Research Projects

Our research is looking at different urban morphologies, population distributions, local regulatory frameworks, and airspace constraints so that we can adjust aircraft design and operational requirements.

Map showing possible air taxi routes in Dallas-Fort Worth, TexasAre Air Taxis Coming to a City Near You?

Advancements in electric propulsion and autonomy technologies are leading to the development of a new class of electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. These aircraft may complement existing transportation systems by providing on-demand or scheduled air taxi service within urban areas. Through their ability to fly over congested ground transportation, air taxis may offer door-to-door travel-time savings for commute trips compared to traditional modes. read more


Demand Modeling for Air Taxi Service

Excitement is growing within the aviation community as improvements in battery technologies offer the potential for dramatically lower operating costs for new classes of electric propulsion aircraft. By reducing aircraft operating costs by as much as 30%, electric propulsion could transform both air and surface transportation. read more


Battery Requirements for Electric VTOL Aircraft for Urban Air Mobility (UAM)

Prof. Brian German collaborated with Rob McDonald to investigate the implications of battery specific energy on sizing and range performance of electric VTOL aircraft for Uber’s planned Dallas–Fort Worth UAM market. They presented their work at the Uber Elevate Summit in April 2017 in Dallas. Here is a video of their talk: read more


Cargo Delivery by Passenger-Class Electric VTOL Aircraft

In a NASA-funded study, Brian German collaborated with Matt Daskilewicz and students Thomas Hamilton and Matthew Warren to assess potential concepts of operations for using battery electric VTOL UAM aircraft, of the type now being considered for passenger service, for cargo delivery. The team considered a notional cargo service in the San Francisco Bay Area, in which eVTOL aircraft deliver packages from an Amazon fulfillment center east of the city to a select few urban cargo veritports.  read more


Economic Thin Haul Aviation Concepts (ETHACS)

In this NASA NRA project, Brian German is the PI for a multidisciplinary, multi-university team working to develop technologies and concepts of operations for invigorating regional aviation at small airports. The team has approached the problem by investigating system solutions that directly map to the profitability of air carriers engaged in thin haul commuter operations.  read more