December 10 & 11, 2019
Messe Wien Exhibition & Congress Center, Vienna, Austria

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Conference Program

Stream 1: Urban & Inter-urban eVTOL Air Mobility

Day 1: Tuesday, December 10

Conference Welcome and Opening Plenary Session
08:45 - 09:20


The electric VTOL revolution – a 2019 update

Mike Hirschberg
Executive director
Vertical Flight Society
Over the past five years there has been a groundswell of interest in electric- and hybrid-electric-powered vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft for personal air vehicles, urban air taxis and even military missions. Electric VTOL obviates the need for mechanical power transmission, allowing new aircraft design freedom through approaches such as distributed electric propulsion. More than 65 electric VTOL designs are being developed today, with many now in advanced stages of flight testing. This presentation will detail the status of the electric VTOL revolution to date, and analyze trends for the future.


Short-term needs for unmanned traffic management

Dr Isabel Del Pozo De Poza
Head of UTM
Airbus UTM
The presentation will discuss five-year activities, requirements and plans for cities looking to reap the benefits of unmanned vehicles (from air taxis to delivery drones). How can these aircraft safely share the skies, what does the future of ATM look like, and what steps can be taken today?


Urban air mobility revolution with ASX

Dr Anita Sengupta
Chief product officer/co-founder
Airspace Experience Technologies (ASX)
Dr Sengupta will present how space-age tech coupled with the VC-funded innovation environment is enabling a revolution in sustainable aviation. She will review how autonomous VTOL air taxis are an enabling technology for urban transport in the smart cities of the future. She will also discuss the design and testing of the Mobi-One, an electric tilt-wing VTOL aircraft being developed at her new company, Airspace Experience Technologies (ASX). From the utilization of airspace, to infrastructure, to air traffic control, she will present on the urban air mobility revolution coming to a city near you.

10:45 - 11:25



Air taxis – closer than you think

Christian Bauer
Head of business development
Volocopter GmbH
Air taxis are closer than you think. Current transportation systems in megacities are reaching their limits due to growing populations. The logical response is to offer solutions in the third dimension: autonomous flying air-taxi operations. Receiving the commercial license for air taxi aircraft is a question of time, not possibility. Volocopter is focusing on shaping the necessary ecosystem around UAM, including air traffic management, city regulation and the take-off and landing infrastructure.


Vertiport operations – ‘It’s airport operations Jim, but not as you know it’

Darrell Swanson
Swanson Aviation Consultancy
Julian Carlson
Commercial vertiports will be unique facilities requiring a different approach to operating than that of current airports. The high passenger turnover and variable capacity of eVTOL require specialized facilities and modes of operation not observed in the commercial aviation community. This paper will explore some of the challenges that future vertiport operators will need to address to ensure successful commercial operation.


Urban air mobility will change the world

André Homulenko
Senior project manager - strategic foresight
SBB New Mobility Services
Dr Stephan Baur
Senior project manager
Roland Berger GmbH
One hundred thousand passenger drones could be in service by 2050. Driven by increasing urbanization and road congestion, and advances in technology such as electrical propulsion, we are living through the rise of the UAM industry, with opportunities but also challenges for established and new players. Key challenges include securing funding until the commercial market for UAM gets to a relevant size, identifying the correct aircraft design for relevant use cases, and developing ground infrastructure to support UAM, among many others. The industry is set to revolutionize urban transport – but how will the industry evolve while ensuring safe, affordable and efficient transport?

12:40 - 14:00



10x safer than general aviation – challenges and the way past them

Balazs Kerulo
Chief engineer
LIFT Aircraft
LIFT Aircraft's vision is to bring the thrill and joy of personal flight to everyone, in a way that improves flight safety statistics by one order of magnitude compared with legacy general aviation aircraft and procedures. Given that we aim to achieve this by paradigm-changing aircraft technologies flown by potentially inexperienced people holding no pilot's license, the question of 'how' is the first that pops up. We believe it is entirely possible, but it will take a holistic approach that addresses technical, procedural and social aspects. In our speech, we will introduce the most crucial milestones toward proving the concept; the ones achieved as well as the ones still ahead.


The current challenges and limitations of selling eVTOL flight experience

Peter Molnar
Due to the limitations of current battery technologies and the lack of infrastructure, eVTOLs can hardly be the transportation solution for the near future. This paper shows how good design practice can support bridging the gap between the current limitations and the future where eVTOLs are profitable to operate as a means of transportation. Through the example of Lift's Hexa aircraft design development, the paper describes the challenges and solutions of selling flight experience using current technological and infrastructural limitations. It contains case studies about developing user experience, graphical user interfaces and industrial design of an eVTOL aircraft designed for earliest market entry.


