When Alpha Metalcraft Group showcased its products at the Helicopter Association International Heli-Expo in February in Anaheim, it marked the last time the event would be held under that name.

The show will continue next year with a new name, Verticon, and is scheduled for March 2025 in Dallas. Helicopter Association International also announced a new name, Vertical Aviation International (VAI).

The name changes reflect the changing landscape in vertical flight. “The vertical aviation industry is expanding with new technologies taking to the skies,’’ Nicole Battjes, the chair of VAI’s board of directors said during the expo. “We are committed to bringing together all segments of the industry.”

James Viola, President and CEO of VAI, told the magazine Vertical that the term helicopter was limiting and didn’t represent the entire industry. “If you fly it, fix it, maintain it, or help with the infrastructure, we want to make sure that we are the association representing you,’’ he told the publication. “As far as a rebranding, number one was that we wanted to make sure that Vertical Aviation International represents all of the capabilities of vertical aviation.”

The market for Electrical Vertical Take-off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft is anticipated to increase dramatically in the next few years. A report last year said the eVTOL market will reach $219.1million in 2028, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 16.1 percent between 2023-2030. There is a growing demand for the aircraft in the civil and military industries.

Attendance at the expo reflected the increased use of eVTOLs. The expo drew a record 15,000 professionals from 87 countries in the four-day trade show, including 625 exhibitors. “Every exhibiting company I spoke with reported high-quality traffic, and our attendees took advantage of the hundred-plus networking and education opportunities,” Viola told Vertical.

The increased interest in eVTOLs is an important development for AMG, which manufactures leading edge guards. They are primarily used on composite rotor or propeller blades.  Aircraft leading edges suffer erosion from water droplets and solid particles which strike at high speed in flight. The erosion can cause unsightly damage and structural problems and are a critical component to all vertical aircraft.

The guards are made with AMG’s electroforming process, and are made with nickel or nickel-cobalt alloy. The guards, also called abrasion strips, are usually associated with helicopters, but will also be widely used in eVTOL aircraft.