GOLETA, California –Aerospace propulsion company LaunchPoint Electric Propulsion Solutions, Inc. – a leader in developing electric motors, hybrid-electric propulsion systems and control software for advanced air mobility – is pleased to announce its participation in the Vertical Flight Society’s 77th Annual Forum and Technology Display, being held virtually from May 10 to 14, 2021.
Michael Ricci, LaunchPoint’s Chief Technology Officer and co-founder, will speak on an eVTOL Special Session forum panel about enabling technologies for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Ricci is the driving force behind LaunchPoint’s “Propulsion by Wire” electric aircraft propulsion system, one of the company’s many cutting-edge innovations. As a panel member, he will share insights based on his extensive development experience in advanced power electronics, electromagnetic and mechanical systems, embedded software development, and control system design.A prolific member of the Vertical Flight Society (VFS), Ricci has presented at organization events since 2014 when he gave a talk on electric technologies at the inaugural Transformative Vertical Flight Workshop. The workshop was the world’s first gathering of early eVTOL pioneers. Ricci is also a regular contributor and co-author of industry technical papers, has sat on VFS’ eVTOL committee since its founding in 2019, and championed several short courses for eVTOL aircraft aerospace engineers.“LaunchPoint are world experts in electric motor technology. It has been fantastic that Michael Ricci and LaunchPoint have been so giving of their knowledge and expertise,” VFS Executive Director Mike Hirschberg said. “VFS is all about collaboration and bringing together different technologies and organizations that each have an important part to play, just like eVTOL is aconfluence of different technologies that are key to make it happen. LaunchPoint’s technologies and leadership are true enablers that support what we call the Electric VTOL Revolution.”In addition to his participation at the annual forum, Ricci has been invited to co-instruct the annual VFS short course on eVTOL Technology, to be held in June 2021. The course provides an overview of the unique challenges and opportunities of this new class of vehicles and is taught by leading experts in their fields.“Ricci and LaunchPoint have been leaders in helping the industry better understand the technology of electric motors, as well as their capabilities and challenges,” said Hirschberg. “We’ve had hundreds of students go through the short course, including myself, and it’s been really eye opening and educational for everyone.”For his part, Ricci said he is honored to represent LaunchPoint at the VFS forum and as a course instructor. “VFS has been at the heart of eVTOL since the industry’s earliest days, and a great supporter of LaunchPoint,” he said. By sharing his expertise with other VFS members, Ricci hopes to drive transformative change in the emerging eVTOL industry.“Transformative changes in technology don’t happen through one person or even one company,” Ricci said. “It’s an effort across an entire industry or combination of industries that all work together over many years to solve problems in different disciplines.”LaunchPoint recently announced the release for broad industry licensing of the Modeling Advanced Aircraft Propulsion (MAAP™) tool, designed to virtually model configuration scenarios for new electric and hybrid-electric aircraft systems. The software tool allows developers to vary power levels, number of rotors, battery and fuel levels, and overall system layout to fast-track design cycle time while optimizing performance and weight. LaunchPoint’s available propulsion products include two versions of its hybrid-electric propulsion systems: the 5 KW hybrid-electric genset for drones and the 40 KW genset for larger drone cargo and future air taxies.To date, LaunchPoint’s contracted customers include the U.S. Department of Defense as well as Fortune 500 aerospace and automotive companies. Projects include developing hybrid-electric flight technology for the U.S. Army, and “flying car” technology for the U.S. Air Force’s Agility Prime program.To view the full schedule of events for the Vertical Flight Society’s 77th Annual Forum visit www.vtol.org/forum