VFS announces the 2021-2022 student design competition

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VFS press release | August 11, 2021

Estimated reading time 4 minutes, 5 seconds.

The Vertical Flight Society announces that the Request for Proposals (RFP) for its 39th Annual Student Design Competition (SDC) has been released. The 2021-2022 competition challenges students to design an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft that can accommodate passengers with a wide range of mobility difficulties or other disabilities for urban air mobility (UAM) missions .

The competition, titled “eVTOL Air Taxi for Passengers with Reduced Mobility (PRM)”, is sponsored this year by Bell and is open to students from universities around the world. Bell

The competition, titled “eVTOL Air Taxi for Passengers with Reduced Mobility (PRM)”, is sponsored this year by Bell and is open to students from universities around the world. This year’s tender and winners from previous years are posted on the VFS website at www.vtol.org/sdc. A total of $ 12,500 in cash prizes is available to winning undergraduate and graduate teams.

“Some $ 10 billion has been invested in eVTOL developments over the past six years, almost half of which this year alone,” said Mike Hirschberg, executive director of VFS. “EVTOL air taxis can provide safe, quiet, affordable and clean solutions for metro transportation needs. They must therefore be usable by the widest possible segment of the population. “

Albert G. Brand, Senior Technical Fellow for Flight Technology at Bell and Company Manager for this year’s competition, said: “As an emerging industry, it is not too early to anticipate the increased needs of our business. transport company eVTOL. We must recognize the needs of travelers with reduced mobility and take them into account in our designs.

To develop this call for tenders, VFS has teamed up with the British charity Aerobility, which offers people with disabilities the opportunity to fly a plane. “Aerobility is delighted to partner with VFS for this student design competition,” said Mike Miller-Smith, CEO of Aerobility. “The opportunity to encourage the designers of tomorrow to consider accessibility at the birth of a new mode of transport is very exciting. One can only imagine how different air travel would be today for people with disabilities if it had been done with the birth of commercial aviation. We are delighted to make our contribution to help Urban Air Mobility get it right, right from the start.

The Vertical Flight Society encourages universities around the world to team up and participate in this exciting and challenging competition, which aims to attract the best and brightest engineering students to the vertical flight industry.

Two members of the first-place undergraduate and graduate teams are invited to the 79th Annual Tech Forum and Expo – scheduled for May 13-15, 2023 in West Palm Beach, Florida, USA – to present the details of their designs.

Sponsorship for the annual student design competition is rotated between Airbus, The Boeing Company, Bell, Leonardo Helicopters, Sikorsky Aircraft and the US Army Research Lab.

This press release was prepared and distributed by the Vertical Flight Society.


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