Avionics News October 57-10 - 39

S T O R Y

B Y

D A V I D

H U G H E S

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their flyer in the U.S. and France, the brothers saw
here are as many as 310 electric vertical takeoff
146 competitor companies spring to life with 114
and landing aircraft in development to carry
passengers or air cargo, including some in flight
different engine designs. This is according to the
test and others in a concept stage in the race to provide
newly released book Empires of the Sky by Alexander
urban or advanced air mobility.
Rose. The subhead reads "Zeppelins, Airplanes and
Two Men's Epic Duel to Rule the World." Rose is the
The list of 310 compiled by the Vertical Flight Society
includes some in prototype and others in concept stage
highly successful author of a book that was made into
and a few that have already dropped
a television series on George
out of the race. Meanwhile, 60
Washington's use of spies during
have joined the hunt since January
the American Revolution.
eVTOL
AIRCRAFT
CAN
despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Empires of the Sky is a
TAKE OFF VERTICALLY
Some are already being flown for
spellbinding book for any aviation
LIKE A HELICOPTER,
certification and testing, but huge
enthusiast about the development of
hurdles remain for entering service.
competing air vehicles. The 1930s
AND SOME THEN FLY
duel between the German Zeppelin
Not the least of these challenges
LIKE A FIXED-WING
in partnership with America's
in big cities is adding the vertiports
AIRCRAFT. THEY
Goodyear versus the Pan American
on the top of skyscrapers needed
CAN
EITHER
BE
ALLto allow air taxis to operate from
Airways flying boats made by
ELECTRIC POWERED
a network of facilities. And who,
Sikorsky, Martin and Boeing is
OR HYBRID ELECTRIC,
for that matter, will pay for the
a story of competing air vehicle
vertiports and who will handle the
designs. The airplane, of course,
MEANING FOSSIL
liability insurance? Some experts
won in the end.
FUELS ARE IN USE.
believe that operators won't crack
The trials and occasional
the big-city passenger markets first.
crackups of early transoceanic
Air cargo faces fewer obstacles, and
passenger Zeppelins and airplanes
production model air vehicles are in the works.
may be instructive for what is about to happen with air
taxis in the years ahead. This is a very chaotic time for a
eVTOL aircraft can take off vertically like a
helicopter, and some then fly like a fixed-wing aircraft.
new market to be born in urban areas. The key to victory
They can either be all-electric powered or hybrid
may be found in the halls of power in Washington, D.C.,
electric, meaning fossil fuels are in use. There are quad
as it was in the 1930s for Juan Trippe's Pan Am.
Today's upstart air vehicle makers have brash leaders
rotor vehicles, air taxis with separate lift and cruise
(reminiscent of Zeppelin and Pan Am chief executives in
propulsion, tilt wing airliners and vehicles that look like
the 1930s) and backers of the moneyed sort. The Silicon
they have two helicopter main rotor systems mounted
Valley startups are bringing software talent the likes of
on the left and right wingtips. You definitely need a
scorecard to keep track.
which the aerospace industry would love to have join its
All this seems reminiscent of the turn of the last
century. Three years after the Wrights demonstrated
Continued on following page
AVIONICS NEWS

*

OCTOBER

2020

39



Avionics News October 57-10

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News October 57-10

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Avionics News October 57-10 - Intro
Avionics News October 57-10 - No label
Avionics News October 57-10 - Cover2
Avionics News October 57-10 - 1
Avionics News October 57-10 - 2
Avionics News October 57-10 - 3
Avionics News October 57-10 - 4
Avionics News October 57-10 - 5
Avionics News October 57-10 - 6
Avionics News October 57-10 - 7
Avionics News October 57-10 - 8
Avionics News October 57-10 - 9
Avionics News October 57-10 - 10
Avionics News October 57-10 - 11
Avionics News October 57-10 - 12
Avionics News October 57-10 - 13
Avionics News October 57-10 - 14
Avionics News October 57-10 - 15
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Avionics News October 57-10 - 17
Avionics News October 57-10 - 18
Avionics News October 57-10 - 19
Avionics News October 57-10 - 20
Avionics News October 57-10 - 21
Avionics News October 57-10 - 22
Avionics News October 57-10 - 23
Avionics News October 57-10 - 24
Avionics News October 57-10 - 25
Avionics News October 57-10 - 26
Avionics News October 57-10 - 27
Avionics News October 57-10 - 28
Avionics News October 57-10 - 29
Avionics News October 57-10 - 30
Avionics News October 57-10 - 31
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Avionics News October 57-10 - 57
Avionics News October 57-10 - 58
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Avionics News October 57-10 - 61
Avionics News October 57-10 - 62
Avionics News October 57-10 - 63
Avionics News October 57-10 - 64
Avionics News October 57-10 - Cover3
Avionics News October 57-10 - Cover4
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