The U.S. Air Force plans to support projects to develop urban aircraft, “air taxis,” because some types or related technologies could be used for military purposes.
A program called Agility Prime will be launched on April 27, according to an article by Flightglobal: development companies can receive funding from the U.S. Air Force (USAF) budget for urban, specially electric, vertical take-off and landing air taxis (eVTOL ) are being developed.
The military hopes that certain projects in the emerging industry can also serve military purposes, even indirectly.
I would like to specifically support the construction of prototypes and through them to examine the five main parameters of new types of aircraft – maintenance needs, safety, noise emissions, infrastructure needs and maintenance costs.
There are also developments around major manufacturers such as Boeing, Bell and Airbus. Their primary purpose is to create eVTOL vehicles that carry passengers within or between cities.
The time has come for the flying cars seen in the movies to become a reality, said Will Roper, the ministry’s defense commissioner coordinating the planned program.
First and foremost, the goal is not to transport people over war zones in the U.S. armed forces, but to provide basic supplies, such as food, ammunition, or medical equipment, to soldiers, possibly risking the lives of as few pilots as possible.
Only then can the phase come when complete units are already being delivered to the battlefield by electric planes, but this will require more capacity.
Of the realistic concepts, even the largest are planned to carry only a maximum of six people at the moment.
In addition, advanced autonomous flight capabilities over the battlefield and even self-defense equipment controlled by artificial intelligence may be required. Thus, essentially, the development of military eVTOL vehicles should follow the same path as civilian solutions.