Electric Aircraft Symposium 2019 Synopsis
The Vertical Flight Society co-sponsored the CAFE Foundation’s 13th Annual Electric Aircraft Symposium, held July 20-21, 2019, at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. EAS 2019 was held in conjunction with the Experimental Aviation Association’s annual AirVenture in Oshkosh, July 22-28 (see eVTOL News from AirVenture).
Two dozen of the world’s leading electric aircraft developers and technology experts spoke at EAS 2019, all of which are available for free viewing in 26 videos on the VFS YouTube Channel. Don't have time to watch all the videos? We've summarized the key points for each speaker, below, under the link to each video.
EAS 2019 #1 - Yolanka Wulff & Mike Hirschberg - Introduction & The Electric VTOL Revolution
INTRODUCTION & STATE OF THE INDUSTRY SESSION
Yolanka Wulff, Executive Director, CAFE Foundation
Mike Hirschberg, Executive Director, Vertical Flight Society
Yolanka Wulff, Executive Director of the CAFE Foundation welcomed speakers and guests to the 13th Annual Electric Aircraft Symposium (EAS) in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, on July 20-21, 2019.
VFS Executive Director Mike Hirschberg spoke about “The VTOL Revolution” and what the VFS has been doing to advance the eVTOL industry and technology, and become the de facto industry eVTOL society.
As of July 2019, more than 50 VFS corporate members are now engaged in eVTOL aircraft development and the VFS added the 191st eVTOL aircraft program to its authoritative World eVTOL Aircraft Directory. The Directory provides comprehensive information on 67 Vectored Thrust, 26 Lift + Cruise, 46 Wingless (Multicopters), 38 Hover Bikes/Flying Devices, and 14 eHelos & eGyros aircraft.
Hirschberg explained why eVTOL development is surging today and how the challenges are similar to those the pioneers of the US helicopter industry faced in 1943 when the VFS (then known as the American Helicopter Society) was established to advance the technology and acceptance of the helicopter and create a robust vertical flight technical community.
EAS 2019 #2 - Ryan Naru - UberAir eVTOL Concepts
STATE OF THE INDUSTRY SESSION
Ryan Naru, Vehicle Standards Engineer, Uber Elevate
Naru began his presentation by outlining what Uber is looking for in an eVTOL aircraft for its Elevate aerial ride share network. The Uber Elevate white paper was released in October 2016 and signaled Uber's intent to be a "motivator in this industry" which was followed by the first Uber Elevate conference in April 2017. In 2018, Uber began using its "flux" data tool to understand how commuter traffic flows through cities and released its eVTOL vehicle requirements to partner OEMs. In July 2019, Uber Copter started multi-modal helicopter service linking Manhattan with JFK Airport.
The first UberAir eVTOL demonstration flights are scheduled to begin in 2020 with initial certified operations expected in 2023. The company plans to expand and optimize its network by 2026, and then increase scale as second generation eVTOL aircraft enter service by 2028.
Uber combined its "flux" data tool with a demand model to study the trade-off between how people value their time and their money. These tools are being used to help identify the best locations for the urban Skyports that will be the multi-modal terminals for Elevate's eVTOL service.
Naru says Uber’s system requirements for an eVTOL aircraft include a cruise speed of 150 mph, a payload of a pilot plus four passengers, 60-mile range, 15 dB improvement in noise over helicopters, electric propulsion, and a utilization rate of 2,000 flight hours per year.
Uber has developed a system for scoring various eVTOL aircraft design configurations that includes complexity, part criticality and high performance (Lift/Drag x cruise speed). They are measuring the total number of parts and also their criticality to the design. And the performance measurement is used to calculate how many missions the eVTOL aircraft can accomplish in a "three-hour sprint."
As a result, most of the eVTOL aircraft being considered for UberAir are Lift + Thrust and vectored thrust concepts.
Naru explained that for Uber, "Redundancy + Reliability - Criticality = Safety."
Thus, the ideal Uber vehicle has high speed, sufficient capacity and good range in order to satisfy the demand they see in the cities they are targeting for eVTOL service. They also want the aircraft to be "green," quiet and safe.
This means Uber is not considering hybrid-electric aircraft at this time. And all of Uber's six eVTOL partners are developing aircraft that also have a wing for efficient cruise flight.
EAS 2019 #3 - Willi Tacke - Electrifying Aviation Factors for Making Disruptive Change Happen
STATE OF THE INDUSTRY SESSION
Willi Tacke, Founder and Organizer of the e-flight-expo at AERO; CEO of Flying Pages
Willi Tacke highlighted the rapid growth of “e-flight” including recent announcements at the AERO aviation trade show in Germany and the Paris Air Show. For example, at Paris Airbus displayed eVTOL aircraft beside their large commercial aircraft; Rolls Royce announced its acquisition of Siemen's electric aviation unit; Eviation revealed its Alice electric aircraft and an order from Cape Air; and Safran and Daher announced a new electric aircraft partnership.
EAS 2019 #4 - State of the Industry Panel - Questions & Answers
STATE OF THE INDUSTRY PANEL
- Mike Hirschberg, Executive Director, Vertical Flight Society
- Ryan Naru, Vehicle Standards Engineer, Uber Elevate
- Willi Tacke, Founder and Organizer, e-Flight-Expo; CEO Flying Pages GmbH
EAS 2019 #5 - Gilles Rosenberger - Some Economical Comments on e-Aviation
EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES SESSION
Gilles Rosenberger, CEO, Faraday Aerospace
Gilles Rosenberger, offered "Some Economical Comments of e-Aviation", primarily focused on understanding the variables that determine the direct operating cost (DOC) of electric-powered aircraft.
Rosenberger noted that the aviation industry has limited experience evaluating and comparing the DOCs of electric aircraft, but there is a lot of real-life experience in the automotive industry.
He said the most important factors to consider when calculating DOCs are battery end of life (EOL), calendar life and cycle life. Automobile experts consider EOL at 30% capacity loss, calendar life of 8-10 years and cycle life of 1,000 – 1,500 cycles However, when it comes to aviation, Rosenberger says very limited information is available since only one electric aircraft — the Pipistrel Alpha Electro — is in production today. He noted that a replacement battery pack for this aircraft costs €26,000 (US$29,300) to replace.
While the price of lithium ion battery packs ($/kWh) for automobiles continues to fall, Rosenberger expects aircraft-certified battery packs will cost at least three to four times more because of low volume demand and high certification requirements.
Rosenberger says a key parameter for battery replacement is the charge/discharge profile cycle, yet the industry has very little real-life information outside the flight training sector where a one-hour lesson would equal one cycle.
Uber is driving a lot of interest in eVTOL aircraft, but Rosenberger notes that Uber has been presenting different discharge profiles for the Urban Air Mobility mission.
“At Faraday, we anticipate two to three ‘equivalent’ cycles per working day. For 365-day-a-year air taxi operation, [this equals] 730 to 1095 cycles/year ... and a 1,500-cycle battery replacement frequency of 24 months to 16 months.”
