Advanced Air Mobility: A New Era of Aerospace Innovation

By February 3, 2021blog

Since the Wright Brothers first became airborne in 1903, the United States has been leading aviation innovation. From early aircraft engineering to refining safety standards and recruiting the best of the best talent, our country’s position in the industry has taken us around the world, to the moon, and the pinnacle of national security and defense.

Now, a new era of aviation is dawning with the development of Advanced Air Mobility (AAM). The rights steps in the right direction with AAM are poised to bring aviation technologies and benefits to people and goods in unprecedented ways. Once again, the U.S. is leading the charge.

Here’s a closer look at AAM and its potential advantages in the next era of economy, security, and prosperity.

Advanced Air Mobility: Reaching New Heights in Aviation

Advanced Air Mobility has been touted by Deloitte as the “next disruption in aerospace.” A recent Deloitte report on AAM notes that it was just decades ago that we could fly from coast to coast in just over a day. Today, that same path takes less than five hours.

Technology and innovation play a huge role in shaping the way we live, work, and travel, whether on the ground or in the air. The next big change to come down the pipe is AAM – using aviation technology to improve and decrease the cost of the way people and goods are transported, both in urban and rural environments.

AAM could take a number of forms and functions. For example, it might be connecting rural populations to larger urban centers. Or, it might be providing a new form of passenger travel within the same city. Replace “goods” with “people” in each of these scenarios and more benefits start to emerge.

According to Deloitte, AAM technology uses electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft that are runway dependent, short-range, and largely automated. Complex transmissions and mechanics are replaced with simplified electronic controls and electric motors, which also reduces manufacturing costs, maintenance, and operational overhead.

What AAM Can Contribute to the U.S. Economy and Security

AAM technology is already in development via startups and traditional players in the A&D industry. It’s estimated that technologies will be ready for a full rollout by the 2030s and bring $115 billion and 280,000 high-paying jobs to the U.S. economy by 2035.

Currently, industry leaders and experts are reviewing three applications for AAM technology: passenger mobility, cargo mobility, and government-driven defense.

On-demand and scheduled passenger transport within cities or from rural areas to more populous areas can streamline travel, boost tourism, and create access to goods not available locally.

With an increased focus on online ordering and a growing need for reliable logistics, AAM for cargo may provide more transportation options and services within and between communities, including last-mile package delivery.

Both of these applications stand to spawn significant growth and benefits to the economy in terms of job creation and access to goods and services.

From a defense perspective, military and civilian governments may also benefit from AAM’s fast, reliable, on-demand service. It’s being reviewed as a possible scalable for public health and safety and security risks.

What will it take to bring AAM to a national, and possibly later a global, standard? Stay tuned for our upcoming article on how the U.S. can lead the AAM race by developing a sustainable leadership role.