Embraer-backed eVTOL aircraft developer Eve has completed an initial validation of its urban air traffic management system using a simulation that involved real helicopter flights over London.
The simulation of Eve’s Urban Air Traffic Management (Urban ATM) system validated and refined the software through user testing and feedback on its interface and value.
The simulation was done with private aircraft charter company Flexjet, a helicopter operator in the UK, which provided its 11-strong helicopter fleet to perform the flights. The simulation was conducted over four days during November at Flexjet’s Tactical Control Centre at Farnborough Airport.
Eve’s Urban ATM software shadowed the helicopter flights, performing the kind of services that will be essential to enabling future UAM operations.
London is one of the world’s foremost helicopter markets and a key focus for future eVTOL operations, said Eve.
The simulation covered regular business operations and atypical scenarios, and accounted for the needs of eVTOL aircraft in real-world operational scenarios. The simulation also included vertiport operations so that Eve and Flexjet could see how to manage resources most efficiently.
In addition, the simulation verified and validated a subset of the Urban ATM product’s capabilities, with a specific emphasis on the UAM fleet operator support tool.
The UK’s provider of air traffic services NATS and London Heliport also supported the initiative by providing additional feedback to help ensure Eve’s solution will provide the greatest value to all UAM ecosystem participants.
Eve’s objective was to provide insights into the services required to support future eVTOL operations safely and efficiently. Another aim was to investigate whether these new services may have immediate value for existing helicopter operations.
Eve and Flexjet are reviewing the findings of the simulation and discussing recommendations for improvements, changes, and potential integration requirements. The companies will also continue to explore opportunities for further integration of existing software tools, enhancing the potential of the Urban ATM solution.
Johann Bordais, CEO of Eve said, “This collaboration with Flexjet represents a significant step forward in our efforts to advance urban air mobility. We are committed to exploring innovative solutions that will enhance current operations and contribute to the future of urban flights.”
Eli Flint, Flexjet president of global helicopter operations said, “We were delighted to provide Flexjet’s UK helicopter expertise and to play a key role in forging the UAM ecosystem of tomorrow, helping to inform the movements of the next generation of vertical aircraft. Flexjet is dedicated to advancing the aviation solutions that will meet our customers’ needs over the coming years, and we are excited by the potential of eVTOLs for seamless and sustainable electric short-range flights.”