EAS 2019 #6 - David Ullman - eSTOL Potential for Urban Air Mobility
EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES SESSION
David G. Ullman, Principal, IDEAL eSTOL
Oregon State University Emeritus Professor Dr. David G. Ullman spoke about the potential of electric STOL (short takeoff and landing) aircraft for Urban Air Mobility.
“The goal here is to see if eSTOL can rival VTOL and identify what is unique and its potential,” said Ullman, who explained that there are three standard ways to shorten take-off distance of an aircraft:
- Lower the wing loading (W/A) – low weight big wing. Cruise penalty.
- Raise the thrust to weight ratio (T/W)
- Raise the take-off lift coefficient
Ullman’s recent research has focused on using distributed electric propulsion (DEP) to create propulsion-airframe interaction (PAI) where air moved by the propulsor gains aerodynamic advantages as it passes over the airplane’s wings, fuselage and other surfaces.
One STOL aircraft configuration that Ullman finds quite intriguing was Willard Custer’s channel wing. Other aircraft like NASA’s QSRA (Quiet STOL Research Aircraft, based on a de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo) and Boeing YC-14 used upper surface blowing (USB) to achieve high lift coefficients.
Ullman is currently testing a number of different DEP configurations in a homemade wind tunnel and on his self-designed single-engine JabirWatt home-built aircraft that has been modified with four 120-mm electric ducted fans mounted to the wings for USB.
Ullman’s key takeaways:
- “eSTOL can be designed to give very short take-off distances!”
- “VTOLs need 2-5 times the power to take-off!”
- “VTOL has nearly half the range of eSTOL.”
He believes that eSTOL aircraft could easily operate out of “pocket airports” built on one hectare (2.5 acres) of land featuring 420 ft long runways.
EAS 2019 #7 - Bruno Mombrinie - Metro Hope: The eSTOL Solution for Urban Air Mobility
EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES SESSION
Bruno Mombrinie, Founder & CEO, Metro Hop
Bruno Mombrinie, a CAFE Foundation board member, gave a presentation on the Metro Hop concept, an eSTOL aircraft design for urban air mobility. Metro Hop features two electric propellers and motorized landing gear legs that are articulated to help the aircraft takeoff in short distances and land smoothly on 200-foot long runways.
Mombrinie believes there is a large emerging market for piloted aircraft that can carry packages between warehouses as same day delivery becomes the norm.
Long term, Mombrinie believes Metro Hop will be used to carry passengers between eSTOL skyports. He explained that that departure/arrival rate (DAR) multiplied by the turnaround transit time (TTT) will determine the Skyport Station Size (S3), which is a measure of the number of aircraft and passengers a facility can handle at one time.
Mombrinie says that cruise speed is an important element for high-utilization UAM operations.
“The size of an Urban Air Mobility fleet is determined by the demand during peak periods. It may not matter much to the average passenger if they get there in about 10 minutes versus about 15 minutes. But to the operator that means about 50% more planes are needed in the fleet. The faster the planes, the fewer planes are needed,” says Mombrinie.
EAS 2019 #8 - Kenneth Swartz - Market Opportunities for Emerging Technologies
EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES SESSION
Kenneth I. Swartz, President, Aeromedia Communications; Board Member, Vertical Flight Society
With a long professional career in the regional airline and commercial helicopter industry, and as an aerospace journalist, Swartz spoke on “Market Opportunities for Emerging Technologies.”
His presentation reviewed the historical development of helicopter airlines and commuter/regional airlines, identified market opportunities for electric-powered conventional and VTOL aircraft, and described how aircraft manufacturers traditionally forecast commercial aircraft demand.
Helicopter airlines once carried thousands of passengers a month in the greater Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and New York areas, Europe and elsewhere. Today, only a handful of scheduled helicopter airlines exist and most are located in regions where geographic barriers (e.g. oceans, islands, mountains, narrow roads) make competing transportation modes (e.g. marine ferry, road or train or airport) very time consuming. The development of new eVTOL will revive urban VTOL flights.
The history of commuter and regional airline industry also offers important lessons for the electric aircraft industry.
The de Havilland Aircraft of Canada company was one of the leading promoters of short-haul air transport utilizing its STOL aircraft. With the development of the DHC-6 Twin Otter and Dash 7, the company promoted the STOLport concept.
The combination of STOL aircraft and custom infrastructure was adopted in many countries. Norway developed a network of STOLports serving small coastal communities, as did Greenland and other countries. The most successful STOLport examples are Billy Bishop City Centre Airport in Toronto and London City Airport in the UK, which was initially restricted to STOL Dash 7s.
The most enduring short haul commuter airline routes can be found linking communities separated by geographic barriers such as water and mountains. Many of the airlines flying these routes have been targeted by electric aircraft makers.
For example, Harbour Air of British Columbia announced plans to re-engine its seaplane fleet with magniX electric motors, Cape Air of Massachusetts placed an order for the Eviation Alice, and Ampaire announced it will demonstrate its Cessna 337 EEL hybrid aircraft on routes flown by Mokulele Airlines of Hawaii and Vieques Air Link in Puerto Rico.
Since 2000, hundreds of short haul routes have been abandoned by large regional airlines as a result of airline consolidation, the retirement of smaller aircraft, rising operating costs, pilot shortages and the “hassle factor” (e.g. lengthy airport security screenings).
Electric commuter aircraft with low seat mile costs will help resurrect many of these short haul routes. Elsewhere, the government of Norway recently announced that all short haul flights under 90 minutes must be electric-powered by 2040!
EAS 2019 #9 - Emerging Technologies Panel - Questions & Answers
EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES PANEL
- Gilles Rosenberger, CEO, Faraday Aerospace
- David Ullman, Principal, Ideal eSTOL
- Bruno Mombrinie, Founder & CEO, Metro Hop
- Kenneth Swartz, Vertical Flight Society
EAS 2019 #10 - Todd Hodges - History of VTOL Design - Tilt Wings & Tilt Rotors
DAY 2 OPENING PRESENTATION
Todd Hodges, Retired Engineer, NASA Langley Research Center
Todd Hodges believes that it's important for today's electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft designers to understand VTOL history, so they can begin where others left off, rather than redo the mistakes of the past.
The benefits include reducing the cost of development, shortening the development cycle and avoiding accidents that have happened before.
Hodges believes that "conventional takeoff and landing (CTOL) design is mostly a well-known science" whereas "VTOL design is still somewhat of a black art."
Hodges began his presentation with the VTOL "Wheel of Misfortune," originally created by McDonnell Aircraft in the 1960s and updated by the Vertical Flight Society in the 1990s. He then narrowed his focus to the history of tilt wing and tilt rotor aircraft developed over the past 75 years, which all use the same propulsion system for hover and forward flight.
Hodges says that aircraft "configuration selection is dependent on mission requirements - Range, Payload, Hover Time, Speed, Endurance, etc."
"If you have to go fast, you will get pushed into the higher disk loadings. If your mission requires an extensive amount of hovering, you will end up at lower disk loadings. The balance between hover requirements and speed requirements for the mission will usually play a substantial role in configuration choice."
Hodges then explained the positive and negative characteristics of tilt wing and tilt rotor aircraft.
After highlighting several aircraft examples from the past, Hodges concluded by stating that "new technologies like distributed electric propulsion (DEP) are appearing that will blow open the design space for new more efficient VTOL aircraft."
EAS 2019 #11 - Earl Lawrence - FAA Certification of Electric Powered Aircraft
STANDARDS & CERTIFICATION SESSION
Earl Lawrence, Executive Director Aircraft Certification Service, FAA
Lawrence said that if you are developing new electric powered aircraft and plan to carry passengers on them, "then the FAA is your partner."
He says that despite some negative perceptions, the FAA is actually very experienced at certifying new technology, and cited as an example the Boeing 787 "which is an all-composite electric aircraft ... with turbine engines."
When it comes to certification, "everything is about safety, especially for new innovations," says Lawrence, adding that the nature of the aircraft operations will effect what safety issues the FAA has to look at to ensure the risks are mitigated.
He says that one of the new challenges is that companies are coming to the FAA today wanting to change how operations are conducted (e.g. licensing, airspace use and automation), which represent changes to a system overseen by the FAA's separate certification, flight standards and air traffic management teams.
To this end, “the FAA is committed to working with companies as one group… early and often.”
EAS 2019 #12 - Gregory Bowles - FAA Type Certification of eVTOL
STANDARDS & CERTIFICATION SESSION
Gregory Bowles, Head of Government Affairs, Joby Aviation
Greg Bowles, head of government relations for Joby Aviation said the company is developing a 175 kt eVTOL aircraft that will be ten times faster than ground transportation for an urban air mobility (UAM) mission.
The Joby eVTOL is now in the FAA certification process and the company has recruited aircraft certification experts with 142+ combined years of experience certifying 23+ clean sheet aircraft to support its own efforts.
Bowles said that eVTOL aircraft developers have two major challenges – to perfect the technology and certify very safe aircraft in a regulatory environment that has matured over the past 50 to 60 years.
He said that several eVTOL companies are using FAR 23 as the basis for FAA certification and explained how regulators are adding additional requirements to address the unique aspects of the aircraft that differ from a traditional light aircraft.
EAS 2019 #13 - Tom Gunnarson - Unmanned Air Mobility: A New Paradigm
STANDARDS & CERTIFICATION SESSION
Tom Gunnarson, Cora Lead of Regulatory Affairs, Kitty Hawk
Tom Gunnarson, Lead of Regulatory Affairs for the Cora program at Kitty Hawk spoke at the CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium about autonomous air mobility. He said that the unmanned sector of aviation includes a wide range of aircraft sizes, capabilities and missions. This includes different levels of control and communication, including human control using direct sensing and verbal communication (RPAS); self-flying semi-autonomous, monitored; and self-flying autonomous, monitored modes.
The biggest challenges today for the emerging eVTOL industry are: aircraft approval (new technology and hybrid aircraft category); infrastructure; and airspace integration.
Gunnarson also discussed what Self-Flying, Automation and Autonomous mean in the context of unmanned air mobility.
Many of the regulatory barriers to autonomy in aviation are now being addressed through the work of the ASTM AC377 task team while the means of compliance for eVTOL UAM aircraft is being addressed by the ASTM AC433 task team.
EAS 2019 #14 - Mark DeAngelo - Recent and Future Standards Developments for Electric Aircraft
STANDARDS & CERTIFICATION SESSION
Dr. Mark DeAngelo, Staff Leader, SAE International Electric Aircraft Steering Group (EASG)
Mark DeAngelo spoke on “Recent and Future Standards Developments for Electric Aircraft.”
SAE standards are routinely referenced by certification agencies like the FAA, EASA and Transport Canada.
Today, the SAE International Electric Aircraft Steering Group (EASG) strategically identifies, landscapes, and coordinates the various standardization activities necessary to support full-electric and more-electric aircraft applications at the top-level system, subsystem, and component levels with a wide range of work in progress.
EAS 2019 #15 - Standards & Certification Panel - Questions & Answers
STANDARDS & CERTIFICATION PANEL
- Earl Lawrence, Executive Director Aircraft Certification Service, FAA
- Gregory Bowles, Head of Government Affairs, Joby Aviation
- Tom Gunnarson, Lead of Regulatory Affairs, Cora Aero
- Dr. Mark P. DeAngelo, Staff Leader, SAE International Electric Aircraft Steering Group (EASG)
EAS 2019 #16 - Peter Shannon - Thinking about Autonomy in Terms of Safety Assurance
SAFETY & OPERATIONS SESSION
Peter Shannon, Investor, Radius Capital
Peter Shannon's presentation focused on "Implementing Autonomy in Terms of Safety Assurance."
Shannon says that today, "We assure the safety of automated systems through verification and validation and, in some cases, certification."
"As our technology for assuring safety improves, the pattern of replacing human functions with automation will repeat throughout aircraft as well as the overall airspace system."
Shannon's presentation offers an excellent illustration of how "evolving automation moves pilot out of inner control loops" ... and how the "same process displaces humans from inner control loops across the airspace system."
EAS 2019 #17 - Jim Murphy - NASA Advance Air Mobility, Urban Air Mobility and Grand Challenge
SAFETY & OPERATIONS SESSION
Jim Murphy, UAM Grand Challenge Technical Lead, NASA
Jim Murphy spoke on "NASA Advanced Air Mobility (AAM), Urban Air Mobility (UAM) and Grand Challenge."
NASA is considering Urban Air Mobility cases where an aircraft is used in an urban area to transport people and cargo over ground traffic so passengers and goods can move more efficiently. In addition, the agency is also looking at the interurban air mobility covering longer distances.
NASA's Urban Air Mobility (UAM) vision is to "Revolutionize mobility around metropolitan areas by enabling a safe, efficient, convenient, affordable, and accessible air transportation system for passengers and cargo."
UAM framework includes:
- Vehicle Development & Production
- Individual Vehicle Management & Operations
- Airspace System Design & Implementation
- Airspace & Fleet Operations Management
- Community Integration
For the UAM Grand Challenge, NASA has defined six different UAM Maturity Levels (UML) across three states (initial, intermediate and mature) when it comes the operational system capability of vehicles, airspace and the community. (This is distinct from technological readiness levels, TRLs.)
The initial state might include VFR operations in rather simple scenarios with low levels of automation, whereas the mature UML 6 would see "Ubiquitous UAM Operations with System-Wide Automated Optimization."
One of the key things NASA wants to understand as a research organization is the interoperability of a vehicle with the operating system that matches an operator's use case. This will help NASA determine what is required from the government to support the expansion of future UAM activities
One thing that is unclear, says Murphy, is whether one system can support different concepts of operation for sets of passenger and cargo vehicles in the same air space.
