What is AAM?

Advanced Air Mobility

It’s an exciting time in transportation. In the next few years transportation and logistics providers will be able to move cargo and passengers across congested cities, to remote islands, and into rural areas like never before. Medical service providers will be able to get personnel and supplies to rural areas when and where they’re needed. And sightseeing and tour operations will be able to show off the beauty of their regions and offer unique experiences like never before.

This will all be thanks to a new generation of electric and hybrid-powered small aircraft coming to market soon. These electric vertical take off and landing (eVTOL) and short take off and landing (eSTOL) aircraft won’t need a conventional airport, they’ll be inherently safer, quieter and more sustainable than helicopters, and their operators will be safety certified by government regulators.

How does it work?

The routes for these new aircraft will be tied in with existing transportation infrastructure to enable smooth transfers from cars, trains, and trucks to eVTOL or eSTOL vehicles. A network of new ground infrastructure called vertiports will have take off and landing facilities, electric charging facilities, and passenger and/or cargo facilities — all in a footprint much smaller than conventional airports and more integrated into our cities and towns.

Why now?

Flying cars have been a science fiction staple for decades, but the technologies needed to make this new kind of transportation possible have finally matured enough to enable air mobility at a reasonable cost. It may seem like AAM has burst on the scene just recently, but the aerospace industry has been methodically working on this for over a decade. Some of the technologies include:

High-powered electric motors

High energy density batteries

Advanced composite materials

Flight control and automation software

We’re already enjoying the benefits of electric motors and high density batteries on the roads in our EVs today. Commercial drones have used distributed electric propulsion that combines electric motors and advanced control software. Advanced carbon fiber reinforced composites have been used in airliners for years now. And advanced flight control software has been enabling pilots to focus their attention and keeping us safe in the air for years, as well. AAM vehicles bring these technologies together with things like new advances in multimodal transportation management software, air traffic management systems, and low altitude weather information systems.

How will it change things for me?

Traveling to the airport in 15 minutes instead of an hour or more could give you back hours and hours and reduce stress. Knowing that a loved one living in a rural area could get timely medical care could give you great peace of mind. And on vacation you’ll save time flying from the train station to your favorite mountain hot spring resort, while the view from above the treetops will add to the vacation experience.

The future is almost here!

How SAI is creating the future today

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