A future come to pass, with electrification diversifying flight the way nature fills every niche. And as human flight became possible with internal combustion replaced by steam, electric vertical take-off and landing or 'eVTOL' is now possible due to the decline of internal combustion in turn.
Simpler to implement, the single and twin engines familiar to airplanes or helicopters are replaced by motors numbering up to three dozen. One analogy is computing, as any number of devices replace dedicated machines shared by businesses.
As with the development of the PC in a state already rich in electronic components used in aircraft manufacture, the cost of entry is a critical factor. Unlike the costliest ever attempt to incorporate vertical capability in the joint strike fighter or 'JSF', eVTOLs take the facility as a given at the outset...due in no small part to advances in computing and communications.
Most investment capital currently aims at returns from flying taxis or cargo drones, but the ecosystem of electrical flight will be altogether wider ~ reflecting the evolution of the car, which in the UK alone emerged from over 2000 workshops before coalescing into a few manufacturers a century on.
This same diversity of experimentation means that personal air vehicles or 'PAVs' have their place. Among the best-selling helicopters, a two-seater in the shape of the Robinson R22 sold on the basis two seats were ideal for training students or wrangling cattle. With a reduction of capital and operating costs, the eVTOL environment is set to open up any number of applications to even smaller air vehicles for as yet unkown applications... as drones have supplanted rotorcraft in aerial photography, survey, agriculture and cargo delivery.
Such drones already lift payloads beyond what is needed to raise individuals, an ability to do so thus a logical progression filling the niche between UAVs and flying taxis. A fact worth considering is that in most economies trams, trains or buses preceded private automobiles; but soon vastly outnumbered.
Personal flight is thus a natural evolution in an environment already enjoyed by millions of drones worldwide. Beside this there has been a vibrant kit-build market from the beginning of flight: for what else could the Wright Flyer be considered?
Key to evolving this tradition depends on manufacture and distribution as much as design... and from its beginnings the TELEDRONE has been aimed at flat-pack assembly, storage in the garage and transport by trailer to lower capital costs.
Beside a market for individuals wanting access to their own 'personal air vehicle' there is also a replacement market for roles met by boats, helicopters or hovercraft. Consequently at the outset the beta-product will be aimed at ground-effect operation prior the accumulation of operational safety data.
27th August 2021