2021 Autonomous VTOL Technical Meeting and Electric VTOL Symposium

2021 Autonomous Meeting Banner


Virtual Meeting Link Coming Very Soon!

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FAQs AVTOL/eVTOL 2021 Meeting

(If you can't register online, you can download our PDF Registration Form.)

Technical experts from industry, academia and government will speak at the Vertical Flight Society’s 8th Annual Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) Symposium and 9th Biennial Autonomous VTOL Technical Meeting, to be held completely virtually on Jan. 26-28, 2021. The meeting will feature technical papers and presentation related to autonomous VTOL aircraft, while the Symposium will feature invited presentations, panel sessions and discussions on electric and hybrid electric VTOL aircraft, with a focus on urban air mobility.

2021 eVTOL Symposium/aVTOL Technical Meeting Program Guide (PDF)

Registration Rates

All registrations include virtual access to all three days
as well as the Proceedings
Non-Member Member
by Dec. 15 
after Dec. 15
Regular  $400* $250 $300
Speaker / Session Chair / Govt / Military
Presenting author or primary session chair; any national gov’t/military personnel
$325* $175 $225
Student / Retired
Must be a full-time student with ID / Fully-retired and over 60
$250* $75 $150

* non-member rates include a complimentary 1-year membership in VFS.
Note: the Short Course on Electric VTOL Design originally planned to be held in conjunction with the event will now be held online Feb. 9-10. This is an intermediate level course for those who are looking to broaden their understanding of eVTOL. Register now!

Sponsorship & Exhibit Opportunities – NOW CLOSED!


Autonomous VTOL Technical Meeting Chairs

  • Dr. Ram Janikiram, The Boeing Company (retired)
  • Dr. Kendra Befort, The Boeing Company
  • Bryan Chu, The Boeing Company

Electric VTOL Symposium Chairs

  • Dan Newman, The Boeing Company
  • Scott Smith, ARINC Industry Acitivities
  • Anna Dietrich, Community Air Mobility Initiative
  • Jim Sherman, The Vertical Flight Society

Note: This is a live event online organized by the VFS Arizona Chapter. All times are US Mountain Standard Time (MST), which is GMT-7. To find the times in your time zone, please use TimeAndDate.com or another time zone converter if you need help. 

8th Annual eVTOL Symposium

Electric and hybrid-electric propulsion is an exciting new approach to vertical flight aircraft design and the 8th Annual eVTOL Symposium is a unique opportunity for designers, developers, innovators, investors, regulators, infrastructure providers, end users, media and key influencers to share knowledge and work towards realizing the eVTOL revolution. This is also a tremendous networking opportunity for those new to the VTOL industry.

The Vertical Flight Society has been leading efforts in electric VTOL with workshops starting in 2014, and the Electric VTOL News website, featuring the World eVTOL Aircraft Directory.

Technical Program Sponsors: Boeing logo


Toray Corp Logo

Airbus logo

AFuzion Logo

ART logo

ASR Logo

BAE Systems
CAE logo

CarlisleIT Logo

eVTOL.com Logo


Piasecki small logo

SAE International Logo

Siemens logo (2020)


CDI logo


D3 Technologies OFRN

OFRN Te Connectivity Logo


8th Annual eVTOL Symposium | GoToWebinar | All times are in MST (GMT-7)
January 26, 2021
0800–1000 Opening General Session
Government Keynotes

Robert Pearce, Associate Administrator, NASA
COL Joseph Anderson, PM UAS, US Army
COL Nathan Diller, Director, AFWERX
Jay Merkle, Executive Director, UAS Integration Office, FAA
1030–1200 Opening General Session
Industry Keynotes

Brian Yutko, Chief Engineer, Sustainability and Future Mobility, Boeing
Eric Allison, Head of Product, Joby Aviation (previously head of Uber Elevate)
Stephane Fymat, VP/GM, Urban Air Mobility, Honeywell

