• Boeing’s vertical lift portfolio is expanding with orders for new aircraft and fleet upgrades.
  • The OEM’s defense business is also looking with interest at developments from the emerging eVTOL market.
  • Boeing’s portfolio expansion translates into opportunities for S&T companies to support the training and sustainment segments of these platforms. 

Boeing is collaborating and partnering with most major helicopter manufacturers, with the exception of MIL of Russia, to advance its vertical lift offerings around the globe. For example, while Boeing is supporting Australia’s decision to proceed with the buy of 29 AH-64Es, it is also with the government of Egypt to upgrade that nation’s AH-64 fleet to an “E” configuration.

At a recent media briefing at Boeing Defense, Space and Security headquarters in St. Louis, MS&T asked Mark Cherry, Vice President and General Manager at Boeing Vertical Lift, about his businesses interest in the fast-paced adjacent eVTOL sector. The executive first called attention to Boeing’s investment in its collaboration with Kitty Hawk to create the Wisk Aero Joint Venture. While Wisk is primarily focused on commercial eVTOL applications, Cherry added, those activities are another avenue into broader vertical lift – how that technology can be transferred, along with lessons learned, for the defense market. “This is critically important to us. This is certainly one projected growth vector for Boeing future vertical lift,” Cherry concluded. 

Cherry’s career includes a five-year stint at Aurora Flight Sciences where he served as President and Chief Operating Officer. Aurora delivers innovations across aircraft configurations, autonomous systems, propulsion technologies, and manufacturing processes. 

Programs that deliver or enhance vertical lift military aircraft continue to provide business opportunities for S&T industry companies. In one case, Germany’s Ministry of Defense announced the selection of Boeing’s CH-47F Chinook to replace the nation’s aging fleet of Sikorsky CH-53Gs. Boeing is carrying forward an industry team from Germany and elsewhere to deliver 60 Chinooks. 

CAE is a prominent member of the Boeing-led team for what was called the Schwerer Transporthubschrauber program competition. CAE Defense & Security is a major provider of training for CH-47s and other military rotary aircraft. Boeing’s pursuit of other vertical lift programs around the globe will continue to provide more business opportunities for the S&T industry.