Eve ditches its pretty canard eVTOL design for something simpler
Embraer spinoff Eve has changed tack on its eVTOL aircraft design, unveiling a new single-wing lift and cruise design, as well as a refreshingly utilitarian-looking mockup of its passenger cabin, at this week's Farnborough air show outside London.
Where the original Eve eVTOL design ran a two-wing canard setup, with eight vertical lift props to complement two pusher props on the back, it seems the company has decided to go with something a bit more conventional – if you can call any electric VTOL aircraft conventional at this point.
The two pushers and cabin design stay fairly similar, but Eve has consolidated the two wings into one, placing four longitudinal propulsion pods along the wings to hang eight props fore and aft of the wing.
The redesign brings Eve back in line with other non-tilting lift & cruise designs like the Wisk Cora and the AutoFlight Prosperity, which are among the simplest of eVTOL airframe designs. With no tilting propulsion units to vector thrust, they simply use one set of lift fans and another set of forward fans. The advantages here are probably weight, cost and complexity reductions – but the most likely disadvantage will be added drag in forward flight. Eve hasn't put out range or top speed figures yet, so it's unclear how they'll compare.
Air taxi customers are unlikely to care much exactly what propulsion layout these things use, but service operators might well be attracted by lower cost and simplicity if the performance tradeoffs are acceptable.
At the same time, Eve opened up a mockup of its 4-passenger cabin. Two seats face backward behind the pilot's chair, and two rear seats face forward. It's an exceedingly simple-looking cabin, and despite the LED mood lighting, low ceiling and seat belts, there's a definite air of "public transport" about it.
As a member of the public myself, I have to say I like this relatively humble look; eVTOLs must be affordable and fuss-free if they're going to fulfil their promise of revolutionizing and democratizing urban air transport.
Source: Eve Air Mobility
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The least these winged concept "Evtols" should have is an in flight folding wing or drop the wings entirely.
Wings will become obsolete anyway as power sources gets improved with time.
That post is from Isreal's Air One article as a quote of another person's very weak argument trying to say wings are worthless.
The future will most likely have wings for their vastly greater efficiency than wasteful prop downwash that tries to move horizontally with any efficiency. Also having redundant propulsion systems carried as dead weight that alternate between vtol and cruise doubles propulsion system weight and drag which creates efficiency losses that won't compete very well.
Funny you trying to call the argument "weak" when unwinged concepts is already flying successfully. Sorry time to up your knowledge on the subject.
Wingless concepts will be the most versatile, most maneuverable as well as utilize the least amount of space for more confined areas which is a huge benefit over any winged concept.
They are already flying, we just require better power sources for longer range flight.
Currently for longer trips given our limits on batteries winged concepts will have an advantage yes. But not as a versatile short hop platform for more confined areas for which there is a huge demand.
The knowledge on the subject of eVTOL currently evolving with easy existing battery tech is one thing but it is overshadowed by the logic and wisdom in the understanding of the obvious future where Safety, Efficiency, and Economy win in the competition that wings will rule in because it can carry a load far better than a wasteful prop downwash can.
You are correct in the lack of need for wings in the TO&L end phases of travel where the versatile maneuverability requirement exists. This however does NOT remove Winged efficiency economy & safety logic for the majority of the trip that is more than just short hops.
The best future designs for any worthwhile travel with distance will use wings to save energy that extends the competitive economic reach.
Even if batteries ever could approach the ability of H2 Fuel Cells for distance, the logic still remains for travel distance efficiency using wing lift vs wasteful prop thrust downward hurting the lift up that it strives for with its body's negative lift tipping forward. Therefore wings will rule competitively for all of the greater travel distance aircraft.
Again EVTOL'S will have 2 distinct markets.
You cannot simply dismiss the one over the other.
City as well as in and around airport travel will be in great demand.Currently short hop non winged EVTOL's have demonstrated to work well in the set parameters with current batteries.
Economy will not be an issue once fuel cells, supercaps, battery tech advances to the stage where it can provide superior capacity, where charging it up wil not even cost a fraction what it would cost to fuel an ice engine or generator for that matter. So the point of economy in future will not be relevant.
For now the only reason to use wings is because a long range battery does not exist.
Not saying you cannot add wings, even though wings will not be required once future energy sources is perfected. You may still add wings if you wish, but if you want it to be versatile and more useful, they better be able to fold up or swing into the frame. It will be a balance between versatality / weight / footprint / manauvaribility. So would need some very inticrate out of the box thinking.
As for Safety, wings will be dead weight in a hover. So your single motor winged EVTOL will be more dangerous than your typical OCT configured layout.
As for safety in general with any EVTOL
Electric motors and its flight control systems is extremely reliable, so are the failsafe systems. With a motor out you would barely notice the difference in flight.
For now for long distance flying winged concepts will be required. But no need for this
In short distance city flying.
There are more than 2 eVTOL geometries in short to long-range flight utility in a wide variety including buoyancy where wings also can have added value.
To say; “Economy will not be an issue,,,” ignores the fact that economy of weight is the most critical factor in aircraft design as it greatly affects speed, distance, time, and costs in refueling. Thus the economy of fuel use and its weight are always an extremely relevant issue in the competitive markets for all aircraft including eVTOL.
This is regardless of the unlikely low fuel costs &/or if ever any long-range batteries arrive because Wings always add value to carry weight when the travel speed is relevant. Short hops at low speeds may avoid wings but the economy and weight still will rule the competition.
To say; "For now the only reason to use wings is because a long range battery does not exist.”
is ignoring reality.
I agree with Towerman
The only reason to add wings is because a long range battery right now does not exist
Adding wings coupled with motors and props that are spread laterally across the wing will create drag as well as extra weight exponentially as the weight is distributed away from the core, as well as limit agility. Wings are not as significant as it seems.
The savings wrt weight will be minor if you take added wing weight added drag because of pod mounted motors reducing efficiency and increasing fuel costs/ battery drain and increasing drag with speed (which will be needed for the wings to be in any way contribitional) as well as exponential weight distribution in consideration.
The advantages of a smaller footprint and a more manauvarble platform will take precedence over a draggy heavy wing pod/ motor mounted platform with decentralized weight distribution in the long term.
Your points only apply to short-range travel while longer range travel will require wings absolutely to compete.