NASA and the FAA have been working together at a high level to develop a concept of operations.
The goal of NASA's initial UAM Grand Challenge is to "support requirements and system development for scalable, commercial UAM through integrated demonstrations of realistic operational scenarios."
NASA’s objectives include:
1. Accelerate Certification and Approval
2. Develop Flight Procedure Guidelines
3. Evaluate the CNS Trade-Space
4. Demonstrate an Airspace Operations Management Architecture
5. Characterize Community Concerns
EAS 2019 #18 - Rex Alexander - Aircraft Performance and the Impact on Infrastructure
SAFETY & OPERATIONS SESSION
Rex Alexander, President, Five-Alpha LLC
Alexander said that almost 40 years flying helicopters, he found himself in the helicopter infrastructure consulting business because, "there came a point in time when I wondered why architects and engineers were trying to kill me very day."
His company started doing a lot of education on heliport infrastructure, which should be thought of as a three dimensional quantity where airspace is attached to it and it is significantly affected by its environment.
Alexander says that how you design heliport infrastructure will have a huge impact on aircraft safety and performance, "and you should design 'forgiveness' into the design."
Heliports are usually optimized for a "design aircraft" which for a helicopter is based on maximum rotor diameter and maximum overall length. The challenge today is what is going to be the "design aircraft" when you are building a facility for an eVTOL aircraft, since there are more than 175 prototype aircraft in development that have different configurations, with most having multiple rotors and many having a width that is greater than the length.
The FAA also wants to have performance data similar to what they have based their current infrastructure standards on, but this is a challenge because very little data has been released by the eVTOL community.
To move things along, the FAA issued an RFI earlier this year to get performance data from OEMs.
Alexander expects eVTOL aircraft to be operated from airports, heliports and vertiports, although the definition of a Vertiport still needs to be refined.
He also emphasizes that heliports located at ground level and on rooftops are NOT the same.
The key performance criteria in the helicopter world includes:
- Pilot Workload
- Aircraft Handling & Controllability
- Aircraft Performance Margins
- Passenger Ride Quality
One of the variables that helicopter pilots can play with who planning a mission is the weight and balance of the aircraft by adjusting the amount of fuel you put into an aircraft. With an eVTOL aircraft, Alexander says the battery volume & weight do not change in flight. "Hence, weight & balance are constant."
He says this represents a major change to the way pilots will plan a flight, because they cannot manipulate aircraft weight (and performance) by adjusting fuel with an electric powered aircraft, since you can't offload battery weight.
This means that for an eVTOL aircraft you have to be much more cognizant of the performance limitations of the aircraft than for a helicopter.
Environmental factors are also very important in heliport design, including wind (crosswind, tailwind) and turbulence (updraft, downdraft).
The power margin of a VTOL aircraft can be used to control, compensate or overcome environmental factors.
One advantage of electric VTOL aircraft is the availability of instant power compared to a turbine-powered aircraft.
Alexander says that ideal rooftop helipads have a large gap between the roof and the pad to allow turbulent air to flow over the roof below the helipad. Parking garages also make attractive heliports because air can flow through the structure.
EAS 2019 #19 - Safety & Operations Panel - Questions & Answers
SAFETY & OPERATIONS PANEL
- Peter Shannon, Founder, Radius Capital
- Jim Murphy, UAM Grand Challenge Technical Lead, NASA
- Rex Alexander, President, Five-Alpha LLC
EAS 2019 #20 - Yolanka Wulff - Community Air Mobility Initiative (CAMI)
Yolanka Wulff, co-founder, Community Air Mobility Initiative (CAMI)
Wulff spoke briefly on the new non-profit association that she has founded with Anna M. Dietrich. CAMI was created for the purpose of “supporting the responsible integration of the third dimension into our daily transportation needs through education, advocacy, and community engagement.”
As technology and the Civil Aviation Authority-level regulatory landscape develops, the need for local advocacy and community and public education in support of urban air mobility (UAM) is becoming more acute. While other organizations provide federal-level advocacy, the success of the industry will hinge on air mobility being embraced by local communities, cities, states, and the general public. CAMI is the link to the local level, providing education and resources to the public, decision makers, and the media. We are here to help people and communities take to the skies.
Member organizations support the widespread adoption of personal aviation as a solution to the transportation challenges faced by individuals and communities. While Members need not be aircraft manufacturers or operators, each Member must prioritize safety, bring credibility to the consortium, and have a demonstrated desire to be a good neighbor within their community. Membership is tiered to allow levels of support and influence that are accessible to a variety of organizations.
EAS 2019 #21 - Rob Bulaga - GoFly Prize & FlyKart 2
ELECTRIC AIRCRAFT SESSION
Rob Bulaga, President, Trek Aerospace
Rob Bulaga has spent the past 20 years building ducted propellers for the aerospace industry, including his own company, and built his first electric powered drone in 2005.
Many of the projects Trek supported never advanced, so a few years ago Trek decided to design a small fun aircraft that would showcase its technology. A flying car was a little too ambitious so Bulaga decided to build a flying go-cart, which is how the FlyKart 1 built, in 2016, came into being.
Bulaga says the goal of FlyKart 1 was to build something that could fit into a one-car garage, be built as a kit for under $20,000, and assembled in a weekend. It is six and half feet in diameter and weights 225 lb, and can fly a 175 lb. person for about 20 minutes. The actual prototype cost less than $16,000 in parts and took less than a month to assemble.
"When the GoFly Prize contest came out, their requirements were so close to what we were already doing that we knew we had to compete in GoFly."
Bulaga outlined the goal of GoFly (www.GoFlyPrize.com) and the prizes associated with Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the competition as well as how the scoring takes place.
FlyKart 2 was one of 10 winners of Phase 1 of the GoFly competition and one of five winners of Phase 2.
The GoFly Phase 3 fly off will take place in Feb. 2020 in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Bulaga says there are five enabling technologies that have made the Trek FlyKart 2 possible: structures, batteries, motors, propulsion and controls.
When it comes to structure, FlyKart 1 was built using aluminum tubes. For FlyKart 2, the structure is made of rectangular bonded carbon fiber tubes that provide more stiffness, are 50% lighter, but six times the cost.
Bulaga says that in the years since Trek flew its first electric drone in 2006, today's batteries now provide twice the power density for half the cost.
"I need to thank, probably, the automotive industry, but more surprisingly was the vaping industry. The 18650 [rechargeable lithium-ion battery] is what has been going into the vaping systems, and that is what has driven down the cost."
"As an aerodynamicist, when I started working with electric systems, I had no concept as to what the intricacies would be."
"Batteries get hot as they discharge and you have to supply cooling air."
Bulaga says one of the major design challenges is that an eVTOL aircraft needs a lot of the power at the end of a flight to hover for a landing, but that is also the point where a battery has its lowest voltage, "so you have to design the aircraft to land at low voltage."
