Simon Briceno is a senior research engineer who leads the Transformative Aviation Concepts Division of the Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory. He and his team have worked with NASA Langley to better understand the value proposition of electrified commuter airplanes for regional markets and have analyzed battery recharging in electric aircraft operations via several case studies. “In addition to using cleaner energy, air vehicles with electrified propulsion can provide significant cost savings over comparable fossil–fuel powered aircraft,” Briceno states.
Most recently, Briceno was part of a NASA project that conducted a market assessment of the viability of UAM, identified potential barriers, and proposed solutions. “Our analysis showed that both last-mile package delivery and an air metro service could be financially viable as early as 2030 if we can address physical, operational, and integration challenges of a highly interdependent system of systems,” he says.
Briceno also serves as Georgia Tech’s deputy site director for the Partnership to Enhance General Aviation Safety, Accessibility, and Sustainability (PEGASAS), a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Center of Excellence for General Aviation. He is lead author on an FAA report published in 2018 that documents strategic general aviation (GA) research topics that will be important for GA stakeholders to address in order to fully participate in the emerging urban and regional air mobility models.
Looking ahead, Briceno is particularly interested in identifying community-level barriers that engineers will need to address to make urban and regional air mobility a reality. “We can design sophisticated air vehicles that overcome technical hurdles, but if the public is afraid to fly in them, or if local communities block building permits for vertiports and other required infrastructure, we will literally not get off the ground,” Briceno emphasizes.
For more information on Briceno’s research and papers related to UAM, see: