Vertical Flight Society Sees Membership Surge


Image: Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1

The Vertical Flight Society (VFS), a nonprofit group whose stated goal is to advance vertical flight, has experienced strong growth in all of its membership categories, according to an announcement made by the organization on Friday. VFS points to global investment in new military and civil vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft as a key factor in its growth, citing worldwide funding increases for the development of high-speed tiltrotor and compound rotorcraft such as the Bell V-280 Valor, Sikorsky-Boeing SB>1 and Airbus Racer. The organization also noted that urban air mobility electric VTOL concepts have driven significant interest in and funding for vertical flight.

“We’ve reached a remarkable period of exciting new developments across the entire spectrum of vertical flight that is truly transformative,” said VFS Executive Director Mike Hirschberg. “The Vertical Flight Society is working to support the development of innovative VTOL approaches that hold the promise to revolutionize military and civil air transportation. And this worldwide surge in disruptive new civil and military VTOL aircraft that can fly faster, quieter and cheaper than a conventional helicopter is driving the society’s membership increases.”

VFS reports that it now has more than 5,500 individual members, a greater than 12 percent increase over the last two years. In addition, VFS corporate membership up by one-third and its educational membership has doubled over the same time period. The organization was founded in 1943 as the American Helicopter Society.