Successful kick-off of the Horizon Europe project eVTOLUTION

11 January 2024, von Karman institute for Fluid Dynamics, Belgium

We are both happy and excited after the very successful kick-off of the Horizon Europe project eVTOLUTION, on Jan 11th, 2024. This ambitious project will support the development of efficient, safe and quiet eVTOL aircraft for the fast-emerging Urban Air Mobility sector. The project will also address important issues such as energy management, cooling systems, the compliance with regulations, sound quality, psycho-acoustic annoyance, and the elaboration of a certification framework for new air vehicles.

eVTOLUTION will be implemented by a Consortium of leading experts in the field from various institutions across Europe, both academic and industrial: the von Karman Institute for Fluid Dynamics (Belgium), TU Delft (the Netherlands), Politecnico di Torino (Italy), University RomaTre (Italy), DLR (Germany), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Belgium), the University of Bristol (UK), Vertical Aerospace (UK), GKN Aerospace (UK), HIS Global (UK), Mejzlik Propellers (Czech Republic) and Heathrow Airport Limited (UK).


This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon Europe programme under grant agreement No Grant agreement ID: 101138209

This project supports the digital transformation of aircraft design by developing new multi-disciplinary and multi-fidelity simulation tools that will enable novel aircraft architectures with improved aerodynamics and reduced noise emissions. This project addresses more specifically the design issues of electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing aircraft developed for Urban Air Mobility, but the innovative design/optimization framework that are proposed in this project are equally applicable to other novel aircraft architectures, such as those based on Distributed Electric Propulsion, Boundary Layer Ingestion, or open rotors. One common issue for most novel aircraft concepts is indeed the complexity of the aerodynamic and acoustic interactions between the lift-thrust systems and the airframe.

eVTOLUTION is designed as a low-to-mid-TRL enabler project meant to develop the knowledge, data, tools, and methods that are necessary to understand, model, and optimize aerodynamic and aeroacoustic installation effects. The main objective of the project is to implement and demonstrate a novel design and optimization framework, built upon three pillars: (i) exploit the strengths of low-, mid-, and high-fidelity simulation methods at each phase of the design; (ii) accelerate the optimizations while preserving robustness thanks to data-driven surrogate models combined with physical models; and (iii) further consolidate the accuracy and robustness of the design and optimization using advanced experimental/numerical cross-validation and training methodologies.

The realization of these objectives will be achieved through design exercises, defined by the consortium under the guidance of its aircraft manufacturers. The analysis of the design exercises will permit quantifying the gains achieved in terms of design cycle time, prediction accuracy, optimization robustness, the efficiency of the noise-mitigation technologies, and eventually the acceleration of the certification process.

The project started in January 2024 and will end on 31 December 2027.