eVTOL Terminal Planned For Oshkosh


A local company says it plans to build the first eVTOL terminal and charging station at Oshkosh’s Wittman Regional Airport this coming fall. Volatus Infrastructure said the $500,000 facility will be ready for customers before any customers are likely to be approved for commercial sale. Volatus spokeswoman Sheena Baker said the company wants to ensure facilities are in place to advance the industry. “If you look at Tesla, the cars came out, but no chargers did,” Banker said. “We’re trying to be ahead of that.” 

The eVTOL facility will be built next to the new Wittman terminal building, and Volatus co-founder Grant Fisk said he doesn’t think he’ll have to wait long for customers. “Eight months from now, these vehicles will be available to purchase by anyone anywhere in the world,” he said. “We, along with many communities, want to make sure we are ready for this technology.” 

The location at the site of the world’s largest aviation event was welcomed by EAA. “Supply chain and infrastructure have to come at the same time as the product. This shows that it’s possible,” EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski said. “It’s not just a toy; there’s actual infrastructure being put in place.”

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    • Whenever I drive my Tesla to Charlotte airport and leave it with the business valet, they charge it for free. Why not? Gas motors are about 25% efficient, and electric drive-trains are 95% efficient, so I only need 1/4 the energy. And electricity doesn’t come from Saudi Arabia or Russia, so electricity pricing is immune to the oil-panic pricing. For me, watching the oil prices recently has been like watching a drive-in movie in passing as I glide silently by gas stations in my Tesla. And electricity is available everywhere.. delivery is way easier than smelly, polluting, flammable, spillable gas. So yah, I get my charge-up for free. And I have solar panels on my house, so I get my electricity at home for free, too. So, yah, I already get my power for free, and I expect that to continue in the future, but even more. Wind-power prices are falling, and solar panel prices are plummeting, so power will be free and non-polluting, more and more. I’m a part of this future in many ways, and it is great.

      Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that my car is faster, smoother, safer, quieter, and more user-friendly than the old stinkers.. the trail being blazed for aircraft is obvious.

      So, yah, it better be free. ;-P

      • EV charging simply can’t continue to be free forever. The gas tax pays for the roads we drive on, with the theory being that if you use more gas, you’re using (or abusing) the roads more. EV owners currently don’t pay their share of the road infrastructure, and this will be the same for electric aircraft (if/when they become viable), so either everyone will have to start paying separate infrastructure taxes, and/or public EV chargers will have to stop being free. At least it’s a little easier with electric aircraft since people won’t be parking them in their garages, so there’s no free infrastructure loophole there.

      • Sorry, that was rude. Let me try again since I can’t edit my post.
        Here’s what I SHOULD have said:

        “Compared to recip motors, electric motors require about 1/4 the energy for each unit of work they do, so should expect to charge 1/4 the energy cost. More importantly, IMHO, they energy can be zero-emissions and local-sourced, freeing us from imported energy and pollution. This has recently been proven to work with ground transport, as we know, and it’s great to see the first glimmerings of this in air transport.”

        There. That’s how I should have phrased it. I’d edit my comment to say THAT if there was an edit button.

      • What nonsense! Was your solar system free? Was your home charging station free? Did you take tax payer subsidies that are not free? Anyone with half a brain knows the cost of the charge is included in the inflated valet parking fees, and the charge stations in CA at least are not necessarily free. And if you bother to check you will see that the cost of electricity is tied to the cost of petroleum and other fossil fuels used to generate it. I hope your flying skills are better than your other cognitive skills.

      • “Electricity doesn’t come from Saudi Arabia or Russia.”
        Fairy farts?
        You might want to look into where U.S. electricity actually “comes from.”
        Natural gas: 38.3 %
        Coal: 21.8 %
        Nuclear: 20%
        Renewables: 20% (includes wind, hydro, solar, biomass, geo-thermal)

        That’s a 60% share for “fossil fuels.”

        Leftist definition of “free:”
        “Get somebody else to pay for it.”

  1. Next time someone asks me why I and so many others hate the liberal smugness of Teslas and their owners I’ll refer them to your post.

    Yours is the demeanor that alienates minions towards EVs in general and Teslas in particular.