Hybrid hydrogen energy conversion system for electric flight

Josef Kallo
Institute director
University of Ulm
Electrochemical energy conversion systems based on batteries and hydrogen fuel cells have made tremendous progress in the last five years as an energy source for electric propulsion in aircraft applications. This presentation will provide an update on our validated work for a passenger aircraft (HY4) propulsion unit, including fuel cell load data discussion on critical operating conditions.

15:15 - 15:55



Preparing cities for urban air mobility

Simon Whalley
Regulatory and policy manager
Skyports Limited
Vertiport infrastructure will play a key role in the realization of UAM services. Skyports is the first organization to focus on delivering vertiports, securing passenger and cargo vertiports in congested cities worldwide. In October, Skyports – with Volocopter – will be showcasing the world’s first full-scale vertiport with flights in Singapore. Governments, city authorities, transport agencies and aviation authorities can engage with Skyports to be early adopters of this technology, and maximize the socio-economic and environmental benefits of UAM. This presentation provides an indicative roadmap for public authorities and industry partners, to enable the expansion of vertiports and UAM services.


The future of vertical mobility

Gregor Grandl
Senior partner
Porsche Consulting GmbH
In this presentation, using data from the first published market figures, we will discuss several key points surrounding the eVTOL mobility system. This will include sizing the market until 2035, predicting when vertical mobility will be a reality, as well as how fast the market will evolve and possible scenarios. The presentation will also discuss who has a right to win and who will lose.

Day 2: Wednesday, December 11


Urban air mobility – needs and requirements of the third dimension

Piia Karjalainen
Senior manager
Dr Vassilis Agouridas
Head of EU public co-creation and regulatory ecosystem outreach / UAM initiative leader
Airbus / EIP-SCC
The session will sketch an exciting picture of our future urban and suburban mobility. The main goal of this session is to support cities and regulators in preparing their responses and actions regarding these emerging, prominent services. The session also aims to show how drones will contribute toward integrating local communities and urban areas, enhancing the mobility network and answering real urban needs. Last-mile transport, passenger mobility, emergency use cases and traffic management will all be discussed, as well as issues on the governance of drone operations in the urban environment.


Review of urban air mobility projects and propulsion systems

Robert Vergnes
Neva Aerospace
This presentation will discuss the Phase 1 EU-funded Apollo project, which has reviewed more than 30 UAM projects worldwide. It will also review the propulsion system choices and the advances in electric turbines for distributed propulsion systems (UAM).


The opportunities of hybrid-electric propulsion and the impact on designing the passenger experience

José Rui Marcelino
CEO and design manager
The Flexcraft project combines the expertise of a consortium of companies/institutions (Almadesign, IST, SET, Embraer, Inegi) in the fields of industrial design, aeronautical/process engineering and aircraft manufacturing, to develop an on-demand urban air transportation solution. This presentation outlines the opportunities of hybrid-electric propulsion and the impact on designing the passenger experience via innovative cabin layouts and modular fuselage configurations. The solution will be tested using a remotely operated scaled demonstrator, a full-size cabin mock-up and an innovative manufacturing process, bringing new opportunities for flying multimodal vehicles that promise considerable advantages in low-level urban airspaces, specifically related to noise, emissions, flexibility and operating cost.

10:15 - 10:45



The opportunity of urban electric aircraft transportation

Martin Warner
Autonomous Flight
The presentation will discuss the opportunity provided by urban electric aircraft transportation, and will cover and make the case for eVTOL aircraft solutions for major cities, including the benefits of this transformation. It will explain how this space will evolve, the economics required, the current regulatory challenges and likely solutions ahead, including air traffic integration. It will also highlight the private and commercial use opportunities, including the industry innovation present today, and where it will likely be in the five- and ten-year horizons. The session will conclude with Autonomous Flight’s role in creating a city-based air transportation system.


Key test challenges for electric propulsion, flight connectivity and autonomous air mobility

Tobias Willuhn
Head of program management, Aerospace and Defense
Rohde & Schwarz
Urban air mobility (UAM) – mobility in the third dimension – is shaping the future of aerospace. In the race to bring eVTOL concepts to global markets and provide safe, secure and sustainable mobility services, aerospace designers and engineers are looking to many different technologies to address the associated challenges. From electrically powered propulsion to automated/autonomous flight, the realization of the UAM vision depends on the seamless integration of various technologies. We will provide unique insight, share best practices and discuss current challenges for testing and validating of key enabler technologies such as sensors (radar), wireless communication (4G, 5G, SatCom), flight navigation (GNSS) and the overall electronic system performance (EMI, EMC).


