The British company Vertical Aerospace has presented a project of a serial electric air taxi VA-1X, which, according to the developers, will be simplified to indicate the destination and monitor flight performance. According to eVTOL, a promising vertical takeoff and landing vehicle will be able to carry five people: a pilot and four passengers.
Some developers are confident that air taxi will speed up passenger transportation within cities, as well as between city and suburbs. In addition, it is believed that air taxi will reduce the burden on public transport and reduce traffic congestion. For this reason, today many companies in different countries of the world are developing air taxis of different classes.
The VA-1X is a high-wing aircraft design with a V-tail unit. Four beams will be installed on the wing of the aircraft, two under each of the consoles. In front of the beams, the developers will place electric motors with four-blade propellers.
The propellers in front of the beams can be installed horizontally for vertical takeoff or landing and vertically for a fast aeroplane flight. Electric motors with horizontal two-blade propellers will also be installed at the rear of the beams. They will turn on during takeoff and landing and turn off in level flight.
The VA-1X will have a length of 13 meters and a wingspan of 15 meters. Due to its size, the aircraft will be able to land on existing helipads. The carrying capacity of the air taxi will be 450 kilograms, and the flight range will be 160 kilometres at a speed of up to 240 kilometres per hour. The air taxi will be equipped with a fly-by-wire control system.
The developers plan to assemble the first sample of the device in 2021 and test it. Earlier, Vertical Aerospace said that certification of the aircraft is scheduled for completion in late 2023 - early 2024.
In mid-August, the Japanese company SkyDrive announced its intention to begin commercial operation of the eponymous air taxi in 2023. The first passenger flights by air taxi will be performed over water - over the Gulf of Osaka. The air taxi will be manned and will be able to carry only one passenger.
Photo: Vertical aerospace