Zhiheng LouZhiheng Lou is an aircraft engineer at IET Limited. With an interest in electric aircraft, he built a 1:10 eVTOL concept demonstrator last year and published findings on the propulsion system design. As a postgraduate at Cranfield University, he completed a parametric study on eVTOL aircraft configurations. He analysed the benefits and drawbacks of popular eVTOL concepts, including the concepts by Joby Aviation, Vertical Aerospace and Archer Aviation.
An investigation of eVTOL aircraft configuration
Driven by the demand for sustainable aviation, eVTOLs have gained significant public interest and investments. Unlike conventional aircraft designs, there is an abundance of eVTOL concepts that are differentiated by their aircraft configuration. Previous studies of eVTOL concepts involve making assumptions about the electric propulsion system. Consequently, valuable insights into the sensitivities of aircraft performance to component selection are lost. However, these insights are critical to eVTOL’s success. Therefore, this study sought answers to how many rotors an eVTOL should have, how many rotors should be vectored and what the eVTOL's range is for different mission scenarios.