EAS 2019 #22 - Edgar Rodrigues - The Future of Urban Air Mobility
ELECTRIC AIRCRAFT SESSION
Edgar Rodrigues, Project Strategy and Business Intelligence, EmbraerX
Embraer, the Brazilian aerospace company has built and delivered 8,000 aircraft in its 50-year history.
Traffic is getting worst and the cost of urban congestion is rising. By 2050, the absolute urban population will almost double, 70% of global population will leave in urban areas, Urban sprawl is expected to increase 3.5 times.
Embraer is collaborating with others to create an Urban Air Mobility ecosystem. For example, EmbraerX, with Embraer subsidiary Altech and radar maker Harris are collaborating to create Flight Plan 2030, an air traffic management concept for urban air mobility. The Flight Plan 2030 white paper was released in May 2019.
In June 2019, EmbraerX unveiled Beacon, a business platform to streamline the aviation services ecosystem.
And EmbraerX is developing an eVTOL aircraft for the Uber Elevate aerial ride sharing network. The design features eight lift rotors, a wing and two thrusters for forward flight.
The yet to be named eVTOL aircraft is the subject of a naming contest on the Embraer website: www.embraerx.com/nameyourevtol
EAS 2019 #23 - Kevin Noertker - Leading the Charge with Practical, Compelling Electric Aircraft
ELECTRIC AIRCRAFT SESSION
Kevin Noertker, Co-Founder & CEO, Ampaire Inc.
Kevin Noertker says that it has been an "incredibly eventful year for our industry."
He says that for the first time, the new electric-powered aircraft segment was getting a lot of attention at the Paris Air Show in June at the same time as environmental concerns were emerging as a major risk to commercial aircraft deliveries. This has presented Ampaire with an increasable challenge as well as an incredible opportunity.
Following the Paris Air Show, Noertker also said that UBS also issued a report saying that the shift to hybrid electric aircraft could happen much sooner than previously expected and estimated this could become a $200 billion market between the late 2020s and 2040 with the delivery of up to 16,000 hybrid electric aircraft in the general aviation, regional airline and business aviation market segments.
Noertker, says that, "this is a conversation that we have not heard in the past."
"When bankers start salivating over new industries, you know that something legitimate is taking place," added Noertker. "They don't spend a lot of time with pie in the sky ideas."
Noertker asked "When will a person flying an aircraft today powered by a Lycoming, Continental, Pratt & Whitney Canada or Williams engine be able to fly an aerial Tesla?"
He says that EAA members have always been driven by innovation and an interest in new technology.
Electric aircraft offer the promise of reduced operating costs, which means that private pilots will be able to fly much more and for charter and regional airlines it means they can make a profit on more routes and provide better services to underserved communities.
Noertker says the first revolution in aviation began with the piston engine used to power the Wright Flyer in 1903, and the second revolution began in the 1950s when the jet engine was introduced on passenger aircraft.
Norway is there first country in the world that has committed to using all electric aircraft to service its domestic airline routes under 90 minutes in duration. Noertker says that Ampaire seeks to be one of the first airlines to enter the Norwegian electric aircraft market.
Offering some statistics, Noertker says that aviation produces about 800 million tons of CO2, which is three percent of global emissions and ejects it directly into our atmosphere every year, "so we are paying a significant environmental cost."
Noertker also noted that airline profitability also rises and falls "with the cost of Jet A" fuel, adding that this is especially difficult for regional airlines that struggle to be profitable as a result of high operating costs, especially on a seat-mile basis.
Small regional airlines serving smaller communities struggle to survive, and often this is only possible with government subsidies such as the $300 million a year distributed in the US under the Essential Air Service (EAS) program.
Electrification of aviation will:
- 70 to 90 percent fuel cost savings
- 25 to 50 percent maintenance cost savings
- noise reduced by two-thirds or even more
- help earn the good will of communities around airports
- significantly reduce direct emissions
Ampaire's concept aircraft is the Tailwind with a thrust vectoring ducted fan at the rear of the aircraft.
But the company knows that such an aircraft program will require hundreds of millions of dollars and up to a decade to certify, will require ground infrastructure, and "will take pull from consumer demand and pull from government and regulatory bodies."
So Ampaire is taking a step-by-step approach by starting in the retrofit market. It's taking the proven Cessna 337 Skymaster airframe and transforming it into the Ampaire Electric EEL, an aircraft that is partially electric powered and partially combustion engine powered.
The prototype conversion flew for the first time in California in June 2019.
EAS 2019 #24 - Lior Zivan - Eviation Alice - All Electric Aircraft Design Challenges
ELECTRIC AIRCRAFT SESSION
Lior Zivan, Chief Technology Officer, Eviation
Eviation of Israel is developing the electric powered Alice aircraft featuring:
- 9 Passengers, 2 Crew (up to 2,300 lb useful load)
- Max range 540 NM (+ IFR reserve)
- Cruise speed 220 KTAS, Max speed 260 KTAS (FL 100
- Max altitude 12,500 ft (unpressurized cabin limitation)
- Stall speed, flaps extended, less than 100 KCAS
- Take off distance 1200 m
The company's value proposition is to enabling carriers to capture frustrated car commuters:
- Save carriers $375 k to 1,260 k per plane per annum
- Reduce carrier Opex up to 70%
- Undercut cost of car commutes
- Enable return of closed airline routes
- Open travel to new routes
The aircraft configuration is unique because it was designed from the outset for an electrical propulsion system and for high passenger ride comfort.
The Alice was unveiled for the first time at the Paris Air Show in June 2019 and features a glass cockpit with fly-by-wire control and side-stick controllers.
The aircraft was holistically designed for range, speed, ease of piloting and passengers' comfort, and to utilize current battery technology.
The Alice has been designed for aerodynamic efficiency, with slick design and lift generating fuselage; thin, clean wing with Fowler flaps; wingtip-mounted EPU and a V-tail.
The wingtip-mounted EPU features:
- Cooling challenge: no inlets, no radiators (heat exchanger conformal to the outer mold line)
- Controllability challenges and opportunities
- Propulsion power distribution optimization
- Control and monitoring, human-man interface (display) challenges
On the ground, Alice will use wheel-in-hub motors for taxiing.
The lightweight airframe structure is designed to carry heavy batteries and the low weight subsystems include low weight subsystems, including fly-by-wire computers, avionics and actuation.
Elevation has lined up a large number of partners including Rolls-Royce (Siemens) and magniX for motors.
Flight testing of the Eviation Alice will take place in Prescott, Arizona.
EAS 2019 #25 - George Bye - The Benefits of Electric Aviation, Featuring eFlyer
ELECTRIC AIRCRAFT SESSION
George Bye, CEO, Bye Aerospace
Bye Aerospace is developing the eFlyer 2 to be the world's first certified electric aircraft.
George Bye began his presentation by highlighting that 30% of the mainline airline pilots in the United State will be retiring in the next three years.
He says that, "The ability to get from Denver to New York, Los Angles or Dallas is going to be challenged without new pilots."
