Today’s conversation is with Geoff Bower, Chief Engineer at Archer Aviation, a developer of electric vertical take off and landing – or eVTOL – aircraft.
Geoff is one of the most renowned engineers in the eVTOL arena, and we sat down for an in-depth discussion on developing and commercializing eVTOL aircraft. We start the conversation with a high level description of a day in the life of a chief engineer of a pioneering aircraft company, which sets the stage for a discussion about the assumptions and design tradeoffs that Goeff and his team faced when figuring out the requirements for an aircraft and mission for which there is really no historical precedent to rely on.
One of our favorite parts of the conversation is when Geoff talks about the design and development tools, including multidisciplinary optimization and simulation tools developed internally at Archer, that were used to arrive at what Geoff calls productivity requirements of payload, range, and speed, as well as other requirements related to the infrastructure footprint, turnaround time, manufacturability, maintainability and many others.
You will also hear from Geoff about the reasons for going with a battery electric and piloted configuration, as opposed to an autonomous aircraft with a hybrid or hydrogen propulsion system, about the economics of eVTOLs, and a deep dive into the certification process, system safety process, as well as differences between the FAA and EASA when it comes to probabilities for catastrophic failure conditions.
Enjoy the conversation with Geoff Bower!