First urban air taxi services to start soon

air taxi
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Test flights of the AutoFlight air taxi have been successful, and air taxi services will soon be launched in China. However, there could well be countries that will overtake China in the air taxi sector.

In about two years we will be able to travel by air taxi in China

An electric air taxi capable of vertical take-off and landing, which has performed well in tests, was recently unveiled to the public in China. A network of 600 take-off and landing points for AutoFlight air transport company’s eVTOL (Vertical Take-off and Landing) vehicles is planned to be set up in Shenzhen by the end of 2025. The first air taxi service in the Asian country is expected to start there in 2026, according to CGRN.

On its demonstration flight in China, the air taxi managed to complete a city journey of roughly 3 hours in less than 20 minutes, travelling at an altitude of 80-100 metres, using a conventional car. The distance would have been almost 58 kilometres as the crow flies and at least 98 kilometres on the road. But in the air, for example, traffic was not an obstacle.

Air taxi service launched in Japan

Otherwise, there may be a country that will overtake AutoFlight in launching an air taxi service. About half a year ago, Suzuki and SkyDrive signed a manufacturing partnership. And recently it was announced that they will start manufacturing flying cars in Japan. The two companies will produce the SD-05 models, unveiled in September 2022, at the carmaker’s plant in Iwata.

The two-seater electric vehicle, which can take off and land vertically, is designed to cover a distance of 10-15 km. Its twelve rotors can reach speeds of up to 100 km/h. The first production models are expected to serve as air taxis, first in Osaka. However, lighter, smaller and quieter than helicopters, it could also be used for rescue missions. In the future, they would like to add a self-driving function.

In a few years, a hydrogen car could be on sale

The world’s first hydrogen-powered flying car capable of vertical take-off and landing will cost roughly 11 million US dollars, to develop. The project is the brainchild of an Australian couple, with half of the cost being provided by Australia, according to Interesting Engineering.

A battery-powered version of the plane was completed by the couple in 2017. It was capable of 300km/hour and could travel up to 250km on a single charge.

However, the hydrogen version under development could be capable of covering up to 1,000 km on a single refueling, with the same top speed as the previous generation.

The vehicle’s wing can be tilted. Eight rotors support take-off, landing and propulsion. It will be able to carry five people and can also be used for rescue and freight transport. Moreover, the technology could significantly reduce the carbon footprint of aviation. It is expected to be available from 2026.


Source: news.cgtn | interestingengineering

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