Embraer-x First UAM: Eve Mobility eVTOL
The Brazilian airline company Embraer's first urban air mobility (UAM) platform, known as Eve Mobility (Figure 1), is a four-passenger seater (six-passenger seater in autonomous mode) electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle. Launched in 2021, Embraer collaborated with leading organizations such as L3Harris Technologies, Skyports, and the Community Air Mobility Initiative (CAMI) for a concept of operations (Conops) for a UAM operation between Miami international airport and the Miami Beach Convention Center.
Eve UAM, LLC is the spin-off company created by Embraer that will deliver the first Eve UAM in the U.S. market, taking advantage of technological solutions from its consortium partners.
The Eve eVTOL range is 100 km (60 miles), tailored for urban mobility to address 99% of UAM missions in cities and metropolitan areas. The company also claims that the Eve UAM has a ninety percent lower noise footprint when compared to equivalent helicopters.
Business-wise, Eve's company has recently been listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker EVEX as of May 10, 2022, after raising 377 million USD from strategic and financial investors. According to the company website, the company has 2,000+ eVTOL backlog orders from more than 20+ companies. Production development is ongoing.
Human Factors - The Eve eVTOL body frame is leveraging Embraer's engineering experience in the airframe design similar to their manned aircraft designs (over 50+ years of history in aerospace expertise). The company showcased its cabin design for the first time in July 2022 at the Farnborough Airshow (Embraer-X, 2022).
The design showcased a mockup that comprised a conventional wing and tail configuration, with eight fixed rotors around the wing for vertical take-off and landing capability.
Infrastructure - The Eve eVTOL will require a vertiport. A vertiport is the infrastructure where eVTOLs take off, land, and passengers board and disembark. Current Helipads may be converted to Vertiport by adding necessary capabilities such as adaptation or modification for electric charging.
Airspace Integration - The Eve eVTOL utilizes L3Harris's next-generation Air Traffic Management (ATM) technologies for UAM operations.
Business Case - Based on the Eve Conops, a typical urban flight will handle a distance of 10 to 30 miles, with a duration between 7 to 17 minutes, flying at an altitude range of 800-1000 ft, with four passengers and one pilot ( or 5-6 passengers when operating autonomously). Compared to helicopters, Eve eVTOL is significantly quieter, providing zero-emissions (all electrical), with minimal hover duration. Eve eVTOL is built to handle short-hop destinations, making it more affordable than helicopter flights.
Realistic Timeline - The Miami Dale County (MDC) predicts a need for 7 vertiports (eVTOL launch/landing pads) with 40 to 63 eVTOLs carrying up to 600,000 passengers a year.
Feasible? - Absolutely, yes. The Eve eVTOL is on track to deliver a proven and operational eVTOL operation that will fulfill their Conops at Miami-Dale County Airport. Just recently (July 2020), the company completed its first flight of eVTOL in a simulator that utilized the same software and control laws planned to be used on the eve eVTOL
(Media: https://youtu.be/il_oQIWczyg )
Embraer-X. (2022). Eve showcases its eVTOL cabin for the first time at the Farnborough Airshow. https://embraerx.embraer.com/global/en/news-1