‘Your taxi will be with you in five minutes. The pilot’s name is Steve’. Those conversations could soon be happening if a Bristol start up is successful in getting its flying air taxi service off the ground.
The company, called Vertical Aerospace, recently announced that the first flight of its eVTOL aircraft had been successful. EVTOL stands for electric vertical take-off and landing and the company hopes that it will transform travel in the UK.
The aircraft feature four propellers at the front and back of a helicopter-shaped body and, being electric, could provide carbon-free travel for would be passengers. That environmental message is important, annual air passenger journeys are projected to reach 7.2 billion by 2035, which will have a major impact on local air pollution.
The vehicle’s vertical take-off and landing technology would also allow it to travel between exact locations, without a pilot having to make diversions to an airport. A pipe-dream? Well, the company’s founder is hopeful that they can offer eVTOL services on specific intercity routes within four years.
The company needs to get lift off pretty soon. Uber has recently announced that it was teaming up with NASA to launch a fleet of flying taxis with NASA saying its goal was to create a ride-share network that will allow US citizens to ‘hail a small aircraft the same way you use the Uber app to call a car’.
This is all pretty mind boggling stuff. Especially if you run a mini-cab company. But it could be hugely exciting for the rest of us who get tired with waiting in queues at airports or even taxi ranks.
If you want boggle your mind a bit more then watch the video that the company released for the test flight. Click here to watch it on YouTube.