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14th Annual Electric Aircraft Symposium Goes Virtual
  • 08 Jul 2020 01:28 PM
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14th Annual Electric Aircraft Symposium Goes Virtual

CAFE logo (png)
VFS logo (png)

July 8, 2020

Yolanka Wulff, JD
Executive Director, CAFE Foundation
yolanka@cafe.foundation or 206.660.8498


14th Annual Electric Aircraft Symposium Goes Virtual
CAFE Foundation and Vertical Flight Society Co-Host Online Event

Three dozen of the world’s leading electric aircraft developers and technology experts will be speaking at the CAFE Foundation’s 14th Annual Electric Aircraft Symposium (EAS) which will be held online for the first time on July 28-30, 2020.

Electric and hybrid electric powered aircraft have the potential to significantly reduce air transportation costs, carbon emissions and community noise and enable new aviation markets. The CAFE Foundation and Vertical Flight Society have been working to advance electric aviation for many years and have partnered again for this year’s EAS. 

“The electric-powered aircraft industry is gaining momentum and the Symposium provides an opportunity to get a comprehensive brief on the state of the industry and hear from the industry’s thought leaders,” said Yolanka Wulff, Executive Director of the non-profit CAFE Foundation. “In 2007, CAFE Foundation organized the world’s first Electric Aircraft Symposium to address emerging interest in electric propulsion, along with energy and climate issues. These meetings helped create the growing industry you see today.”

EAS is usually held in conjunction with the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, but EAS moved to a virtual format when AirVenture was cancelled. 

“The Vertical Flight Society joined forces with the CAFE Foundation in 2018 to co-host the Electric Aircraft Symposium because we recognized that the electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) and conventional takeoff and landing (eCTOL) communities could learn a lot from each other,” said Michael Hirschberg, Executive Director of VFS. “For example, Distributed Electric Propulsion is a common element in most of these revolutionary electric-powered aircraft designs.”  

In the past year, Joby Aviation raised over $700 million in eVTOL financing, Hyundai announced plans to invest $1.5 billion in eVTOL development, Boeing teamed with Kitty Hawk to create Wisk, several new electric short takeoff and landing (eSTOL) companies were launched, and the US Air Force unveiled its Agility Prime initiative to accelerate electric aircraft development. And most recently, Pipistrel received the very first type certification for its Velis Electro 2-seat aircraft.

This year’s EAS will present 36 industry experts from a dozen countries participating in 12 in-depth panel discussions covering the full spectrum of topics including electric aircraft configurations, propulsion systems, community integration, market segments, testing and certification, as well as emerging regional markets.

Participating organizations include Airflow.aero, Ampaire, BAE Systems, Bye Aerospace, Canadian Air Mobility, CAMI, e-Flight Journal/Flying Pages, Electra.aero, elFly, ES Aero, Eviation (invited), Georgia Tech (invited), Honeywell, HyPoint, Inc., Joby Aviation (invited), MAGicAll (invited), magniX, MetroHop, NASA, NEXA, Pipistrel, Rolls-Royce, Radius Capital, Sabrewing, Swedish Aviation Industry Group, UC Berkeley, USAF Agility Prime, VerdeGo Aero (invited), VoltAero and ZeroAvia.

Day 1 (July 28) features an Industry Overview and in-depth sessions on Commuter/Regional Air Services; Urban Air Mobility; and UAM Community Integration, and will include presentations by aircraft manufacturers, Tier 1 suppliers, academics, consultants, industry organizations and the United States Air Force. 

Day 2 (July 29) will focus on Regional Markets (Scandinavia and Cascadia/US Pacific Northwest & British Columbia); Hybrid Electric Propulsion Systems; Testing and Certification; and Electric Short Takeoff and Landing (eSTOL) Aircraft Technology and Infrastructure. 

Day 3 (July 30) will focus on Electric Motor Technology; Hydrogen Fuel Cell Energy Systems; Market Dynamics; and Electric Propulsion Systems.

The four sessions on Day 1 (Tuesday July 28) can be viewed for free. The next eight in-depth sessions on Day 2 (Wednesday July 29) and Day 3 (Thursday July 30) cost $75 per day to attend, or $125 for a two-day package ($40 per day for students).

Registration for the 14th Annual Electric Aircraft Symposium can be found at the Vertical Flight Society’s event registration website: https://vtol.org/eas

The 35-year old CAFE Foundation hosted the first electric aircraft symposium in North America in 2007. In 2011, the Foundation managed NASA’s Green Flight Challenge which was funded by Google. This US$1.35 million prize was awarded to Pipistrel USA for its winning 4-seat, electric-powered aircraft, the Taurus G4, which flew nearly 200 miles (322 km) non-stop, while achieving 403.5 passenger-MPG (171.5 passenger-km/l)! Its astounding efficiency was more than twice that of the piston-powered aircraft in the competition.  

The Vertical Flight Society was founded in 1943 by the pioneers of the US helicopter industry to advocate for vertical flight and create a robust international technical community and today has 120 corporate and 6,000 individual members. VFS hosted the world’s first electric VTOL technical meeting in 2014, launched the world’s first eVTOL eNewsletter in 2016 and eVTOL website in 2017, and the world’s first eVTOL short course in 2018. 

The Society also supported the initial development of the Uber Elevate White Paper and is a Partner of the GoFly Prize competition. Today, the VFS’s World eVTOL Aircraft Directory, www.eVTOL.news, is the definitive resource for the eVTOL sector. 

This press release is also available as a pdf.

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