At the Culver Family Welcome Center located on the campus of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, the 17th Annual Electric Flight Symposium was held on the 22nd and 23rd of July, just before the official opening of Airventure 2023. Sponsored by the Vertical Flight Society, which is approaching its 80th anniversary, the symposium had 190 in-person attendees as well as 50 virtually. Both days were information packed with Panel Discussions, Keynote Speakers and an Advanced Air Mobility Working Group comprised of a host of high-ranking representatives from six different federal agencies. Q and A's occurred after every session, and the event was filled with people introducing themselves to one another, exchanging contact information, and the smiles on their faces denoted all were enjoying themselves and the event.
The Subject matter discussed covered a wide range of topics pertinent to the E-Flight eVTOL arena, including discussions on Community Integration, eVTOL Developers, AAM Developers, Electric Motors and Batteries and Hydrogen Aircraft. The speakers representing their eVTOL firms were knowledgeable and passionate about their mission and they represented firms such as Joby, Archer, BETA Technologies, Overair, SkyDrive and Limosa.
There were 2 individual speakers with their own slots, one was Arthur Gilmore, President and CEO of the Gilmore Group who is also a major sponsor of this event. The Gilmore group as noted on their website "is a Brand, Design, Technology, and Media firm based in New York City. Our design team is specialized in the following sectors: financial retail, transportation, and digital branding."
Arthur's presentation titled "Prioritizing the User Experience for AAM," was fascinating as he discussed the impact on design in the arena of the user experience, especially in regard to the interior comfort, and how difficult entry and egress could make or break an entry into the design of this marketplace by having a bad user experience. Arthur also discussed the dynamics of accommodating everyone from children to seniors who might have mobility issues.
The 2nd Keynote speaker with his own slot was former NASA employee Mark Moore and elaborated on the design details of his Wisper Aero Concept. A key component of this concept is an Electric Ducted Fan (EDF) that utilizes a fan with an outer ring (a first), which incorporates a high number of thin blades with a specialized airfoil that allow the fan to maintain laminar flow with no tip losses, obtaining an efficiency in the 90% arena. The 16 EDF's are embedded in the leading edge of the wings with upper surface blowing, and have obtained a coefficient of lift as high as 14.415. Another unique feature of the proposed craft is Blohm Voss style wingtip rudder/elevator combination.
Coming up in the near future, we'll go further in-depth with what was discussed at the Community Integration, eVTOL Developers, AAM Developers, Electric Motors and Batteries and Hydrogen Aircraft Panel discussion here at Global Air, stay tuned!