Drone fleet management software specialist Ramco has released the following article highlighting how the helicopter and electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) industries are working together to advance commercial aviation. While many eVTOL designs are currently piloted, the industry is working towards implementing unmanned and autonomous technologies.
In the early stages of the eVTOL industry, there were concerns that this revolutionary mode of transportation would overshadow and potentially replace traditional helicopters. However, as the eVTOL industry continues to evolve, a surprising shift has taken place. Rather than perceiving eVTOLs as competition, many helicopter operators are now embracing collaboration by incorporating eVTOL aircraft into their fleets. Some of the examples include:
- Bristow Group Inc., the world’s leading global provider of innovative and sustainable vertical flight solutions, which has provisional order agreements in place with seven manufacturers, including Electra, Beta Technologies, Elroy Air, Vertical Aerospace, Eve Air Mobility, Overair, and Lilium 
- ADAC Luftrettung and Volocopter have entered an agreement which will see the HEMS provider purchase two Volocity eVTOLs to explore the use of eVTOLs in HEMS operations. 
- PHI helicopters signed up with Kaman Aerospace for 50 Kaman Kargo drone for their logistics missions 
This article explores the symbiotic relationship between the helicopter industry and the eVTOL industry, highlighting the benefits of this collaborative approach.
Redefining the Landscape
The advent of eVTOL technology has indeed raised questions about the future of the helicopter industry. With similar capabilities and the potential for greater efficiency and reduced environmental impact, eVTOLs initially seemed poised to disrupt traditional helicopter operations. However, industry leaders quickly recognized the unique advantages that both sectors bring to the table. Rather than perceiving eVTOLs as competitors, the helicopter industry has chosen to embrace them as complementary tools, ultimately redefining the aerial mobility landscape.
Expanding Operational Capabilities
One of the key advantages of collaboration between the helicopter and eVTOL industries lies in the expanded operational capabilities it offers. While helicopters excel in certain areas, such as heavy-lift operations, long-range missions, and offshore operations, eVTOLs bring their own strengths, such as shorter-range urban air mobility and vertical take-off and landing capabilities. By integrating eVTOL aircraft into their fleets, helicopter operators can access a wider range of operational options, enhancing their versatility and meeting the diverse needs of their clients more effectively.
Synergy in Efficiency and Sustainability
Another significant benefit of the collaboration between the helicopter and eVTOL industries is the potential for improved efficiency and sustainability. eVTOL aircraft, with their electric propulsion systems, have the potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions and noise pollution. By incorporating eVTOLs into their fleets, helicopter operators can augment their existing operations with environmentally friendly aircraft, reducing their environmental footprint and enhancing their reputation as responsible industry participants. This synergy between traditional helicopters and eVTOLs fosters a more sustainable and environmentally conscious approach to aerial transportation, benefitting not only the industry but also society as a whole.
Pioneering Technological Advancements
Collaboration between the helicopter and eVTOL industries also drives innovation and technological advancements. The shared knowledge and expertise enable cross-pollination of ideas, leading to the development of more sophisticated aircraft, advanced flight control systems, and improved safety measures. As helicopter operators embrace eVTOL technology, they contribute valuable insights and operational experience that can be leveraged to refine and optimize eVTOL designs. In turn, the eVTOL industry’s rapid progress in electric propulsion, autonomy, and energy management inspires advancements in the helicopter sector. This collaborative environment encourages a continuous cycle of innovation, propelling both industries forward.
The collaboration between the helicopter and eVTOL industries represents a paradigm shift in the way transportation sectors approach technological disruption. By choosing to collaborate rather than compete, these industries unlock new opportunities, expand operational capabilities, improve efficiency, and promote sustainability. This partnership fosters innovation, contributing to the development of cutting-edge aircraft and systems that benefit not only the industry but also society at large. As the helicopter industry embraces eVTOL technology, a bright future of collaboration and progress awaits, transforming the aerial mobility landscape and shaping the future of transportation.