So having reached the end of the three chapters of the white paper here comes the inevitable conclusion section.
Please take the following as my opinion only, however that opinion is based on watching programs from the inside and the outside for the last thirty years.
It is also based on my historical research of new aerospace programs and new aerospace companies since the start of the industry. We are not shackled to the past but if we do not learn from the past we are condemned to repeat not only the mistakes but learning all the same expensive lessons over and over again.
It is always less expensive to learn from other people’s mistakes, but sometimes you only learn by making them yourself.
Here are the lowlights:
- eVTOL companies violate established risk management principles of aircraft development across multiple domains.
- The technology is immature, the costing is very optimistic, and the compliance landscape is only just being developed.
- There is a compound technical, commercial and compliance risk that make a commercially successful introduction of a viable product to market a practical impossibility.
- The problems are too varied and profound to be solvable, no matter the amount of money thrown at them.
- eVTOL may represent some value to investors in the form of subsystem IP that may be useful at a later stage in the evolution of UAM or a brand with public recognition.
- A return on investment is very, very unlikely.
Traditional aerospace OEM startups suffer from borderline commercial viability without adopting these specific eVTOL multiple critical risk factors.
Adoption of additional enormous irreconcilable risks do not make success more likely. Raising more money does not reduce the risk, it just increases the financial burden on the corporation and gives you the false impression that you have the ability to solve your technical, commercial and compliance problems.
J. R. R. Tolkien: “False hopes are more dangerous than fears.”
Historically successful aircraft startups come to market with the simplest possible product. Starting out with a very complex product as your first project has never been a recipe for success.
Here’s a handy graphic: