EmbraerX has spun out its activity in the urban air mobility space, including an eVTOL aircraft development project, into a standalone company, Eve Urban Air Mobility Solutions.
Eve, a wholly-owned subsidiary of EmbraerX — the Brazilian planemaker’s disruptive activity incubator program — will benefit from the independence through a leaner organization able to execute at a faster pace, according to newly-appointed CEO André Stein, formerly head of strategy for EmbraerX.
Eve has three lines of business, Stein explained to eVTOL.com. A vehicle partner for Uber Elevate, Eve is developing a lift-plus-cruise aircraft to move four passengers plus baggage around urban areas, emphasizing passenger accessibility and a high degree of reliability in design — finding a “sweet spot” between aircraft capability and simplicity, as Stein told eVTOL.com.
“A lift-plus-cruise aircraft with wings is very efficient to fly versus something simpler that doesn’t have wings, and wings are not a complex system, so they can really optimize forward flight but don’t add to the aircraft’s complexity,” Stein said of Eve’s design approach. “But not having tilting mechanisms allows us to have a simpler solution that is easier to certify . . . and when you keep the aircraft simple, that adds to reliability as well, which addresses cost challenges through utilization. We need to have really high utilization for [urban air mobility] to be affordable.”
The aircraft development project, originally launched in 2017 under the moniker DreamMaker, announced it had begun simulator testing in July.
Eve will also continue building urban air traffic management solutions, working with Embraer subsidiary Atech, as well as developing the support services the eVTOL industry will require — maintenance and training, for example — in an aircraft-agnostic way.
A number of markets in Brazil are considered likely early adopters of eVTOLs, including São Paulo, one of the cities where Airbus operated its on-demand helicopter service, Voom, from 2016 until last year. Also citing Rio de Janeiro, host of the 2016 summer Olympics, Stein views some Brazilian cities as great markets for UAM, with strong participation from stakeholders, an appetite for the service and a favorable regulatory environment.