2021 Short Course on Electric VTOL Design (Intermediate)

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Short Course on Electric VTOL Design (Intermediate)
Virtual | Go-To-Webinar | Two-part course
Taught: Feb. 9-10, 2021
10 am - 2 pm EST (GMT-5) both days
Cost: US$295.00/VFS members, US$325.00/non-members
Instructor: Dr. James Wang

Electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft have been enabled by advances in electric-propulsion, digital manufacturing, high-fidelity simulations, and drone technologies (mobile computing and deep-learning). Larger, cargo-carrying and man-rated aircraft are much more complex than drones. Maturation of eVTOL aircraft into a safe, sound, and sensible aircraft require a clear understanding of rotary-wing fundamentals, principles of enabling technologies and timely resolution of its major barriers.

This course will provide an overview of eVTOL fundamentals, technologies and barriers, and provide greater insights than in any prior eVTOL short course into the analysis of configurations, and the pros and cons of different propulsion architectures. The specific modules presented are:

• Preparations required before designing aircraft
• Battery and energy source
• Electric motors and hybrids
• Weight calculation
• Rotor design and stability & control
• Performance analysis
• Electric VTOL aircraft design and cost estimation

Taught by eVTOL pioneer Dr. James Wang, this course provides an extensive introduction to the unique design challenges and opportunities of this new class of vehicles. Both electric and hybrid-electric passenger-carrying vertical flight aircraft will be covered for a variety of missions ranging from personal/private use to urban air taxis to regional electric VTOL bizjets. 

Students are given insights from an industry expert on developing eVTOL aircraft from the beginning to the end of the project: from how to conduct a conceptual study, configuration trade, preliminary design and detail design, to finding partners, manufacturing, assembling, bench testing, flight testing, and certification, to conducting scheduling and cost estimation. The course also covers the state of the art in several technology areas, such as batteries, motors and hybridization.

Who should take the course: Aerospace engineers interested in gaining a deep understanding the opportunities and constraints of designing VTOL aircraft using electric power. Electrical / mechanical engineers interested in better understanding VTOL aircraft design. Those already working in the field and/or those who have taken a previous course but would like a refresher or a deeper understanding of eVTOL design and configuration trades. 

Please contact the registrar for any further questions.


Instructor's Bio:

Dr. James Wang has held several executive leadership positions, and has more than 30 years of experience in aerospace, helicopters, defense and high-tech industries. He founded Vtolwerke LLC in 2018 and offers private consulting services in aerospace technology strategy, marketing & business strategy, engineering advising, and eVTOL problem solving. He is an expert in helicopter and eVTOL aircraft design. He is currently also a full professor teaching aircraft and VTOL design.

James Wang (portrait)

Dr. Wang received his bachelor degrees in Aeronautical Engineering and in Electrical Engineering from M.I.T., and a Masters and a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland. After completing his PhD, Dr. Wang started his career at Sikorsky Aircraft, where he was known as one of the most energetic and prolific engineers and managers; he contributed greatly to the Comanche, Black Hawk, S-92 and the Variable Diameter Tiltrotor programs.

Dr. Wang has the rare talent to combine technical knowledge with business thinking, and bringing people to collaborate to achieve a common goal. At Sikorsky Aircraft, Dr. Wang transitioned to leading strategic business campaigns. His commitment and astute leadership led to the successful winning of two of the largest international helicopter sales contracts in history, each worth over one billion dollars. Dr. Wang has a Masters from the M.I.T. Sloan Business School, and an Executive Business Training Diploma from the London Imperial College Business School.

In 2007, Dr. Wang joined AgustaWestland as the Vice President of Research & Development, reporting directly to the CEO. Dr. Wang created a comprehensive technology roadmap and initiated many pioneering research. He established three University Research Centers in Europe and one Think Tank in Japan. In 2015, Dr. Wang was promoted to become the Senior Vice President of Marketing, responsible for the global marketing strategy of all AgustaWestland helicopter products at Leonardo Helicopters. He served 7 years as a board member on the EU-sponsored 2 billion Euros CleanSky programs.

Dr. Wang was invited to teach courses and give lectures in US, Europe, Australia and Asia, and he has written over 40 technical papers. He holds seven patents and major international awards, including Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, UTC Gold Mead Award, AHS Fellow, AHS Grover Bell Award, M.I.T. Luis de Florez Award, NASA Research Award, Italian National Innovation Grand Prize, and the Royal Aeronautical Society Gold Team Award. In 2013, WIRED Magazine named Dr. Wang “the Steve Jobs of Rotorcraft” for his ability to think “outside the box” and pushing the transportation technology boundaries by inventing and designing the AgustaWestland Project Zero, the world’s first all-electric VTOL technology demonstrator aircraft.


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