There are hundreds of electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) projects out there and while there is no shortage of eye-catching renderings, it is harder to get to see the real thing.
The Paris Air Show, held in June 2023 at Paris–Le Bourget Airport in north Paris, France, provided industry insiders with an opportunity to do just that. The trade fair and air show saw leading eVTOL developers exhibiting either fully functional aircraft or realistic full-size mock-ups (with the corresponding cabin interiors), which offered a glimpse of what the advanced air mobility era might look like.
AeroTime took the chance to compile a picture gallery of the eVTOL aircraft on display at this year’s event – and explores how they promise to transform air travel.
The German advanced air mobility startup certainly stood out from the crowd and not just because of the distinctive upper circular structure that holds its propulsion system. It was also the only eVTOL developer to have its aircraft taking part in the Paris Air Show flight display, in addition to presenting in the exhibition area.
Also from Germany, Lilium previously presented a full-size cabin mock-up at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, in May 2023. AeroTime attended the executive jet show and captured footage of the outside and inside of the Lilium Jet concept.
During the Paris Air Show, our journalists managed to gain access to the six-seater version of the Lilium cabin. While this was also a full-scale mock-up, it offered a good idea of what the passenger experience will feel like.
The sleek seats included in the Lilium cabin have been provided by Expliseat, a French seat manufacturer that recently made headlines for the lightweight seats it has developed.
If this Boeing-owned company achieves its goals, it is going to be a game changer because, unlike the other eVTOL concepts included in this list, Wisk is developing a fully autonomous aircraft.
In the full-scale mock-up, which was presented by Wisk’s CEO, Brian Yutko, there is neither a cockpit nor a control panel. However, Wisk’s aircraft does not really need any of these features since it will be fully autonomous.
While this approach adds a significant degree of complexity, it also has the potential to do away with one of the main costs: the pilot.
Yutko acknowledged the challenge but said he remains fully committed to this vision: “There is no Plan B”, he stated during the presentation.
In March 2023, AutoFlight set a new distance record with its “Prosperity” eVTOL covering 155 miles (approximately 250km) on a single battery charge.
AutoFlight also stands out among eVTOL developers because of its global footprint with offices in China and Germany and a testing site in the United States.
As far as aesthetics are concerned, the Archer “Midnight” is possibly one of the most spectacular eVTOL designs out there.
Here is what its cockpit cabin and baggage storage compartment will look like!
China is also fertile ground for the nascent advanced air mobility industry and perhaps its most well-known brand is EHANG, which has developed a light, two-seater eVTOL.
Ascendance is a French project that has so far managed to amass some €33 million in funding. One of the most distinctive features of its eVTOL is the way the engines are encased in the wings.
California-based Overair is developing the “Butterfly”, a tilt-rotor fly-by-wire eVTOL which features some of the largest propulsion systems in the industry. This is something that Overair claims will provide a number of aerodynamical advantages, such as being able to generate more thrust and be more reliable in all weather conditions.
The founders of Overair have drawn from years of experience developing aerospace technology for the US military. The Butterfly is capable of carrying five passengers and one pilot for a distance of more than 100 miles.