• 212 days Could Crypto Overtake Traditional Investment?
  • 217 days Americans Still Quitting Jobs At Record Pace
  • 219 days FinTech Startups Tapping VC Money for ‘Immigrant Banking’
  • 222 days Is The Dollar Too Strong?
  • 223 days Big Tech Disappoints Investors on Earnings Calls
  • 223 days Fear And Celebration On Twitter as Musk Takes The Reins
  • 225 days China Is Quietly Trying To Distance Itself From Russia
  • 225 days Tech and Internet Giants’ Earnings In Focus After Netflix’s Stinker
  • 229 days Crypto Investors Won Big In 2021
  • 230 days The ‘Metaverse’ Economy Could be Worth $13 Trillion By 2030
  • 230 days Food Prices Are Skyrocketing As Putin’s War Persists
  • 233 days Pentagon Resignations Illustrate Our ‘Commercial’ Defense Dilemma
  • 233 days US Banks Shrug off Nearly $15 Billion In Russian Write-Offs
  • 236 days Cannabis Stocks in Holding Pattern Despite Positive Momentum
  • 237 days Is Musk A Bastion Of Free Speech Or Will His Absolutist Stance Backfire?
  • 237 days Two ETFs That Could Hedge Against Extreme Market Volatility
  • 239 days Are NFTs About To Take Over Gaming?
  • 240 days Europe’s Economy Is On The Brink As Putin’s War Escalates
  • 243 days What’s Causing Inflation In The United States?
  • 244 days Intel Joins Russian Exodus as Chip Shortage Digs In
  1. Home
  2. Tech
  3. Other

UK Unicorn Eyes Flying Taxis By 2022

Flying Taxi

A British energy entrepreneur and former Formula 1 racing team owner, Stephen Fitzpatrick, thinks he’s got exactly what it takes to build a new inter-city “flying taxi” services and launch it through a UK startup by 2022.

Welcome to the real beginning of the race to build electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft—the taxis of our (apparently) near-future.

“We are investing in all the technology evolution taking place in aerospace but we are trying to apply that to something that’s real world and is possible to execute four years out,” Fitzpatrick, the founder and CEO of the bold new startup, Vertical Aerospace, told Reuters.

The startup is planning to offer short-haul inter-city flights to multiple, simultaneous passengers using a piloted aircraft.

The startup has been working on the idea for two years, and is banking on a team of some 30 veteran aerospace and technical experts with dynamite CVs, including experience with Airbus, Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Martin Jetpack and GE.

We’ve already seen drone-helicopter hybrids tested globally, so the idea of a flying taxi isn’t as sci-fi as it might have been just a short while ago. But this time it’s different, says Vertical Aerospace.

This time, it’s about going beyond concept and putting the idea into practical application. Nor is it even far-fetched. According to Fitzpatrick, many eVTOL components are comparable—from a technological standpoint—to those he is familiar with from his Formula One days. Related: Trump Urges Apple To Build Products In The U.S.

“We’ve learned a lot from Formula 1, both in terms of technology and pace of development,” said Fitzpatrick, as reported by The Verge. “The lightweight materials, aerodynamics and electrical systems developed through F1 are highly applicable to aircraft, much more so than to road transport. By putting those technologies in the hands of experienced aerospace engineers, we can build cutting edge aircraft for the 21st Century.”

Is 2022 realistic?

Well, others in this air taxi race say they’ll get there before Vertical Aerospace.

Uber, for one, thinks it’s going to get to the sky quickly. In fact, it’s teamed up with NASA on an air-ride-hailing concept using autonomous passenger drones. And it’s saying it will be in the air in two years. The concept focuses on helicopter-style rotors for vertical take-off and landing, and fixed wings for traveling up to 200mph over longer distances.

There is also Volocopter, which is testing drone taxis that resemble a small helicopter powered by 18 rotors, and AeroMobil, with a stretch-limousine concept that can turn into a fixed-wing aircraft.

Flying car startup Kitty Hawk unveiled its new vehicle this year, the Flyer, which its CEO says is  “as easy to fly as playing Minecraft.”

Amid all of this competition, Vertical Aerospace insists it’s in the front of the pack in this crowded race--and it’s targeting some of the most congested air corridors in the world using aircraft that don’t need runways and that can also travel for up to 500 miles.

There is room for more than one winner, though.

After all, annual air passenger journeys are projected to reach $7.2 billion by 2035.

By David Craggen for Safehaven.com

More Top Reads From Safehaven.com

Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment