Investigation of a Mission-based Sizing Method for Electric VTOL Aircraft Preliminary Design

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review


    Future demands for Urban Air Mobility solutions has given rise to electrically powered vertical takeoff and landing aircraft, also known as eVTOLs. The apparent number of these concepts in development has rapidly grown to over 500. The race between eVTOL companies to push their concepts into commercial operation has produced a confidential aircraft development process amongst these manufacturers due to commercial sensitivity. This lack of existing data makes it difficult to carry out conceptual design analysis for eVTOL aircraft. This paper presents the results of the development of a comprehensive mass estimation method for battery-powered eVTOL aircraft in two main configurations, powered lift and wingless. Aircraft component mass estimation methods are adapted from literature on conventional aircraft design synthesis, augmented with rotorcraft power models, which are used to iteratively solve the forward-looking sizing problem using the numerical bisection method. A range sensitivity study showed that for ultra-short missions of 10 km or less, the wingless aircraft becomes more efficient in energy consumption due to its simpler and ultimately lighter airframe structure when sized for very short missions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationAIAA SciTech Forum 2022
    PublisherAerospace Research Central
    ISBN (Print)9781624106316
    Publication statusPublished - 2022
    EventAIAA SCITECH 2022 Forum - San Diego, United States
    Duration: 3 Jan 20227 Jan 2022


    ConferenceAIAA SCITECH 2022 Forum
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CitySan Diego

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2022, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Inc. All rights reserved.

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Aerospace Engineering


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