There’s a traditional connotation with vertical takeoff and landing, or VTOL, technology – futuristic, skewed toward defense applications, and inaccessible for widespread use. However, that perception is shifting.
VTOL technology has a tremendous variety of applications in defense, intelligence, reconnaissance, mapping, and more, to be sure, but it could also play a role in the urban transit of the future.
To break down where VTOL has been and where it’s headed, Voice of B2B Daniel Litwin welcomed Daniel Schuebeler, founder and CEO of Schuebeler Technologies), to this episode of the MarketScale Software & Technology podcast.
“VTOL is a very famous word in these days with all the start-ups in transportation and the air taxi market, but it has been around since people have been thinking about flying platforms and aviation, itself,” Schuebeler said.
One of the main considerations in designing VTOL-capable aircraft is performance, Schuebeler said – specifically, maintaining the highest level of performance possible while still adding the flexibility VTOL allows.
One of the other most important aspects of VTOL moving forward is scalability – without the ability to effectively scale, the tech’s potential in urban transit and more will be significantly hamstrung.
“It’s this idea of transporting goods or people over a short range and, at the same time, being able to take off and land vertically,” Schuebeler said. “Many start-ups and new companies are coming out to work on this idea. There are new technologies that make it possible. … Of course, the new autopilots that are available (and) lightweight design.”
The other new technology, Schuebeler said, is electric propulsion, which is available in greater quantities and quality than ever before. Combined with the other innovations, VTOL transit may just be possible.