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Revolution.Aero 2019 Revolution.Aero hit San Francisco back in September last year, in March it was London’s turn. Words by Alex Baldwin THE WORLDS of business aviation, commercial aviation, space and money came together to talk about the latest developments and plans for the future. It is not just the headline-grabbing eVTOL that are shaping the future of flight. It is also blockchain, digitisation, autonomous flight and more. The landscape is ever-changing and no matter how closely you follow these developments, it is hard to keep up with every new start-up, every air-taxi and every revolutionary app. But if the skies of the future are filled with fully autonomous electric-powered aircraft, whose entire history from production to sale is documented via blockchain, the money needs to be there to make this a reality. And these ideas are far from pipe dreams. In fact, a lot of these developments are gaining traction. Investors and regulators are working with everyone from garage start-ups to companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange to support new market developments. The race to secure capital has begun.

Electric aviators our panel of four eVTOL manufacturers and a consultant discuss if we should take to the skies to solve city traffic congestion.


Corporate Jet Investor

The future can be fun

Cut from a different cloth from left to right we see the transition from smart dress to casual, typical of a tech conference. Moderator: Robin Riedel, McKinsey & Company; Chris Courtney, Joby Aviation; Lawrence Blakeley, Vertical Aerospace; Arnaud Didey, Neoptera; Jonathan Carrier, Aeromobil.


The regulators need to support it too – and they seem to be onboard. “I am here to listen,” Simon Williams, the director of civil aviation at the Isle of Man Aircraft Registry told the conference delegates. Several of the panels and presentations trailed away from these technologies to discuss how to bring the business jet market into the 21st century. Digitising an industry where a lot of deals are done face-toface or over the phone presents issues. But this is an inevitability; everyone agrees that the market needs to be changed. Revolution.Aero also hosted the second Pitch@Revolution competition, where six new start-ups pitched their ideas to a panel of four experts. The six different start-ups to take the stage were: Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) manufacturer Advanced Air Mobility; helicopter charter booking app FLYT; eVTOL-racing company Hover Racing Grand Prix; transitional personal VTOL manufacturer Neoptera; autonomous-systems retrofitter Nodein; and cargo transport and passenger hybrid jet project Samad Aerospace. Nodein walked away with the panel votes and electricaircraft racing start-up Hover Racing Grand Prix won the audience’s hearts with the promise of a new electric-aircraft racing league. ■

(1) The investor panel was one of the most talked about sessions at the conference. (2) The group of experts judges on the Pitch@ Revolution panel included a company backed by a car manufacturer and two by commercial airlines. (3) The Mahiki bar hosted our revolutionaries cocktails. (4) Sandra Ro teaches the room about block chain.


Session Highlights: Day 1 Electric flight – How batteries shape aviation Rethinking urban mobility – Why the sky is the future for urban travel Cosmic Vertigo – Insight into ESA’s missions exploring the solar system Powering the Revolution – When will passengers use commercial electric aircraft? Pitch@Revolution – Pitching to experts

Day 2 Picking Winners – Investing in aircraft and aviation companies Blockchain – The benefits in aviation The end for operators? – When aircraft are autonomous, who needs operators? Why freight is great – Certifying freight is easier than passengers Distributed Aviation – A future history of how electric aviation got us there

Audience Votes:

“I try and pick the team that has the right skills and is flexible enough to change with the circumstances.”


Colleagues (78%)

Would you be happier to put your colleagues or kids on an early autonomous plane?

Raj Singh – Managing Director, JetBlue Technology Ventures

Yes (65%)


No (35%)

Will business aviation always be a niche?

Yes (39%)



Kids (22%)


10% 38%

How many eVTOLs will be around in five years? ● 0-10 ● 10-20

Yes (36%)

● 20-50 ● 50+

No (64%)

Is the business aviation model a busted flush?

No (23%) No (61%)

Can Regulators keep up with new aviation technologies?

Yes (77%)

Do you agree that autonomous flights should start with cargo?

Corporate Jet Investor

Michael Amalfitano, Embraer Executive Jets


Profile for Revolution.Aero

Revolution.Aero Europe - March 2019  

Revolution.Aero is a future of aviation event launched in San Francisco in September, 2018. It is a unique event bringing together disruptor...

Revolution.Aero Europe - March 2019  

Revolution.Aero is a future of aviation event launched in San Francisco in September, 2018. It is a unique event bringing together disruptor...