Networking Lunch with Sponsors and Exhibitors

Sponsored Technical Talk: Making Zero-emission Air Transport Possible with Hydrogen
Alex Ivanenko, PhD, Founder & CEO, HyPoint, Inc
Sponsored Technical Talk: Reporting on the eVTOL Revolution
Brian Garrett-Glaser, Managing Editor, eVTOL.com
1330–1500 Market Development: As the eVTOL industry continues to progress, it is clear there are other investments that need to be made to ensure success, from vehicle design to certification, infrastructure, and operations. This plenary session will highlight what is currently happening and what is left to be done. Moderator: Parimal Kopardekar, NASA
Michael Dyment, Managing Partner, NEXA Advisors
Cyrus Sigari, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, UP.partners
Jim Viola, President & CEO, HAI
Starr Ginn, AAM National Campaign Lead, NASA
1530–1700 eVTOL Industry Updates: While 2020 has been a difficult year, it has been marked with great successes in advancing eVTOL technology. Aircraft developers will share their updates and plans. Moderator: Colin Theodore, NASA
Tim Williams, Chief Engineer, Vertical Aerospace
Joerg-Peter Mueller, Head of Urban Air Mobility, Airbus
Kyle Clark, Founder, Beta Technologies
Gary Gysin, President and CEO, Wisk
January 27, 2021
0800–1000 Modeling and Simulation: One of the key enabling technologies for eVTOL developing is access to modeling and simulation tools. These tools allow designers the ability to iterate designs and operations at faster than real-time. Moderator: Ion Vintilescu, Boeing
David Segal, Director, Business Transformation, FAD&E, ptc
Tony Gioutsos, Director Portfolio Development, Autonomous Americas, Siemens
Ronald du Val, President, Advanced Rotorcraft Technology
Dan Wachspress, Senior Associate, Continuum Dynamics
1030–1200 Standards Development:The development of industry consensus standards to critical to achieving certification. This session will provide an update on the activities of the key standards development organizations. Moderator: Anna Dietrich, CAMI
Dave Stevens, Certification Program Manager, Joby Aviation; ASTM F44 Vice Chair
Tom Gunnarson, Regulatory Affairs Lead, Wisk; ASTM AC433 Co Chair
Mark DeAngelo, Aerospace Standards Engineer, SAE International
Christine Dejong, Director, Global Innovation and Policy, GAMA; ASTM F44 Chair

Networking Lunch with Sponsors and Exhibitors

Sponsored Technical Talk: Recent eVTOL Certification Challenges & Real-World Solutions
Vance Hilderman, Chief Technical Officer, Afuzion
1330–1500 Advanced Manufacturing: Electric VTOL requires very lightweight and strong materials that can be produced inexpensively. This session highlights the latest manufacturing technologies and materials that will enable affordable vehicles and infrastructure. Moderator: Bill Bihlman, Founder & President, Aerolytics LLC
DeWayne Howell, Senior Applications Engineer, Toray
Imad Atallah, Director, Strategic Marketing, Hexcel
Bob Hess, Engineering Manager, BAE Systems
Jonathan Sourkes, Commercial Manager, TxV Aero Composites / Victrex
Tulinda Larsen, Executive Director, UAMMI
1530–1700 eVTOL Industry Updates: While 2020 has been a difficult year, it has been marked with great successes in advancing eVTOL technology. Aircraft developers will share their updates and plans. Moderator: Carl Russell, NASA
Nobuo Kishi, Chief Technology Officer, SkyDrive
Jon Rimanelli, Founder/CEO, Airspace Experience Technologies (ASX)
Tine Tomazic, Group CTO, Pipistrel
John Piasecki, President and CEO, Piasecki Aircraft
January 28, 2021
0800–1000 Infrastructure: While eVTOL vehicles get headlines, they will need infrastructure available to fly. Not just vertiports, but weather gathering and distribution, air traffic management systems, and centers for everything from flight test to operations Moderator: Yolanka Wulff, Co-Director, Community Air Mobility Initiative
Felipe Varon, Founder & CEO, Varon Vehicles
Gene Dolgin, VP of Strategy and GM, ClimaCell
Chris Kucera, Co-Founder & Head of Strategic Partnerships, OneSky
1030–1200 Realistic and Positive Training for eVTOL/VTOL Operators: As we approach the time when vehicles and infrastructure are in place for operations, realistic flight simulation and training facilities will be required to baseline and improve piloting skills.

