saved weight on the wing.
The crossover point between winged and non-winged configurations varies depending on your battery specific energy and vehicle particulars, but it is generally agreed multirotors are not worth doing for the typical UAM mission, which is why just about all the companies in this space have winged configurations.
 

Reaper

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but you can find technical papers from several independent sources that will confirm that at least from a vehicle point of view (forget about the larger operational considerations), on very short missions it pays to not lug a wing around,
 

alberchico

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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F49BuJsUH-w&list=LL&index=2&ab_channel=DeepLookDeepLookVerified


Joby has released a new video which examines their aircraft more closely. Definitely worth a look. We finally get to see the cockpit layout. I also wonder about the maintenance costs of servicing an aircraft with 6 separate engines. Also, if the grand plan is to have thousands of Evtol's in service, where will they find all the A&P mechanics and pilots ? Wasn't the industry facing a shortage of skilled workers before the pandemic hit ? By the time this aircraft enters service the industry will have largely recovered and will be facing the skilled worker problem once again.

Edit: They also have a detailed PDF presentation on their plan to certification. It is linked in the article below.

 
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yasotay

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An interesting problem as the A&P will now have to be electricians as much as other training. Like before the pandemic, the military will be hard pressed to maintain aircraft maintainers past their obligations because there will be a lucrative civil market.
 

AeroFranz

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View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F49BuJsUH-w&list=LL&index=2&ab_channel=DeepLookDeepLookVerified


Joby has released a new video which examines their aircraft more closely. Definitely worth a look. We finally get to see the cockpit layout. I also wonder about the maintenance costs of servicing an aircraft with 6 separate engines. Also, if the grand plan is to have thousands of Evtol's in service, where will they find all the A&P mechanics and pilots ? Wasn't the industry facing a shortage of skilled workers before the pandemic hit ? By the time this aircraft enters service the industry will have largely recovered and will be facing the skilled worker problem once again.

Edit: They also have a detailed PDF presentation on their plan to certification. It is linked in the article below.

Excellent video. If i were cynical i would say that the sound measurement was probably for the empty vehicle, with just one operator on board, so 800 lbs below takeoff gross...BUT, it's frankly very impressive no matter which way you look at it. They have demonstrated hover and transition with a configuration that is unlikely to have to be changed to a different production standard, which puts them ahead of just about anyone else. The only thing we don't know about is their actual range with the batteries they've got.
 

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