A Note From the Editors

2 min read

On 17 March 2022, we published two first-person accounts from Ukrainian IEEE members Hanna Porieva and Volodymyr Pyliavskyi as well as a Q&A with IEEE Siberian Section member Roman L. Gorbunov. Our main intention with this collection, which we titled “Stories from the War in Ukraine,” was to alert IEEE members around the world about the plight of their Ukrainian peers trying to survive the Russian invasion.

We decided to include the interview with Gorbunov to give readers insight into the thinking of a professional engineer living under a regime that controls its population through propaganda, disinformation, and coercion. Many readers, though, did not see things that way. Several wrote to say that they interpreted our decision to publish as tacit support for the views expressed or willful propagation of misinformation. That’s understandable: We apologize for not providing adequate context at the time of publication.

Our initial response to the first comments was to add an editor’s note at the top of Gorbunov’s piece pointing out that his views are at odds with international reporting on the war. We also directed readers to a source for reliable civilian casualty statistics.

Many readers were coming to the piece through social media and never realized that we had also published Porieva’s and Pyliavskyi’s accounts. So in addition to publishing this post to clarify our intentions and to apologize to readers, we encourage you to engage with the stories Porieva and Pyliavskyi worked so hard under perilous circumstances to provide to us and to you.

We encourage our readers to continue to follow our coverage of events in Ukraine. IEEE Spectrum and the Institute remain focused on publishing important and insightful news and analysis and we are committed to continuing to improve the way we report these stories by providing context and background to better inform and engage our readers.

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Finally, an eVTOL You Can Buy (Soon)

You won’t need a pilot’s license to fly Opener’s BlackFly

9 min read
An unusual aircraft with two wings and eight propellers flies above a snow-covered plain.

A BlackFly eVTOL aircraft, from Opener, completed a test flight in Saskatchewan, Canada, in November 2019.

Opener

If electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft do manage to revolutionize transportation, the date of 5 October 2011, may live on in aviation lore. That was the day when a retired mechanical engineer named Marcus Leng flew a home-built eVTOL across his front yard in Warkworth, Ont., Canada, startling his wife and several of his friends.

“So, take off, flew about 6 feet above the ground, pitched the aircraft towards my wife and the two couples that were there, who were behind automobiles for protection, and decided to do a skidding stop in front of them. Nobody had an idea that this was going to be happening,” recalls Leng

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