The top priority market for the Bye Aerospace eFlyer 2 is the flight training market.
The prototype eFlyer 2 made its first flight ion April 10, 2018 powered by a preproduction Siemens V9 electric motor and in 2019 the prototype received the Siemens V10 production motor, the 90 kW SP70, which has 20 percent more power and will drive a three blade propeller.
Bye says that the new engine allows the eFlyer 2 to cruise at 90 knots at 35 kW, which gives three hours’ endurance, with reserves. The aircraft has a top speed of 135 knots. And the aircraft has an "L/D of 20.6," which reflects the aircraft's very efficient airfoil.
In the past year, the company's team has doubled in size and "our market has tripled in size."
OSM Aviation Academy, a flight training school in Scandinavia (previously known as the SAS Flight Academy) that is part of the Norwegian Airlines Group, ordered 60 eFlyer 2 aircraft.
Bye says another advantage of the eFlyer 2 is its low noise signature.
Bye added that Scandinavia and Europe view electric aviation as essential, not just interesting.
Bye says that the aviation industry will require 790,000 pilots over the next 20 years, which means there has to be an eightfold increase in the number of pilot certifications annually to meet future demand.
Bye says the cost of becoming a pilot is a major barrier, and if the pilot demand cannot be met airlines will have to ground aircraft in the next decade.
Bye says other features of the eFlyer 2 include Garmin G3X avionics, a BLR full aircraft emergency parachute, and a 46-inch-wide cabin with cabin heating and air conditioning.
Bye claims that the eFlyer 2 will have one-fifth the operating costs of popular training aircraft today, including maintenance and the energy cost.
Bye says that 60,000 training aircraft will be needed to meet future training demand, and that a market of 20,000 aircraft will exist for aircraft in the eFlyer 2 class.
Bye says that the four-seat eFlyer 4 is being designed for the flight training and air taxi market. He says that this aircraft will also have one-fifth the operating costs of current four seaters, which will enable low cost air taxi service.
Earlier this year, Blackbird, an on-demand air taxi service based in San Francisco signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to acquire 10 eFlyer 2s and 100 eFlyer 4s and other air taxi companies are pursuing orders for the aircraft.
By EAS 2019, Bye had received commitments for over 600 eFlyer aircraft, including orders, MOUs and options.
The company has been working on FAR Part 23 certification of its aircraft for the last year and a half. The eFlyer is not a Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) or an ultralight class aircraft.
Potential future products include the high performance eFlyer X with retractable landing gear and pressurized cabin.
CAFE EAS 2019 #26 - Electric Aircraft Panel - Questions & Answers
ELECTRIC AIRCRAFT PANEL
- Edgar Rodrigues, Project Strategy and Business Intelligence, EmbraerX
- George Bye, CEO, Bye Aerospace
- Lior Zivan, CTO, Eviation
- Kevin Noertker, Co-Founder & CEO, Ampaire Inc.
Biography - Yolanka Wulff
Yolanka Wulff, Executive Director, CAFE Foundation
Co-Executive Director, Community Air Mobility Initiative
Yolanka is a business attorney and consultant with over two decades of experience in the successful development, implementation and management of mission-driven programs. Prior to joining Community Air Mobility Initiative as Co-Executive Director, Yolanka has been a sustainable aviation consultant for nine years, working with industry, government, academia and nonprofits on policy, standards and regulations, industry development, market challenges, communications and media relations. Yolanka also serves as Executive Director of CAFE Foundation where she organizes the annual Electric Aircraft Symposium.
Biography - Mike Hirschberg
Mike Hirschberg, Executive Director, Vertical Flight Society
Mike Hirschberg assumed the duties of the Vertical Flight Society Executive Director on June 1, 2011, after 20 years in the aerospace industry, primarily in vertical flight. As the Executive Director, he is responsible for the execution of the strategic direction set by the Vertical Flight Society Board of Directors.
He represents the vertical flight technical community and advocates for the advancement of vertical flight research and technology to the executive and legislative branches of the government. Mr. Hirschberg is the publisher of all society publications, including Vertiflite, the Journal of the AHS, and the Annual Forum Proceedings.
Mr. Hirschberg was previously a principal aerospace engineer with CENTRA Technology, Inc., providing technical and program management support for over 10 years to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and Office of Naval Research (ONR) on advanced aircraft and rotorcraft concepts. Prior to this, Mr. Hirschberg worked from 1994 to 2001 in the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) Program Office, supporting the development of the X-32 and X-35 vertical flight propulsion systems.
He served as the Managing Editor of Vertiflite magazine from 1999 to 2011, and had been a contributing author since 1997. Mr. Hirschberg is an internationally-known lecturer, frequently presenting on vertical flight at short courses, meetings, conferences and universities, and is the author/co-author of more than 100 publications on helicopter, V/STOL and advanced aircraft developments, including three books.
Mr. Hirschberg holds a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia (1991) and a M.E. Mechanical Engineering from Catholic University of America (1996). He completed a Master of Business Administration at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech) in 2013. He is proficient in speaking German.
He is an Associate Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society (RAeS).
Biography - Ryan Naru
Ryan Naru is the Vehicle Standards Engineer at Uber Elevate. He began his career in aviation as an aircraft maintenance technician at North East Aero, where he specialized on the Cirrus SR20 and SR22 airframes. Later, he studied aerospace engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he led original research into the maintenance challenges unique to electric aircraft. He gained eVTOL design experience while working for a confidential startup focused on urban air mobility. Ryan holds a BS in economics with a specialization in policy analysis from Binghamton University, and an AS in engineering science from SUNY Orange.
Biography - Willi Tacke
Willi Tacke is the owner and CEO of several publishing companies, including Flying Pages GMbH (Germany), Flying Pages Europe SARL (France) & Flying Pages China - the only general aviation pilots’ magazine in Chinese in China. He founded “Fluegel Magazine” - German Aviation magazine in 1992. He has published the “World Directory of Light Aviation” since 1995 (annual Aviation source book in 4 languages English, French, German and Chinese. Willi began his publishing career at the Swiss publishing house Ringier. He has been working for Aviation publications since 1983.
Willi is the organizer and Founder of e-flight-expo (electric Aircraft Exhibition of at AERO Friedrichshafen since 2009). Organizer of the world first e-flight-show at aero Friedrichshafen since 2017. Since 2004, Willi has been an aviation consultant for government and private aviation companies in Europe, US and China. Specialist in electric aviation, UL / Light Sport & General Aviation. Speaker on Electric Aircraft, General Aviation and e-mobility.
Willi has pilot and instructor’s licenses for hang glider, paraglider and ultralight. He has had a private pilot’s license since 1983. Willi has a degree from LMU Munich in political science and economics. Languages: German, English, French, Spanish and Italian.
Biography - Gilles Rosenberger
CEO, Faraday Aerospace
Gilles Rosenberger is the CEO and one of the co-founders of Faraday Aerospace, a young French company with already a long experience in electric aviation. Gilles was the Chief Operating Officer of Voltair, the Airbus subsidiary dedicated to developing the E-FAN electric aircraft.
