Rutan Working On EVTOL


Legendary aircraft designer Burt Rutan has reportedly turned his outside-the-box vision toward eVTOL transportation and he’s already said to prepare for something different. “It’s pretty different from the 170 different outfits that are doing eVTOL now,” he is quoted as saying by Aviation Week. “And that’s all I can say about it.”  Rutan “retired” in 2011 after his company Scaled Composites sold but he’s been working ever since on projects ranging from the massive Stratolaunch to his own amphib.

Meanwhile some of the “170 different outfits” achieved some milestones in the last week, according to Israel’s Eviation has reported a total of 150 orders for its 11-seat electric commuter aircraft. Volocopter flew its multicopter manned for the first time in Singapore on Oct. 22. It coincided with the opening of the first air taxi voloport in Singapore.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. How is eVTOL different from VTOL (other than eVTOL has less performance)?
    Don’t we already have R44’s and Eurocopters and JetRangers?

    • Electricity is an enabler of sorts. eVTOL might seem heavy with battery but redundancy, lower noise, and overall efficiency is raised. It took me years to wrap my head around it and something that canb’t easiloy be explained in a paragraph.

      • Electricity is not efficient from an overall point of view, considering losses in it’s creation, conversion, transmission, storage, and eventual use. It’s also a bad fit for efficiently lifting (VTOL) because of the high weight AND that the weight does not decrease in flight like liquid fuels do when consumed. Add to that, CERTIFYING new aircraft is insanely expensive. Add to that, flying in urban areas is restricted. Noise is irrelevant based on peoples “fear” of anything flying low over schools, playgrounds, federal buildings, power plants, etc.

        As I’ve said many times before, aircraft are the absolute worst place to do testing on new drive technologies. Cars and other ground based testing is the best way to accelerate development on e-power.