Transformative Vertical Flight Initiative

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Transformative Vertical Flight Concepts Initiative

AHS Transformative Contact: Michael Duffy

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For the past three years, NASA, AHS, AIAA and SAE have been leading a series of workshops on Transformative Vertical Flight (TVF), and built a community of aerospace professionals that includes technical, regulatory, and business elements, and exploring the potential for new forms of air transportation systems. The focus has been on systems that embody combinations of on-demand, electric and hybrid-electric propulsion, and vertiport-capable configurations and designs.

The third workshop in 2016 built on the work of the previous two by soliciting expert opinions from the participants on the work and timeframes needed to transform air transportation consistent with the TVF vision. These inputs serve as a starting point for the development of an advocacy roadmap needed to generate support for TVF transportation systems, technology, and markets.

The TVF roadmap generated during the third workshop was a significant step forward, but requires further refinement and vetting before it will be a credible advocacy tool.  To accomplish this, small focused TVF Working Group are being establish that you are invited to join. A TVF Roadmap Working Groups website has been created to enable volunteers to join and contribute in their areas of expertise.  This web portal also provides a means for TVF Working Group members to access tools like virtual meeting spaces, information sharing sites, and rosters of TVF Working Group leads and members. Please visit this website to join a TVF Working Group, and tell your colleagues who have a similar interest in transforming air transportation. Working Group leads are also wanted!

Upcoming Events:

  • Transformative Urban Air Mobility Special Session will be held at the AHS Forum 73, Ft. Worth, Texas, May 11, 2017
  • 4th TVF workshop will be part of the Electric Flight Workshop at AIAA AVIATION, Denver, Colorado, June 7-9, 2017
  • 5th TVF workshop will be part of the AHS Aeromechanics Design of Transformative Vertical Flight, San Francisco, California, Jan. 18-19, 2018

Prior Events (presentations, videos, articles, etc.):

e-volo Volocopter VC200 first flight (c) e-volo GmbHObjective: Engage industry, academia and government agencies in developing a preliminary road map that will aid in the advocacy and pursuit of emerging technologies and approaches, such as electric/hybrid power and distributed propulsion, that offer the potential to fundamentally transform Vertiport capable flight configuration designs and operational concepts. As these new configuration types cannot be modeled adequately by conventional analytical tools modeling, and do not inherently fit into the existing rotorcraft certification framework (Part 27), they require new conceptual design tools and regulations able to capture the fundamental differences in approach. This initiative bring togethers interested parties to establish a foundation from which investment can fill the gaps to achieve successful new aviation products.

Approach: Combine the mutual interests of technical organizations, government laboratories (NASA, DARPA) and industry to collaboratively explore and exploit the potential for new opportunities for Vertiport capable flight. The initiative is focused on achieving participation from all stakeholders, including new and small companies aggressively focused on this topic, as well as mature aerospace companies for whom this could enhance or augment their conventional Vertiport capable flight products.

Terafugia TF-XDesired Outcomes:

1. Establish and document common stakeholder needs, areas of collaboration, and advocacy to establish methods to encourage the future success of unconventional Vertiport capable flight concept solutions that are newly enabled by technologies.

2. Assemble a community to collaborate on new conceptual design and analysis tools that permit new configuration paths with far greater multi-disciplinary coupling (i.e. aero- propulsive-control) to be investigated.

3. Establish a community to develop and deploy regulatory guidelines with potential formation of an ASTM F44 Committee Subgroup for the development of consensus-based certification standards for General Aviation scale Vertiport capable flight systems that provides fixed wing approaches that don't fit within existing FAA Part 27 certification.

4. Launch an information campaign to ensure key U.S. Government agencies understand the potential benefit and industry interest in establishing new Vertiport capable flight markets.

Aurora LightningStrikeOrganizing Organizations:

  • American Helicopter Society International (AHS

  • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)

  • SAE International (SAE)

  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

With support from the following committees:

  • AHS Advanced Vertical Flight Technical Committee

  • AIAA V/STOL Aircraft Systems Technical Committee

  • AIAA Transformational Flight Program Committee

  • SAE Power Systems, Propulsion, Electric Powertrain and Energy Storage Committees

  • ASTM F44 Committee on General Aviation Aircraft