For decades, futurists have been dreaming of “flying cars” that are easier and nimbler to operate than a helicopter and accessible to everyone. Today, many aerospace technologies are coming together helping numerous companies develop small passenger electric aircraft as soon as 2023.
It’s no secret that Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) is going to be a hotly contested market with legacy aircraft builders, nimble startups, and original equipment manufacturer (OEM) systems providers clarifying their vision of the future. This new market aims to transport passengers and cargo at lower altitudes through urban, suburban, and regional landscapes. Aircraft that will meet these needs will utilize more- or all-electric technologies.
According to a 2020 Roland Berger study on Urban Air Mobility (UAM), a submarket of AAM, “the passenger UAM industry will generate revenues of almost $90 billion a year, with 160,000 commercial passenger drones plying the skies.” Further, Morgan Stanley Research projects that the UAM market could grow to $1.5 trillion by 2040.
Even the most conservative forecasts indicate the AAM market has huge potential as evidenced by the hundreds of vehicles in development.
In early 2021, Air One, the world’s first airport for electric aircraft, was launched in Coventry, England by Urban Air Port, a subsidiary of sustainable tech company small (Six Miles Across London Limited) in partnership with Hyundai Motor Company, Coventry City Council, and the UK government.
As technology evolves, infrastructure is built, and the regulatory/certification requirements established, AAM vehicles will take different forms:
More-electric aircraft (MEA), which have been in production for over a decade, utilize electric power for all non-propulsive systems. The trend toward more-electric aircraft has been driven by the desire for improvements in aircraft weight, fuel efficiency, emissions, life-cycle costs, maintainability, and reliability.
Technology advancements in the areas of electric motors, motor controllers and inverters, electromechanical actuators (EMAs), and thermal management equipment are providing the building blocks that enable development of systems for more-electric aircraft.
Parker Aerospace, via its dedicated AAM systems team, offers a broad range of products and systems expertise for present-day applications as well as future-state aircraft:
The AAM market is dynamic and changing rapidly. New ideas for platforms, infrastructure, and the technologies that make this exciting segment possible are surfacing daily.
Amid this excitement, these aircraft must be certified for their intended purpose, as do the systems and components that enable the platforms to execute their missions. Regulatory agencies such as the FAA and EASA are presently establishing the parameters under which AAM vehicles can be approved to fly.
Platform builders need to know that their partners have the engineering muscle and experience to not only design an innovative solution that meets requirements, but to also produce a solution that can be certified. This is where an experienced aerospace technology partner is crucial.
Over decades, Parker Aerospace has built thousands of certifiable components and systems for commercial and military aircraft. All Parker equipment is conceived and engineered to offer redundancy, safety, and reliability with the certification process in mind. Contributing to Parker’s track record of certification success is its state-of-the-art simulation capabilities, advanced test equipment, and thorough knowledge of global regulatory requirements.
As the market continues to ascend, Parker Aerospace and its AAM team are actively innovating to help customers take full advantage of these new and fast-changing opportunities.
To learn more about how Parker Aerospace innovation is shaping the AAM market, email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a trusted partner, Parker's team members work alongside customers to enable technology breakthroughs that change the world for the better. We help our customers and distribution partners meet the newest standards for safety or emissions, reduce power usage, improve efficiency, and move faster to optimize resources. Parker's Purpose is at the core of everything we do. Watch the introduction video with Parker's CEO Tom Williams.
This blog was contributed by Chris Frazer key account manager and UAM/eVTOL/AAM business development lead of Parker Aerospace.