Thought Leadership

Urban Air Mobility is Seeing Significant Progress…is it Time to Climb Aboard?

By Dale Tutt

As the digital transformation takes hold throughout the A&D industry, we’re experiencing innovation on a scale never seen before.

One area that’s showing great promise is urban air mobility (UAM). We are seeing numerous start-ups in this area as well as the more established names entering the fray. (In fact, as I write this major United States automakers just announced their involvement.) Essentially, what we’re talking about here are the many permutations of the electrical vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle.

With so much going on in urban air mobility, the Siemens Aerospace and Defense team has devoted an entire podcast series to innovation as it relates to the design and development of these eVTOL vehicles. Yes, an entire series of Talking Aerospace Today devoted to this single topic.

I’m excited to bring you this new series we’re calling – “Driving Innovation through Digital Transformation.”

Talking Aerospace Today – New season focuses entirely on eVTOL design and development

The beauty of this series is we have guest speakers, industry experts, who talk intimately about a very specific topic they’re deeply passionate about. Here’s a quick breakdown on what you can expect in the coming weeks. (Remember, you can visit the website Talking Aerospace Today to catch up on previous episodes.)

Episode #1: “Up, Up and Away – eVTOLs in the Age of Digital Transformation”

Please take a listen to this first episode as it touches on the innovations of 1920s – a time of major innovation and growth for the aerospace industry, it then discusses how today’s innovations will change the A&D landscape yet again. This five-part series dives into different aspects of innovation as it relates to the design and development of eVTOL aircraft.

Episode 2 – “eVTOL Aerodynamic Design through Digitalization”
By Durrell Rittenberg
In this episode, Durrell discusses how UAM companies are solving the riddle of aerodynamics when it comes to eVTOL rotor development. The performance of an eVTOL aircraft relies heavily on clean, functional aerodynamics.

Read Durrell’s blog from this podcast: “Has Simulation Become the Great Equalizer for the Aviation Industry?”

Episode 3 – “eVTOL Power Density and Thermal Management”
By Thierry Olbrechts
Thierry dives into some of the challenges around electrical systems and how today’s eVTOLs rely heavily on electrical power. How do design teams build an eVTOL that manages thermal heating while maximizing the overall power density of the batteries?

Read Thierry’s blog from this podcast: “Do you feel it? We’re in a Pivotal Moment in Aviation?”

Episode 4 – “eVTOL Structural Design using Composites and Additive Manufacturing”
By John O’Connor
John is one of our top experts in the area of composites and manufacturing solutions. In this episode, we’ll talk about ways in which we can make eVTOL aircraft structures lighter. Also, how do we make these aircraft easier to build? To be profitable, we need to easily achieve mass production.

Read John’s blog from this podcast: “eVTOLs Learn to Lighten up.”

Episode 5 – “eVTOL Electrical System Design and Compliance”
By Anthony Nicoli
Tony addresses the “E/E” – the electronics and electrical – in eVTOLs today. We’ll touch on ways to solve electrical system design challenges much earlier in the process. We’ll also talk about electrical system design as it relates to certification.

Read Tony’s blog from this podcast: “Lean, Mean and Green – the Electrical System in Today’s eVTOL.”

Closing words

When we talk about this technology, innovation through digitalization, it’s all made possible through the Siemens Xcelerator portfolio.

In the context of aerospace and defense companies, Xcelerator is how we help our customers with program execution excellence. When we think of program execution excellence, it’s how we develop and certify products faster with less risk. It’s about accelerating production ramp-ups. It’s about improving product support and being able to provide superior customer support to reduce operational costs.

Seriously, what does all this mean? For our customers it’s about getting to market faster with higher performing products – with a lot less risk. We do this through our digital thread solutions that cover program management, product engineering and manufacturing solutions.

I hope you’ll join me for all of the upcoming episodes. When we talk about – Where today meets tomorrow – you will find there are just so many real, and proven examples of the digital transformation within each and every episode.

Check back here in about two weeks for our next Talking Aerospace Today episode. Until then, please visit our Siemens Aerospace & Defense website.

About the author: Dale Tutt is the Vice President of Aerospace and Defense Industry, for Siemens Digital Industries Software. He is responsible for defining the overall Aerospace and Defense industry strategy for Siemens Digital Industries Software, driving specific industry requirements into software products and solutions, and working with the Marketing team to define industry-specific market solutions for Aerospace and Defense customers. Dale has 30 years of experience in engineering design, development, and program leadership within the industry.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at