The Vertical Flight Society (VFS) has said the number of eVTOL aircraft being tracked in its World eVTOL Aircraft Directory has now reached 600 designs, from nearly 350 companies worldwide.

The directory is part of the VFS’ Electric VTOL News website, www.eVTOL.news, which is the world’s oldest and most extensive online resource on eVTOL aircraft and technology. After supporting the eVTOL community beginning in 2013, VFS launched the website in April 2017 when the list of known eVTOL programmes under development reached about a dozen.

Since then, designs have been added and an ever-increasing pace., with nearly 200 new designs were added in 2021 alone. The free site also hosts more than 600 eVTOL news stories, including some 270 in-depth articles from the Society’s Vertiflite magazine, the leading periodical on eVTOL and rotorcraft developments. 

Mike Hirschberg, VFS’ Executive Director, said: “We realised there needed to be some way for the public to keep track of all the new innovative concepts being explored. Since some innovative designs that seemed implausible at the time continued maturing into plausible approaches, we decided to catalogue every know design — from the silly to the serious.”

The number of design concepts catalogued (both active and defunct designs) has doubled over the past 18 months. 2021 also saw a doubling of the amount of funding being invested in eVTOL aircraft developers. VFS had estimated $4.5B of investments in eVTOL companies in 2010–2020. However, last year saw several additional developers go public and/or attract sizeable private investments, bringing the total to more than $10B today. 

VFS has been at the forefront of what it calls the “Electric VTOL Revolution” since 2014 when it held the world’s first meeting of the eVTOL development community.

Running from Tuesday to today (Thursday), the Society’s 9th Annual Electric VTOL Symposium was held as a hybrid in-person/virtual event as part of its Transformative Vertical Flight (TVF) Technical Meeting in San Jose, California.

It continues as the world’s largest and longest-running event focusing on the incredible promise, progress and challenges of eVTOL aircraft. As in previous years, the annual symposium presented the latest insights, trends and progress in eVTOL developments. This month’s symposium featured plenary presentations by government leaders from NASA, the US Army, US Air Force and the FAA, as well as industry talks from Sikorsky, Hyundai’s Supernal, Lilium and Wisk.

More than 50 additional VIP speakers and panellists in the symposium cover important topics regarding eVTOL, while more than 50 technical papers on rotorcraft aeromechanics, eVTOL, the Mars Helicopter, advanced air mobility (AAM) will be presented.