Updated: Oct 26, 2021
by Vance HILDERMAN (CEO, AFuzion Inc.)
UAV &Electric Vertical Take-Off & Landing (eVTOL) has rapidly emerged as “THE” aviation technologies to watch. But building the aircraft is only “half the battle” with CERTIFICATION comprising the other half …
Think about autonomous automobiles: Tesla and many other innovative companies successfully demonstrated self-driving cars years ago. But can you buy one or use one for actual real-world daily driving? The optimist says “Almost; any day now”, but the realist simply knows that day is still years away. But why delay, when the technology is here today?!? Simple: “CERTIFICATION”.
With over 240 eVTOL aircraft programs underway today, billions of dollars are demonstrating successful technology to bring eVTOL to the public now. As it today. This author and his company have assisted with over ten of those programs and the technology WORKS. Truly. However, like autonomous automobiles, even manned eVTOL aircraft exhibit certain characteristics which complicate civil certification …
Commercial aviation is widely stratified with different certification rules and degrees of rigor based upon:
Experimental versus true-civil
Number of engines
Since the business case for eVTOL is based upon Urban Air Mobility (UAM) and revenue paying passengers, eVTOL aircraft must comply with aviation “Standards” including ARP4761/A for Safety, ARP4754A for Aircraft and Systems, DO-178C for Avionics Software and DO-254 for Avionics Hardware. But there is more … MUCH more …
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mr. Vance HILDERMAN (CEO, AFuzion Inc.)
BSEE, MSEE, MBA
Founder of two of the world's largest avionics development services companies
Developer of the world's first training in DO-178 and trainer of over 8,000 engineers in 45 countries in DO-178, DO-254, DO-278, and DO-200A
Primary author of the world's first, and best selling, book on DO-178 and DO-254 (available at bookstores worldwide)