Faraday Aerospace is now developing Electric Propulsion Systems for certified aircraft. Later this year they expect to announce a Propulsion Battery Pack for to Part 23 airplanes. This should be a first step development of Propulsion Battery Packs with higher safety standards complying with Urban Air Mobility requirements.
Biography - Dr. David G. Ullman
Dr. David G. Ullman: Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, the Ohio State University; B.S. and M.S. Aerospace Engineering; Life Fellow, ASME; Emeritus Professor, Oregon State University; Keynote speaker at the 2018 Sustainable Aviation Symposium, “Electric Air Vehicle Performance Prospects: Comparing eVTOL versus USTOL”; and author of “The Mechanical Design Process”, 6th edition, 2018; “Making Robust Decisions”, 2006; and “What will your Grandchildren See When They Look Up?”, 2018.
Biography - Bruno Mombrinie
Bruno Mombrinie is a board member of the CAFE Foundation and was the event manager for the NASA Green Flight Challenge Sponsored by Google in 2011.
Bruno is the founder of Metro Hop. The Metro Hop plane is a STOL approach to the challenge of flying people and parcels quickly and affordably in greater metropolitan areas.
At MIT Bruno helped build the Chrysalis Human Powered Airplane. Over 100 people were able to fly the aircraft.
After college, Bruno founded AVEC Scientific, a surgical supply manufacturing company which he recently sold to Stryker Instruments.
Bruno is a fan of the flow state, side projects, and making better stuff.
Biography - Kenneth Swartz
Kenneth Swartz was elected to the Board of Directors of the Vertical Flight Society (VFS) in 2018.
He has been the driving force behind the Society’s eVTOL News initiative since early 2017 and is senior editor of Vertiflite magazine. He has over 25+ years of experience as a senior aerospace marketing and communications strategist with major commercial aircraft manufacturers, special mission helicopter operators, regional airlines and pilot training and flight simulation companies.
At Aeromedia Communications, Ken works with OEMs and commercial aviation companies developing market forecasts, aircraft economic models, sales and marketing campaigns and digital media content.
Ken previously worked as a Senior Market Analyst (Sales Engineer) at Bombardier developing billion-dollar marketing campaigns for the CRJ Regional Jet and Q Series Dash 8 airliners, managed large fleets of Soviet and Western helicopters supporting UN Peacekeeping forces, and developed trans-border regional airline routes.
He has also been one of Canada's leading aerospace journalists since the late 1970s and had written more than 1,000 articles on commercial helicopter, regional airline and aircraft manufacturing industries.
In 2010, Ken won the Helicopter Association International's “Communicator of the Year” award and he has co-authored the official corporate histories of Pratt & Whitney Canada, CAE, Bell Helicopter Textron Canada and Airbus Helicopters Canada.
Biography - Todd Hodges
Todd Hodges has 40+ years in VTOL design, development and testing experience at NASA Langley. Todd was a consultant on GL-10 tiltwing and coauthor on GL-10 patent. He has a diverse, historical knowledge of aeronautic technical disciplines. He works on design and propulsion integration
on flight test UAVs and was a consultant on Puffin VTOL PAV. Todd also researched crashworthy composite structures.
Biography - Earl Lawrence
Earl Lawrence is the Executive Director of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Aircraft Certification Service, where he is responsible for type certification, production approval, airworthiness certification, and continued airworthiness of the U.S. civil aircraft fleet - including commercial and general aviation activities. Lawrence oversees a professional workforce of more than 1,300 employees working in FAA Headquarters in Washington, DC, 35 field offices across the U.S., and two international offices located in Belgium and Singapore.
Prior to being named AIR’s Executive Director in 2018, Lawrence was the Executive Director of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Integration Office, responsible for the facilitation of all regulations, policies, and procedures required to support the safe integration of UAS into the National Airpsace System. Lawrence played a fundamental role in establishing, leading and successfully operationalizing this new organization. Lawrence also previously served as Manager of the FAA’s Small Airplane Directorate, where he manged airworthiness standards, continued operational safety, policy and guidance for for small aircraft, gliders, light sport aircraft, airships, and balloons.
Prior to joining the FAA in 2010, Lawrence was the vice president of industry and regulatory affairs for the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. He managed EAA’s government affairs offices in Oshkosh and Washington, DC, along with EAA’s aircraft maintenance and flight operations. Before that, Lawrence worked for Rockwell Rocketdyne, first as a rocket engine mechanic and then as a manufacturing engineer on the International Space Station.
Lawrence is currently a board member of the American National Standards Institute and has served as a board member of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association and ASTM International. He is a graduate of Northrop University, with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering Technology. A pilot since 1987, Lawrence holds a commercial multi-engine pilot certificate as well as an airframe and powerplant mechanic certificate with an Inspection Authorization. He currently owns and flies a Piper Twin Comanche.
Biography - Greg Bowles
Greg Bowles, Head of Government Affairs for Joby Aviation, engages key policy makers to expedite introduction of a new generation of air transportation that is safer than driving and is so cost effective that it will become a part of our daily lives.
For almost two decades, Greg has been working in regulation and policy to foster the worldwide safety and success of the aviation community. During this time, he championed efforts to reform thousands of regulations including the global changes governing the design of general aviation aircraft.
Previously Greg served as the V.P. of Global Innovation & Policy for the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA). Prior to joining GAMA, Bowles worked for rotorcraft and airplane manufacturers in advanced design and regulatory roles.
A native of Connecticut, Greg holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Webster University. Greg is an active pilot based in Washington, DC.
Biography - Tom Gunnarson
Tom Gunnarson is Lead of Regulatory Affairs with Cora Aero, a Silicon Valley-based company developing eVTOL aircraft for the emerging Urban Air Mobility market.
Before coming to Cora, Tom was with the FAA Advanced Technology Branch interfacing with industry and other civil aviation authorities on the development of consensus-based safety standards for small aircraft. While there, he coordinated an FAA regulatory feasibility study on electric propulsion.
Prior to FAA, Tom was President of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association and was chair of the FAA Aviation Rulemaking Advisory Committee that developed the Light Sport and Sport Pilot rule.
Tom is currently leading efforts to create global standards on electric propulsion for General Aviation aircraft. Tom is also a pilot and flight instructor with experience operating several flight schools.
Biography - Dr. Mark P. DeAngelo
Dr. Mark P. DeAngelo is an Aerospace Engineer for SAE International with over 10 years of experience. Today, some of his focus areas are the standardization of emerging technologies, electric aircraft, general aviation aircraft, and unmanned systems.
As the staff leader of the SAE International Electric Aircraft Steering Group (EASG), he is driving standards development for fully electric aircraft and more electric aircraft. Additional contributions include participation with numerous aerospace standards-developing committees, the ANSI Collaboratives, and FAA Rulemaking Committees. Within the past 7 years he has also earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. degree in aerospace engineering while concurrently working at the Penn State Applied Research Lab as a researcher in the Intelligent Systems Lab. Research topics included optimal search techniques and aircraft localization using learned object detectors, both of which utilized various unmanned aircraft platforms.
