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Thu, Apr 13, 2023

VFS Enjoys Continuing Growth in 2023

Corporate and Individual Membership on the Rise

The Vertical Flight Society (VFS)—the world’s preeminent non-profit technical society for the advancement of vertical flight—announced on 11 April 2023 that its membership has continued to expand by virtue, primarily, of explosive growth within the electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) and military and civil rotorcraft sectors.

In July 2022, the Vertical Flight Society comprised 176-member companies and organizations—twenty more than it numbered in July 2021. On 31 March 2023, VFS membership stood at 186 companies, a net growth of ten companies (5.52-percent) over the last eight months and nearly sixty companies over the past three-years. Currently, the VFS boasts nearly 6,500 individual members—a modest growth of two-percent over last year but representative of a net increase of nearly eight-percent (460 individuals) since before the COVID madness and twenty-percent (1,050 individuals) over the last five years. Much of the cited growth is attributable to the extensive support the VFS provides the vertical flight industry, including technical resources, talent acquisition, professional development, educational opportunities, and networking.

Vertical Flight Society executive director Mike Hirschberg stated: “With the U.S. Army proceeding towards development of its Future Long Range Assault Aircraft (FLRAA), civil helicopter advancements promising new capabilities, and eVTOL aircraft in the U.S., European, and Asian markets making impressive progress towards certification, vertical flight has never been more exciting. For more than eighty-years, VFS has been instrumental in bringing together our members in academia and government agencies around the world to advance vertical flight.”

The following ten organizations joined VFS during the first quarter of 2023:

Organization                      Membership Class
AFWERX                            Small Business
AIR                                      Small Business
ARC                                    Aerosystems Small Business
Elroy                                    Air Small Business
GKN                                    Aerospace Bronze
Ingenium Aerospace, LLC    Small Business
Intellisense Systems, Inc.      Small Business
KULR Technology Group      Small Business
Near Earth Autonomy, Inc.    Small Business
ZeroAvia                              Small Business

The aforementioned, new corporate members include companies and agencies supporting all aspects of vertical flight. Descriptions of each organization, including links to their respective websites, can be found in the VFS Corporate Member Directory.

For more than eighty-years the Vertical Flight Society has stood as the world’s largest technical community of engineers, technologists, and specialists engaged in the development, manufacturing, and fielding of vertical flight aircraft. The society’s resources include the world’s largest online research library, hundreds of hours of video-recorded lectures and web meetings, and both in-person and virtual short courses and technical meetings. The VFS provides robust resources to the myriad professionals currently entering the Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) sector—thereby increasing their knowledge and encouraging the exchange of ideas through data and dialogue.

The VFS holds the world’s largest and longest-running vertical flight technical conference. This year’s 79th Annual Forum & Technology Display will be held 16 through 18 May in West Palm Beach, Florida. The event will provide a stimulating and informative backdrop against which attendees may enjoy upwards of 250 technical paper presentations, fifty VIP presentations from leaders in government and industry, and over sixty technology exhibitors—the combined knowledge and efforts of which make the VFS Annual Forum the worlds’ premier VTOL technology event. What’s more, the gathering is the only conference at which executives from the leading helicopter manufacturers, eVTOL developers, and technology suppliers meet directly with suppliers, military leaders, and the vertical flight technical base. Such interaction facilitates the perpetuation of learning and showcases the latest advances from industry, academia, and government researchers.

The VFS has been at the forefront of what it calls the Electric VTOL Revolution since 2014, when the society held the world’s first meeting of the nascent eVTOL community. Attracting more than five-hundred-attendees, the annual Electric VTOL Symposium is the planet’s largest and longest running eVTOL conference.

The VFS commenced tracking published eVTOL designs in 2016. In 2023, the society’s World eVTOL Aircraft Directory (www.evtol.news) catalogs north of eight-hundred discrete eVTOL concepts from more than 350 different companies and innovators. What’s more, the VFS’s Vertiflite magazine is the world’s leading periodical on eVTOL and rotorcraft developments.

Established in 1943 as the American Helicopter Society by the visionaries of the early helicopter industry, the Vertical Flight Society espouses the belief that technological cooperation and collaboration are essential to the development and proliferation of new aircraft technologies and types. As the American Helicopter Society championed the advent and rise of the conventional helicopter, so the Vertical Flight Society fosters the advancement of today’s revolutionary rotorcraft.

FMI: www.vtol.org

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