Co-organized with   ARINC-IA

Moderator: Scott Smith, ARINC
Michael Uleski, Lead Instructor, UST, FlightSafety International
Timothy Schoenauer & Marilyn Pearson, CAE
Nick Papadopoli, Nick Papadopoli Consulting
Arnab Lahiri, Training & Simulation Group, FAA
1200–1330 Networking Lunch with Sponsors and Exhibitors Sponsored Technical Talk: How the Partial Discharge Phenomenon Could Stall Your eVTOL Project
Tom Turner, Product Manager, Carlisle
Sponsored Technical Talk: ASR…Increasing Safety for the Future of Flight
Larry Williams, CEO, ASR
1330–1500 Future Vertical Workforce: As newly-hired engineers embark upon an ongoing, broad education in vertical lift aviation. This education is critical for these engineers to become high-performing subject matter experts, and the ongoing world-class effectiveness of CCDC AvMC ADD in executing its mission demonstrates the success of this broad education thrust. The session covers education in vertical lift aviation, categorized into formal education and in-house (on-the-job) education. Moderator: Dan Newman, Senior Technical Fellow, Boeing
Mark Robeson, Lead, Structures Technical Area, US Army
Igor Cherepinsky, Director, Sikorsky Innovations, Sikorsky
Kathryn Creedy, Editor in Chief, FA/AW News
Nancy Leveson, Professor, MIT
David Segal, Director, Business Transformation, FAD&E, ptc
Amy Pritchett, Head of Aerospace Engineering, Penn State
1530–1700 eCTOL / eSTOL Industry Updates: Electric VTOL shares much of its potential success and most of its supply chain with the eCTOL/eSTOL industry. Leaders from this market provide an update on their progress and plans Moderator: Ken Swartz, Aeromedia Communcations
Marie-Claire Camin, Sales Director, Turbotech
Marc Ausman, CEO & Co-Founder, Airflow.aero
Kevin Noertker, Co-Founder, Ampaire

9th Biennial Autonomous VTOL Technical Meeting

The 21st century has seen a continued emphasis on Unmanned Air Systems (UAS) and greater autonomy and automation for both military and civilian applications. Unmanned aircraft are in varying stages of development all over the world, and continue to expand into the civil and military sectors for a variety of uses. Autonomy is being used to unmanned versions of manned helicopters for dull, dirty and dangerous military cargo missions. In addition, the operator-interface and human factors can be one of the most significant contributions to UAS safety and successful operations. Correspondingly, technologies and regulation are being developed to safely operate UAS, and integrate them into commercial and military airspace.

Meanwhile, automation and various levels of autonomy are being used in modern civil helicopter cockpits, while the military’s Future Vertical Lift (FVL) aircraft will need to be optionally-manned or optimally-manned. Autonomy is also a key enabler for new classes of vehicles for civil missions — such as personal air vehicles, urban air mobility and air taxi missions — using electric or hybrid-electric propulsion (eVTOL).

This biennial meeting is an excellent opportunity to learn about and discuss with academic, industry, and military engineers from around the world the latest advancements in manned/unmanned, electric/hybrid/turboshaft-powered, and civil/military autonomous VTOL aircraft technology.

Papers have been invited in the areas of autonomous or unmanned air vehicles and control stations, including the following:

  • Civilian and military platforms of all sizes, ranging from micro vehicles (MAVs) through full-scale manned aircraft, and the full range of autonomy and associated enabling technologies
  • Fully autonomous, ground-controlled, and optionally manned vehicles
  • All aspects of operator interface design
  • Air vehicle and operator control stations
Preliminary Autonomous VTOL Technical Agenda
Session 1: Invited Speakers | Chairperson: Ajay Sehgal, KBR
Jan. 26, 2021 | All times are in MST (GMT-7)
1330–1400 eXtreme Unmanned Aerial Systems (XUAS) for Multi-domain Operations through VTOL and Extreme Mobility in all Environments and Terrains (MOVEMENT) Rajneesh Singh and Brett Piekarski, US Army Vehicle Technology Directorate
1400–1430 Using Autonomy to significantly improve safety for VTOL Vehicles Igor Cherepinsky, Sikorsky LMCO
1430-1500 V2V (Vehicle to Vehicle) communications to alleviate burden on ATM (Advanced Air Traffic Management) or on ATC to deconflict traffic (in conjunction with GAMA) Francis X. Govers III, Bell
1530–1600 Micro Air Vehicles to Delivery Drones: Growing Potential Applications Inderjit Chopra, University of Maryland
1600–1630 Essential Capabilities for Autonomous Flight in the National Air Space Sanjeev Singh, Near Earth Autonomy
Session 2: Flight Dynamics, Controls and Simulation | Chairperson: Dr. Russell Enns, Boeing
Jan. 27, 2021 | All times are in MST (GMT-7)
0800–0830 Wing Tilt Scheduling in Tandem-Wing VTOL Configurations Kacper Grzedzinski, Valentin Stephan and Argyrios Zolotas, Cranfield University
0830–0900 The Systematic Methods to define the Deck Environment of a non-traditional Ship Platform for a Maritime VTOL UAS Bernard Ferrier, Hoffman Engineering; A. Sehgal, KBR; J. Duncan, MoD; M. R. Belmont, Exeter University
0900–0930 A Robust Uniform Control Approach for VTOL Aircraft Jacob W. Cook and Irene M. Gregory, NASA Langley
1030–1100 Toward an Urban Air Mobility Ride Quality and Safety Assessment Analytical Tool Jeffrey Keller, A. Sharma, D. Wachspress, Continuum Dynamics; J. Horn and P. Theron, Penn State
1100–1130 A Modular and Novel Flight Stabilization System for Highly Unstable sUAV Configurations Nicholas Rehm and Inderjit Chopra, UMD
Session 3: Aerodynamics and Acoustics | Chairperson: Prof. Lakshmi Shankar, Georgia Tech
Jan. 27, 2021 | All times are in MST (GMT-7)
1330–1400 Experimental Flight Testing of High-Speed Mini Quadrotor Biplane Tail-sitter Peter Ryseck, G. Jacobellis, D. Yeo and I. Chopra, UMD
1400–1430 Proprotor/Wing/Flap Interaction For V/STOL Aircraft With Partial Slipstream Immersion Todd R. Quackenbush, D. Wachspress, M. Yu and C. Solomon, Continuum Dynamics
1430–1500 Time Variation of Rotor Broadband Noise Ze Feng, K. Brentner and E. Greenwood, Penn State
1530–1600 Combined Momentum Simple Vortex Theory Inflow Model for Multi-Rotor Configurations Feyyaz Guner and JVR Prasad, Georgia Tech
1600-1630 Fundamental Aeroelastic Analysis of an Urban Air Mobility Rotor Stephen J. Wright, NASA Ames
Session 4: UAV Operations and Certification | Chairperson: Dr. Daniel Schrage
Jan. 28, 2021 | All times are in MST (GMT-7)
0800–0830 Certification of Machine Learning Algorithms for Safety-critical Avionics Luuk van Dijk, Daedalean Corp.
0830–0900 Concept of Operations for Unmanned Rotorcraft in Maritime Security and Rescue Operations in Germany Bianca Isabella Schuchardt and Alexander Donkels, DLR Institute of Flight Systems
0900–0930 Detection of Obstacle-free Landing Zones in Crowded Environments for Aerial System Emergency Planning Caleb Harris, Alexia Payan and Dimitri Mavris, Georgia Tech
0930–1000 Urban Aerial Mobility Networks using Amphibious Vertical Takeoff and Landing Vehicles Larry Young, NASA Ames
1030–1100 A Civil Military Functional Safety Management Development Assurance Framework Example for Certification of Autonomous Unmanned Aerial Systems Dan Schrage and JVR Prasad, Georgia Tech; Eric Johnson, Penn State; Suresh Kannan, Nodein Autonomy
Session 5: Design and Structures | Chairperson: Prof. Inderjit Chopra, University of Maryland
Jan. 28, 2021 | All times are in MST (GMT-7)
1330-1400 Real-time Load Following with a 100kW Hybrid-Electric Generator System of an eVTOL Power Profile Simulation in a Turbulent Atmosphere Kyle Collins, P. Curier, R. Prazenica and R. Anderson, ERAU (Florida)
1400-1430 Interface Properties and Improvements in Overmolded Composites S. Ivan, S. Green, F. Ferfecki and J. Sourkes; Victrex and TxV Aero composites
1430-1500 A Study of Past, Present, and Future Mars Rotorcraft Michael Radotich, S. Withrow-Maser, Z. deSouza and S. Gelhar, H. Gallagher, NASA Ames
1530–1600 High Speed Long Range Powered-Lift e/hVTOL Dual System Aircraft Designs Brian Morgan, VOX Aircraft
1600-1630 Automation-ready Process for High-rate Manufacturing of Aerospace Capable Composite Parts Kevin Dupuis, A Rodriguez, R.Key, A. Bras and A. Whysall, Solvay Composite Materials
1630–1700 Mechanical Design of the Urban Air Mobility Side-by-Side Test Stand Haley Cummings, G. Willink, and C. Silva, NASA Ames

Updated Jan. 13, 2021