    Preach on fanboy.

        • I should be more civil myself. My apologies; just a bit of a trigger issue for me.

          I am a serious lifelong automotive enthusiast and highly educated with multiple post doctorate degrees so I am certainly not uninformed.

          My distaste for EV’s has further driven my studies and I consider myself an expert in EV technology and likely know more than the majority of EV owners.

          I’d be happy to chat off forum civilly as we would likely both benefit to see the other side of the equation with less emotion.

          Enjoy your car and have a good day. I’ll enjoy my 500 HP twin turbo V8 Mercedes S Class.

    • ‘Preach on fanboy.’

      Yeah, no smugness there.

      These changes with EAA setting infrastructure for eVTOL’s and the advancement of electric, hybrid, and-who-knows-what’s-to-come innovations for aircraft at OSH and the world over are sure ‘charging up’ some old ways thinking.
      Yet the lathe of progress effectually keeps producing the dust of stagnation – that always just falls to the floor, to eventually be swept up and discarded.

  2. Hmmmm…last time I checked…solar panels were still being sold, not given away! ALL energy costs money! And ALL energy produces nefarious by-products! You just get to choose your preference of poison. Tell me again how you are going to dispose of those Tesla batteries when they no longer hold a viable charge? Or dispose of those turbine wind blades when they deteriorate beyond economical repair? Or those solar panels on your roof…remember they are only warrantied for 10 years. NO energy is FREE my friend!

    • I can’t imagine they would allow that aerial taxi-stand to operate during the peak Osh arrival/departure periods. And it certainly won’t be operational during the airshow period.

      I might be wrong, but I think they’re looking to woo the wrong crowd, and this might potentially backfire on them.

    • I flew into OSH once about 20 years ago in a Cherokee out of MO. Stressful and was happy to be off the runway. We were three pilots in the plane which helped immensely. It’s a tribute to ATC there are not more incidents.

      I bet it would actually be much nicer on an IFR clearance in IMC.

  3. With respect to the new proposed eVTOL terminal at Wittman, one day many years ago I was riding with my father in the small CA town where I grew up, and we passed a building with a circular front with dark cobalt blue windows. At that time it was home to a local retail tire and rubber company. I asked about it and Dad said it had been built as a Tucker automobile sales showroom. Or, is this the same as a baseball diamond in a corn field?

  4. We will never realize the full potential power of electric vehicles until we take the emotion and politics out of the debate. Every vehicle – electric, gasoline or diesel powered – is a product of a long chain of activities that starts with the extraction of the materials required to build the vehicle, the machines required to actually build the vehicle, the extraction of materials required to power the vehicle (oil or battery materials), the delivery of the power to the vehicle, the people and tools required to maintain the vehicle and, eventually, the techniques to dispose of obsolete and worn out vehicles safely and with minimal environmental impact. In order to understand the total environmental impact, economic cost and operational efficiency of any type of vehicle you must understand the details of EVERY STEP in the chain that builds and supports that type of vehicle. That requires abandoning our pre-conceived emotional and political biases and examining these chains rationally and dispassionately.

    I should add this same problem infects the current efforts to introduce a 100LL replacement into the GA system.

    • Red,
      I had a similar reaction. I’m really surprised this didn’t get the usual comments about how it’s about fleecing investors. The 8 month thing puts this guy in the Moller category in my mind.

  5. Robert L – Your post is absolutely spot on. All of those elements MUST be considered in every acquisition program. In my service with the Navy, I was trained as an Acquisition Professional and one of the very first topics you learn is the “cradle to grave” responsibility in major acquisition programs. You spoke to that in your post perfectly. Unlike some EV owners believe, nothing in any acquisition program is “free”. As someone alluded to, everything needed in any program originates from the Earth’s resources which creates environmental impacts.

    I like to engage those folks who believe petroleum & coal are the roots of all evil. For those who wear makeup, coal is key in that industry; a major portion of the synthetic clothes use petroleum in their manufacture and finally, a major portion of the plastics in your life use petroleum products in their manufacture. So say goodbye to your makeup, your “earthy” synthetic outdoor clothes, your phones and your cars.

