Embraer closes new order for “flying car” – Época Negócios

Embraer: The subsidiary Eve develops an urban air mobility system (Photo: Disclosure)

Embraer: The subsidiary Eve develops an urban air mobility system (Photo: Disclosure)

THE embraer received your biggest order of eVTOLs (English acronym for vertical take-off and landing vehicle, as the “flying car” is officially called) for the Brazilian market. The aircraft manufacturer is expected to deliver, from 2026, up to 100 units to the aircraft-sharing company Avantto. Prior to this agreement, Embraer had announced that Helisul (by air taxi) placed an initial order for 50 vehicles and that Flapper (executive aviation platform) signed a contract to operate up to 25 units. The value of the deals was not disclosed.

Still far from having the technology fully developed and certified by regulatory authorities, Embraer – through its subsidiary Eve – has already received requests to deliver 735 eVTOLs worldwide, in addition to having created six partnerships to develop the infrastructure that will be needed to the “flying cars” operate. According to the executive director of Avantto, Rogerio Andrade, the eVTOLs ordered should cover all of Latin America, but greater demand is expected in Rio de Janeiro and, mainly, in São Paulo. Embraer itself estimates, in a “conservative” way, that the São Paulo market will have 500 aircraft of the model by 2035.

Although currently operating in the sale and operation of shared aircraft, Avantto intends to work with eVTOL as an air taxi. Also according to Andrade, the price of trips should decrease as the company gains scale until reaching the level close to a race carried out by an Uber Black (Uber’s premium service). To reach this price level, however, eVTOL will need to be autonomous, that is, to fly without a pilot, which should happen in a later phase.

Eve’s president, Andre Stein, says that more affordable prices for the consumer will be possible because the operating cost of the “flying car” should be equivalent to 10% of that of a helicopter. “The eVTOL is a vehicle that reduces fuel and maintenance costs, in addition to being autonomous in the long term.” Avantto should also participate in the development of the infrastructure that will receive the landings and take-offs of the “flying cars”.

One of the company’s investors is Rio Bravo, an asset manager that also has investments in the real estate sector and may help define buildings that will serve as passenger boarding terminals. Avantto’s order places Eve among the eVTOL companies with the most orders so far. The Brazilian company is second only to the English company Vertical, which has already announced that it has received orders to deliver 1,350 aircraft. In total, Vertical’s contracts total $5.4 billion and were signed with companies like American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic. Vertical has more advantage: it promises to deliver its first units in 2024.

Embraer has always been skeptical about tighter deadlines, considering that the certification process will not be quick. According to the executive, the company is advanced in its research when considering the deadline established for the delivery of its first units, 2026. “We are advanced in the development of the software that goes with the aircraft and flying models of various scales. The expectation is to fly this year still a 1:1 model.” This test aircraft will have to be piloted remotely, explains Stein.

Technology
The “flying car”, an aircraft that has been developed by dozens of companies around the world, does not resemble the one used by the characters in the Jetsons cartoon. The vehicle is more like a helicopter, and its use will be shared – you won’t have an eVTOL of your own. Even so, the technology is still revolutionary.

One of the main differences between eVTOL and helicopters or airplanes is that it will be electric. Without using jet fuel, the environmental impact and cost of operating it are reduced. Aircraft are also being created to be less complex than helicopters and, electric, will require less maintenance, which makes them cheaper. In the case of helicopters, maintenance corresponds to 30% of operating costs. More affordable, eVTOLS could have the same popularity as commercial aircraft, experts say.

Another advantage of having an electric motor is that it makes the aircraft quieter. This will allow a greater number of “flying cars” to operate in large urban centers without generating noise pollution. The projects also foresee several redundant systems in eVTOLs. So, if there is a problem with a part or software, there will be something similar to replace it. Thus, experts say that the “flying car” should be safer than helicopters.

About Abhishek Pratap

Food maven. Unapologetic travel fanatic. MCU's fan. Infuriatingly humble creator. Award-winning pop culture ninja.

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