Can AI pass the exam for human pilots?

David Haber
head of deep learning
How feasible is the urban air mobility that everyone is talking about? It depends on how close we are to fully autonomous flight: not only is there a shortage of pilots for the future air taxi industry, but the human brain has not evolved for flying within heavy air traffic. So, the key enabler for the industry to come is autonomy. But it must be built to the highest standards of safety, and be more reliable than a human pilot. The talk describes the key steps and challenges on the way to achieving full autonomy.


Electrical propulsion - how will the aerospace giants adapt?

Nikhil Sachdeva
Senior consultant
Roland Berger
The discovery of energy-dense crude oil and the invention of the jet engine enabled the globalization of aviation, making it fast, cheap and accessible to all. However, with the electrification of the automotive industry, new technologies have emerged, and aerospace may be the next to electrify. The rise of electrical propulsion will likely change the industry: giants from Airbus and Boeing to Rolls-Royce and General Electric will jostle for supremacy and may lose ground to new entrants. The trend spells a cleaner and potentially safer future for aviation – but how will companies adapt?

12:25 - 13:25



Airborne artificial intelligence – easy, hard or impossible?

Dr Stephen Wright
Associate professor of Aerospace Engineering
University of the West of England
Automatic stabilization of eVTOL aerial vehicles is well understood and implemented, and attention is now switching to the next level of pilot automation: navigation and flight management. This new challenge can, and perhaps must, be achieved by a variety of artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques, but how to make them flight-worthy? This talk will address a number of questions posed by the proposed use of airborne AI: How is putting artificial intelligence into aerial vehicles useful? What are the challenges of doing this? What are the potential solutions? Can these solutions be realized?


UAM from the regulator's point of view

Markus Farner
Co-leader innovation and digitization
Federal Office for Civil Aviation FOCA
We are increasingly receiving information about new projects concerning UAM that are about to break through. Today, there is still an opportunity to counteract the polarization – not only by the media – with a transparent discussion about UAM based on facts and requirements. In a globalized world, this is becoming more and more demanding, as rules are increasingly developed by international bodies, which often also have to take into account different political and economic goals. Nevertheless, it is still possible to create functioning systems through intelligent cooperation at the national level that can serve as an international role model.


Preparing airport systems for integrated urban air mobility and connected and autonomous vehicle systems

Derrick Choi
Aviation and transportation leader
Over the last five years, the collaboration between airports, CAVs and eVTOL operators has truly begun to take flight. What was once an abstract conversation about the future of mobility has quickly accelerated into a complex negotiation of interweaving, evolving business models, regulatory frameworks and regional infrastructural realities. This presentation synthesizes the current developments in getting current airport systems – both in the metropolitan and regional context – prepared for the integrated future of integrated urban air mobility (UAM) and CAV systems, and posits a few urban and regional development scenarios to contemplate for next-generation global aviation systems.

14:40 - 15:10



Application of manned multicopters in emergency medical situations

Denis Benk
Strategy and finance projects
ADAC Luftrettung GmbH
The presentation will discuss ways to optimize emergency medical situations (EMS) systems by transporting medical staff via multicopters instead of road-going emergency vehicles. It will focus on EMS tactics, technological requirements, regulations, flight and operations safety and staff. The preliminary results of a feasibility study on model regions will be presented. ADAC Luftrettung's project partners are Volocopter, Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt and the University of Munich.


Energy: the Achilles’ heel of urban air mobility? UAM energy recharging needs and system sizing

Paola Arellano
Head of the architectural department
Urban air mobility will probably see the light of day in the coming years as many companies are racing to develop the required technology. However, although the technology seems almost there, one of the biggest challenges is dealing with the energy requirements. Energy recharging for UAM will dictate the requirements for the infrastructure. Our capacity to integrate these energy systems and infrastructures in cities will be the key to enabling a real mode of mobility. This presentation will focus on the links between these needs and the system sizing, whether that be capacity, fleet or infrastructure.


European Roadmap Smart Systems for Urban Air Mobility

Dr Gereon Meyer
Deputy head of department future mobility and Europe
VDI/VDE Innovation + Technik GmbH
Urban air mobility promises a number of relevant use cases in passenger transport, logistics and services. In view of the important role that sensors, actuators and intelligent controls play as enabling technologies for disruptive concepts and applications of drones, the European Technology Platform on Smart Systems Integration (EPoSS) is editing a European Roadmap Smart Systems for Urban Air Mobility. This talk summarizes the work by showing technical, socio-economic and legal hurdles, identifying research needs and highlighting technology transfer options. Issues of public acceptance and transportation planning related to urban air mobility are covered as well.
Please Note: This conference program may be subject to change