    • The problem is not that electric vehicles are necessarily bad; the problem is that none of the alternative energy sources have really been subjected to rigorous and UNBIASED “cradle to grave” analysis and then compared to rigorous and UNBIASED “cradle to grave” analysis of our current systems. Pre-conceived emotional and political biases (not to mention greed and confirmation bias) infect the entire discussions on these issues.

  6. Several years ago a comparison between the total environmental footprint of a Toyota Prius and a Hummer H II was done that included all the energy and environmental costs including raw materials, transportation, fuel use, the whole thing, based upon 100,000 miles for the Prius and 200,000 miles for the Hummer. The Toyota Prius lost with the largest environmental footprint even using the fuel guzzling three ton Hummer for comparison.

  7. “We will never realize the full potential power of electric vehicles until we take the emotion and politics out of the debate.” Robert L., truer words have never been spoken. Any disruptive technology is initially viewed as a threat to the status quo, and often elicits emotional reactions to it. Land-based electric vehicles are disruptive enough, but electric aircraft are even more so. This discussion thread is certainly proof of that.

    Another issue you correctly raised is to consider the total chain of activity that must be considered for any new technology. Politicians, reacting to pressure from environmental activists are heavily pushing the switch to electric vehicles of all types, both land and air. The elephant in that room is that the American power grid is currently not capable of handling wide-spread adoption of electric vehicles. Many people reason that we can simply accomplish the extra power demand by building more wind farms and solar farms. As usual, it is not that simple. The US currently consumes about 18 million barrels of oil a day, roughly half of which goes to transportation fuels. Of that half, about 45% is for gasoline, or roughly four million barrels, which equates to 168 million gallons a day. A gallon of gas contains 36.4 kW of power. So, to replace even half the gasoline burning vehicles with electric would require the construction of around 20,000 windfarms (150 MW/windfarm). There simply aren’t enough good wind sites available in the country and its offshore ocean territories. The difficult truth is that the only way to truly go to electric transportation, we would need to build a whole lot of nuclear-based power plants, along with the transmission infrastructure to distribute that much more power. Talk about an emotional debate, but one that will have to be addressed if we really want to transform our transportation systems.

    • Most Americans suffer from what I call “cube-tap mentality.” They really bieve that, if they could find enough cube-taps and power strips, they could power their entire world on one 20-amp, 120 vac outlet.

      Whenever I ask one of Massachusetrs’ millions of brilliant Leftists, “Where are you going to get all of the electricity to run your fossil-free Utopia, they reply – dismissively – “From my garage, you anti-science, anti-progress, climate-change-denying Neanderthal.” (Well, usually, much of what they say is unprintable, but that’s the gist.)

      Maybe I should invest in cube-tap Futures…

    • I’m not following your math. First: “A gallon of gas contains 36.4 kW of power.” True, but only a third of that energy makes it to the driveshaft, whereas an electric motor is close to 100% efficient. That’s why electric cars have these high MPGe ratings – they’re converting miles per KWH to the total gasoline energy content.

      Second, you missed the conversion between power and energy. The correct form of the above statement is “A gallon of gas contains 36.4 kWH of energy.” And in terms of mechanical energy delivered, it’s more like 12 KWH. Looking at that 150 MW wind farm, if you assume a commonly accepted 25% capacity factor, that’s 900 MWH per day.

      A quick web search tells me the US consumed 370 million gallons of gas per day in 2021. That’s 4.4 TWH electrical equivalent, or 5000 wind farms, total. Or 2500 wind farms for half the cars on the road. The other way to look at it is the total electrical consumption in the US in 2020 was 10 TWH/day.

  8. I’m a local radio talkshow host and along with another host interviewed Joby Aviation last Saturday 4-16-2022. Both of us are pilots.

    This one one of the very few interviews I’m aware which asked Joby questions regarding FAA Regs. We went as deep into it as possible without losing the non-aviation audience.

    Have a listen: http://shows.zbsradio.com/20220416/7632776fae117ba.mp3

    KSCO is a local 10,000 watt AM station in Joby’s backyard and zero revenue is earned from the replays. Just the standard commercial breaks remain from the original broadcast.

    I learned a lot from this interview like the battery recharge stations include, other than electricity, plumbing for a coolant to bring down battery temps.