Dean Donovan: How advanced air mobility will transform the economy #Rev22


It was the social and economic transformation that the expansion of advanced air mobility (AAM) will bring which created the basis for Dean Donovan’s presentation at Revolution.Aero ’22.

 “I want to tell you about the invisible fabric of society, which is logistics and transportation ,” said Donovan, managing director, DiamondStream Partners. “And underlying that is aviation. I call it invisible because take it for granted on a daily basis.”

What is possible now versus what was possible in 1950 – overseas education, summer fruits in winter, travelling for business or tourism – is all thanks to aviation, he said.

Donovan posed the question: What has more cost per mile? A pair of running trainers, a Toyota Camry or an Airbus A330?

“The shoes are about $0.20 a mile. At a $100 you’ll go 500miles. A helicopter is $1.80. A Camry is about $0.30-$0.40. Commercial aviation is $0.01! It is incredibly efficient. And why? Two reasons: One is the technology damn good. You’ve got something that can fly 10-11hrs a day with a 99.9% completion factor and it last 30 years.”

The second reason is scale. “Aviation operates at a massive scale. Grand central is puny. Heathrow is big, JFK is big. This is what has made commercial aviation over 500miles such a dominant presence in the transportation business. But the problem is, it’s really only 500miles. Every place else we come up short and that has given us the missing-middle.”

Under 500 miles its is 97% ground transportation and just 0.4% aviation. “As someone said yesterday, under 500miles you can have a bad car trip or a bad flight. But we’re going to change all that in the next few years.”

There are two technologies that will drive the change. Electric propulsion, which will make small aircraft as “efficient or more efficient than a Boeing 777“.

The second thing is autonomy, which is going to make small aircraft much more cost efficient, because you remove the need for as many pilots, according to Donovan.

Playback the complete session above and make sure to come back to Revolution.Aero as we publish more content from #Rev22.

Watch the FAA, executive director, Aircraft Certification Service, Lirio Liu’s keynote address at  #Rev22.

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