The Ver­ti­cal Flight Soci­ety (VFS) con­tin­ues to expe­ri­ence record growth, with 10 new mem­bers join­ing over the past six months as eVTOL and advanced air mobil­i­ty air­craft devel­op­ments con­tin­ue to make progress around the world.

As of Octo­ber 1st, a total of 160 com­pa­nies and oth­er organ­i­sa­tions are now cor­po­rate mem­bers, rep­re­sent­ing a 60 per cent increase since Jan­u­ary 2018. The soci­ety now has more than 6,300 indi­vid­ual mem­bers.

The com­pa­nies which joined VFS since April 1st include Analyswift, Archer, Eagle Avi­a­tion Tech­nolo­gies, Elec­tric Pow­er Sys­tems, Elroy Air, Helo Hold­ings, Hydroplane, Le-Van­ta Tech, Logis­ti­W­erx, Plug Pow­er, Sen­tient Sci­ence, Tier 1 Engi­neer­ing, UP.Partners, Woolpert and Yam­a­to Hold­ings.

Mike Hirschberg, Ver­ti­cal Flight Soci­ety’s Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, said: “The Ver­ti­cal Flight Soci­ety has been lead­ing efforts to advance elec­tric VTOL since 2014 and has helped cre­ate the grow­ing tech­ni­cal com­mu­ni­ty across the eVTOL ecosys­tem.

“As inter­est in eVTOL / AAM has explod­ed around the world and attract­ed near­ly $10 bil­lion in invest­ments, VFS has helped build a com­mu­ni­ty for this bur­geon­ing seg­ment, work­ing togeth­er to realise the trans­for­ma­tive poten­tial of what we see as an ‘Elec­tric VTOL Rev­o­lu­tion.’”

His­tor­i­cal­ly, the ver­ti­cal flight indus­try was dom­i­nat­ed by heli­copter man­u­fac­tur­ers and their sup­pli­ers, but an entire­ly new sec­tor has emerged in the past sev­er­al years, led by com­pa­nies devel­op­ing eVTOL air­craft to serve poten­tial new mar­kets, such as urban air taxis, air ambu­lance ser­vices, logis­tics, car­go, organ trans­port, and oth­er civ­il and mil­i­tary mis­sions. 

The next major gath­er­ing of the rapid­ly grow­ing eVTOL com­mu­ni­ty will be from Jan­u­ary 25th to 27th, 2022, in San Jose, Cal­i­for­nia, when VFS hosts the 9th Annu­al Elec­tric VTOL Sym­po­sium — the world’s largest and longest-run­ning event focus­ing on the incred­i­ble promise, progress and chal­lenges of eVTOL air­craft. This event is part of the society’s Trans­for­ma­tive Ver­ti­cal Flight 2022 meet­ing.

This event also fea­tures the semi-annu­al Elec­tric VTOL Short Course on Jan­u­ary 24th, and a spe­cial event at the Hiller Avi­a­tion Muse­um on Jan­u­ary 28th that will fea­ture an out­door exhib­it of cut­ting-edge eVTOL air­craft at the adja­cent San Car­los Air­port.

In addi­tion, VFS con­tin­ues to lead efforts to advance the capa­bil­i­ties of heli­copters and advanced rotor­craft. The Soci­ety is host­ing its lat­est Rotor­craft Struc­tures and Sur­viv­abil­i­ty Tech­ni­cal Meet­ing from Octo­ber 27th to 28th 2021, at the Hamp­ton Roads Con­ven­tion Cen­ter in Hamp­ton, Vir­ginia.

The theme for the two-day con­fer­ence is “Inno­v­a­tive Struc­tures and Sur­viv­abil­i­ty Solu­tions for Ver­ti­cal Lift.” The meet­ing will high­light research and devel­op­ment, both cur­rent and planned, relat­ed to manned and unmanned rotor­craft struc­tures, crash safe­ty and vul­ner­a­bil­i­ty reduc­tion.

VFS is also sup­port­ing the EUROPEAN ROTORS — VTOL Show & Safe­ty Con­fer­ence from Novem­ber 16th to 18th, 2021, in Cologne, Ger­many. It’s organ­ised by the Euro­pean Heli­copter Asso­ci­a­tion (EHA) in coop­er­a­tion with the Euro­pean Union Avi­a­tion Safe­ty Agency (EASA). The soci­ety is host­ing four ses­sions at the event, cov­er­ing ver­ti­cal flight research, heli­copter safe­ty, advanced rotor­craft tech­nol­o­gy and AAM devel­op­ments.

Hirschberg added: “These past few years have seen amaz­ing progress in ver­ti­cal flight. Our mem­bers in indus­try, acad­e­mia and gov­ern­ment agen­cies around the world are work­ing to advance rotor­craft and eVTOL air­craft, solv­ing key chal­lenges to pro­duce more capa­ble, safer, qui­eter and more eco­nom­i­cal air­craft for civ­il and mil­i­tary appli­ca­tions.”

VFS was found­ed as the Amer­i­can Heli­copter Soci­ety in 1943 by the vision­ar­ies of the ear­ly heli­copter indus­try, who believed that tech­no­log­i­cal coop­er­a­tion and col­lab­o­ra­tion were essen­tial to sup­port this new type of air­craft. Today, it is play­ing a sim­i­lar role help­ing to advance today’s rev­o­lu­tion­ary ver­ti­cal flight air­craft.