Stephen Fitzpatrick, founder and CEO of UK-based Vertical Aerospace, a maker of eVTOL electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft, has named the mid-2020s as the launch date for the flying taxi, Reuters reported.
Vertical is developing a zero-emission VA-X4 mini-jets that can fly four passengers up to 120 miles (193 kilometers) almost silently. Fitzpatrick said flights between Heathrow Airport and the Canary Wharf business district in east London will take 15 minutes and cost £ 50 (almost five thousand rubles) per passenger. Test flights will begin in 2022.
This prospect caught the attention of airlines, which pre-ordered over 1,000 VA-X4s. “We’re going to make deals. We see that interest and demand from airlines is very high, ”Fitzpatrick said.
Vertical will complete its merger with a New York-based company by the end of 2021. Through this, it plans to raise $ 394 million from investors – American Airlines, the aircraft lessor Avolon, Honeywell, Rolls-Royce and Microsoft’s M12.
With the money raised from the merger, Vertical will certify aircraft by the end of 2024. “The aircraft certification process is well known. The technology is new, but the steps we need to go through are similar to other aircraft, ”Fitzpatrick added, noting that the process is the Vertical’s biggest challenge.
In Russia, the Hover company also plans to launch a flying taxi by 2025 – the project has invested $ 1.5 million. It is planned that it will be a passenger drone capable of lifting two people into the air. They will be in a protective capsule that will take a hit in the event of an accident. The taxi will be controlled by a digital system. Hyundai’s Europe CEO Michael Cole said flying cars will appear in major cities around the world by 2030 to help tackle congestion and reduce emissions.