Urban Air Port’s Air-One system has won the UK Government’s Future Flight Challenge, which aims to implement aviation infrastructure and systems that enable the use of a new generation of electric and autonomous aircraft. Air-One is the first fully operational center in the world to offer electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, e.g. air taxis and freight drones – and the first copy of which will be commissioned in Coventry later this year.
Urban Air Port is developing a fully autonomous, innovative, zero-emission infrastructure for future aviation. The company’s ambitious project, the Air-One program, in collaboration with industry and the public and public sectors, demonstrates how to unlock the potential of sustainable urban aviation to alleviate traffic congestion, reduce air pollution and reduce overall emissions. to provide a carbon footprint for transport while providing a seamless passenger and freight solution. NASA predicts that the urban aviation sector in the United States alone could develop into a market of up to $ 500 billion in the short term. The organization also explained that one of the primary barriers to market growth is the lack of adequate infrastructure1 – Urban Air Port was created to address precisely this problem. Hyundai Motor Group’s Urban Aviation Division has selected Urban Air Port as its primary infrastructure partner to promote the global development of the brand new sector. The South Korean company plans to implement a self-developed eVTOL aircraft and supports the development of a comprehensive urban aviation ecosystem. Hyundai Motor Group intends to commercialize its own aircraft by 2028; provides support for the development of Air-One in connection with this objective.
“Cars need roads, trains need rails, aircraft need airports. Urban Air Port is also a prerequisite for the operation of eVTOL vehicles. ” Said Ricky Sandhu, founder and president and CEO of Urban Air Port. “The world’s first commercial flight took off more than a hundred years ago, creating our modern world where everything is connected. Urban Air Port creates a better connection between our cities, improves productivity and helps the UK become a leader in creating a brand new, green global economy. ”
“Once upon a time, we saw flying cars as creatures of soaring imagination. Air-One brings clean urban aviation to everyone and creates a new, high-rise world of zero-emission mobility. “
“The development of the server infrastructure will play a key role in the implementation of Hyundai’s eVTOL program.” said Pamela Cohn, Managing Director of Hyundai Motor Group’s Urban Air Mobility Division. “Air-One is a special project that, thanks to which we can play a leading role in creating a robust, affordable, intermodal infrastructure network for future mobility. We are delighted to be part of this UK partnership to deliver secure, affordable, people-centered mobility solutions that open up new opportunities for society as a whole. ”
Urban Air Port takes up 60 percent less space than a traditional helicopter landing site, which is closest in concept to the new development. Thanks to the innovative design, the installation of a station takes only a few days, its net carbon emissions are zero, and it can be operated completely independently of energy networks, ie it does not necessarily need a proper network connection. Urban Air Port seeks to provide an integrated solution for decarbonizing large cities. By design, it can accommodate any eVTOL aircraft and can support other modes of sustainable transport as a central service unit for electric vehicles, buses or scooters. Urban Air Port can be easily relocated to alternative locations, adapting to the evolution of the air mobility market. This also means that the receiving unit is also an ideal solution for disaster prevention or response tasks. Urban Air Port is ideal for launching lightning-fast drones or other eVTOL vehicles to collect and deliver aid packages, equipment or even people.
“Urban Air Port can revolutionize the way cities around the world travel.” Said Gary Cutts, director of the Future Flight Challenge program launched by UK Research and Innovation, a UK research and innovation organization. “It can build a closer relationship between them, make their transport cleaner and speed up their green economic recovery. Due to its unmistakably innovative nature, the project embodies the purpose and essence of the Future Flight Challenge fund and will help the UK to become a pioneer in electric urban aviation. ”
The company will build more than 200 platforms over the next five years to meet global demand. Several cities have already indicated, both in the UK and beyond, that they would be happy to establish an Urban Air Port. Having secured the financial resources needed to implement Air-One, Urban Air Port is now in talks with potential investors to create the conditions for rapid market launch and international growth. Urban Air Port has chosen Coventry as the location for its first platform for several reasons. On the one hand, the city is in a key position in the heart of the UK, and on the other hand, it is a traditional automotive and aerospace industry hub with professionals and expertise to serve the manufacturing industry of the future. Thanks to the special location of the city, almost any part of the country can be easily reached within four hours. In December 2020, Coventry was chosen as the most suitable British city for electric driving. The city will be the cultural capital of the country in 2021; Air-One will be unveiled at related festivities later this year and will be given an important role at the 2022 Commonwealth Games2.
“Our city is already actively contributing to shaping the future of electric transport.” Said Councilor Jim O’Boyle, a member of Coventry City Council responsible for employment and leisure. “This current groundbreaking project once again puts Coventry at the forefront of new technologies, highlighting how the city council is working closely with various local organizations to create the conditions for a better, greener future.”
Urban Air Port and its research partners at the University of Coventry strive to make the general public better understand and accept the new technology – which is essential to its long-term success. To this end, live demonstrations will be held on the Air-One platform to be set up in Coventry, from remote control of aircraft to the process of loading / refueling to loading goods and boarding passengers. Autonomous and pilot-driven eVTOL aircraft will serve three basic market segments: these are air taxi services, autonomous logistics tasks, and disaster and emergency management. Malloy Aeronautics, a market leader in drone development and manufacturing and air freight in the UK, will be the drone partner for Urban Air Port. The company is showcasing its large cargo drones on the Air-One platform.
“Our fundamental goal is to implement self-guided air freight in an urban environment and to harmonize it with a sufficiently flexible and adaptable service infrastructure using intelligent operating systems that represents state-of-the-art innovation.” Said Oriol Badia, CEO of Malloy Aeronautics. “Air-One can meet the diverse transport needs of the future, from disaster relief to providing the UK consumer with basic, everyday goods. The strong collaboration between Malloy and Urban Air Port creates particularly exciting opportunities, combining superior usability and reliable functionality in a single, turnkey product. Urban Air Port has won £ 1.2 million in funding under the Future Flight Challenge program organized by UK Research and Innovation. The program is funded by a £ 125 million grant from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, to which industry players are expected to contribute up to £ 175 million.