Electric and hybrid-electric powered aircraft have the potential to significantly reduce air transportation costs, carbon emissions and community noise, and enable new aviation markets. The CAFE Foundation and Vertical Flight Society (VFS) have been working to advance electric aviation for many years and have partnered again for this year’s EAS.
Yolanka Wulff, Executive Director of the non-profit CAFE Foundation, said: “The electric powered aircraft industry is gaining momentum and the symposium provides an opportunity to get a comprehensive brief on the state of the industry and hear from the industry’s thought leaders. In 2007, CAFE Foundation organized the world’s first Electric Aircraft Symposium to address emerging interest in electric propulsion, along with energy and climate issues. These meetings helped create the growing industry you see today.”
EAS is usually held in conjunction with the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, but EAS moved to a virtual format when AirVenture was cancelled.
Michael Hirschberg, Executive Director of VFS, added: “The Vertical Flight Society joined forces with the CAFE Foundation in 2018 to co-host the Electric Aircraft Symposium because we recognized that the electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) and conventional take-off and landing (eCTOL) communities could learn a lot from each other. For example, distributed electric propulsion is a common element in most of these revolutionary electric powered aircraft designs.”
In the past year, Joby Aviation raised over US$700 million in eVTOL financing, Hyundai announced plans to invest $1.5 billion in eVTOL development, Boeing teamed with Kitty Hawk to create Wisk, several new electric short takeoff and landing (eSTOL) companies were launched, and the US Air Force unveiled its Agility Prime initiative to accelerate electric aircraft development. And most recently, Pipistrel received the very first type certification for its Velis Electro two-seat aircraft.
This year’s EAS will present 36 industry experts from a dozen countries participating in 12 in-depth panel discussions covering the full spectrum of topics, including electric aircraft configurations, propulsion systems, community integration, market segments, testing and certification, as well as emerging regional markets.