He is interested in general aviation and holds a private pilot certificate. Aside from aviation, one of his favorite interests include photography.
Biography - Peter Shannon
Peter Shannon is an investor focusing on transportation technologies, with current focus on advanced aerial mobility and its application toward positive impact for transportation across the economy.
Peter is active in the aviation community around aerial mobility. He is an appointee to NASA’s Aeronautics Research and Technology Roundtable, through the National Academies. Further, he is helping to define a national vision and roadmap for UAM, also through the National Academies.
Earlier, Peter was at Firelake Capital and Atlas Venture, investing in transportation and sustainability technologies.
Peter holds an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth and a BS in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia. Peter started flying when he was 19 and actively maintains a Private Pilot Certificate with Instrument Rating.
Biography - Jim Murphy
Jim Murphy is the acting Technical Lead for NASA’s Urban Air Mobility (UAM) Grand Challenge developing a series of demonstrations integrating candidate UAM vehicles and traffic management system concepts. Prior to UAM, he led the design and development of a Live, Virtual, Constructive test environment used for Detect and Avoid tests by combining remotely piloted aircraft with live and virtual traffic for simulations and flight tests. He has been researching and developing Air Traffic Management related software systems for nearly 25 years.
Biography - Rex Alexander
Rex Alexander is a 40-year veteran of aviation and is the co-founder and president of Five-Alpha (5α) LLC, a globally recognized aeronautical consultancy specialized in helicopter and vertical flight infrastructure development, safety, training, and education.
He currently serves as Infrastructure Advisor to the Vertical Flight Society (VFS), is Co-chair of the U.S. Helicopter Safety Team’s (USHST) Infrastructure Working Group and is a committee member on the National Fire Protection (NFPA) 418, Standard for Heliports.
He is past president of the National EMS Pilots Associating (NEMSPA) and past president of the Indiana Association of Air Medical Services (INAAMS). Rex is an alumnus of Parks College of Aviation at St. Louis University and is a former U.S. Army Warrant Officer and ‘Aeroscout’ Helicopter Instructor Pilot having served both on active duty and in the Indiana Army National Guard.
Biography - Rob Bulaga
Rob Bulaga has been coming to the CAFE EAS since 2013. With over 40-years’ experience in the aerospace industry as a designer and aerodynamicist, he’s worked on a myriad of projects, ranging from human powered vehicles to hypersonic aircraft. Bulaga developed the CFD model used to design Trek Aerospace’s ducted propellers. Besides designing Trek’s various aircraft, Bulaga has also been the test pilot on them.
An avid pilot, Bulaga is a longtime member of the EAA and has served as president of his local EAA Chapter. Rob and his team are competing in the GoFly Challenge with their FlyKart 2, which has been one of the winners in both Phase I and Phase II of that challenge.
Biography - Edgar Rodrigues
Edgar Rodrigues is an experienced Product Strategist with a demonstrated history of working in the aviation and aerospace industry. He has a strong Business Intelligence background and skilled in Market Assessment, Business Development and Disruptive Innovation Engineering.
Rodrigues was born in Brazil in 1983 in the city of aviation - São José dos Campos, in the state of São Paulo. His father worked at Embraer and he was able to visit the Embraer factory and inspect its aircraft from a young age which directly influenced his decision to become an Aeronautical Engineer.
He studied to be a Mechanical-Aeronautical Engineer at the Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronautica - ITA where he received a Bachelor of Science.
He then the Embraer engineering team in 2007 and worked in different areas with focus in Market and Business Intelligence. He was responsible for leading the Global Market forecast for Embraer Executive Jets from 2007 to 2010.
In 2013, Rodrigues moved to São Paulo to work as Latin America Sales Engineer visiting many different countries on demonstration flights, then returned to the Embraer headquarters in 2015 to lead the Product Strategy for the Phenom100 & Phenom300 programs, which focused on positioning the new business jets as the most innovative in the industry.
Rodrigues joined EmbraerX in 2018 as a Product Strategy and Business Intelligence leader where he is helping to build the future of Urban Air Mobility today.
Biography - Kevin Noertker
Kevin Noertker is Co-Founder and CEO of Ampaire, an aerospace startup based in Los Angeles. Ampaire is on a mission to be the world’s most trusted developer of practical, compelling electric aircraft. The company is building commercial electric planes that are cleaner, quieter, and significantly less costly to operate. Leading Ampaire enables Kevin to combine his technical and management skills with his entrepreneurial vision, love for the outdoors, and passion for things that fly. He graduated with honors from Caltech and serves as a Director of the Alumni Association. Prior to Ampaire, Kevin held positions of increasing responsibility in research and development and program management at Northrop Grumman, leading the development and deployment of advanced aircraft and satellite technologies. He has a proven track record for initiating and delivering innovative technical solutions, building and motivating teams, and optimizing systems. Kevin is committed to building communities and connecting the world.
Biography - Lior Zivan
Lior Zivan has been the Chief Technology Officer at Eviation for the past year and a half.
He graduated with a BSc in aerospace engineering from the Technion IIT (Israel Institute of Technology) in Haifa, Israel in 2003.
He accumulated 15-years of aircraft development experience while working for IAI (Israel Aerospace industries).
Zivan is also an Adjunct Lecturer in the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Technion IIT, Haifa.
Biography - George E. Bye
George E. Bye is an aviation pioneer, influencer, innovator, the Founder and CEO of Bye Aerospace, named the “Small Business of the Year” for 2018 by the Denver Business Journal and one of the “Top 50 Colorado Companies to Watch” in 2017. He is the entrepreneur and innovator behind Bye Aerospace with two decades of experience as an engineer creating advanced concepts. He is also the executive identifying relevant technology trends, driving company milestones, capturing capital resources, identifying critical strategic partners and board and team talent and managing company growth. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bye Aerospace.
George has developed several aircraft designs. Among them are a 14-foot wing-span solar-electric aircraft, Silent Falcon, now in production in a former Bye Aerospace subsidiary where he remains as Vice Chairman. He also conceived our current all-electric eFlyer and solar-electric piloted Solesa designs.
Bye Aerospace is developing, and certifying with the FAA, the eFlyer 2 and eFlyer 4 family of electric aircraft and Solesa family of solar-electric aircraft. Previously, George led ATG, the company that launched and developed the Javelin, a transonic two-seat jet for military and civil utility and holds the design patent for the Javelin which first flew in September 2005.
George has authored articles for industry journals, textbooks and publications, holds a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Washington, and is an ATP-rated pilot with over 4,000 flying hours. George was a USAF instructor pilot in the supersonic T-38 for Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training, C-141B Aircraft Commander, and is a Desert Storm veteran. For more information, go to www.GeorgeBye.com.