Commuters of the future won’t be trapped in trains or cars but flying across the countryside in airborne taxis.
From the pages of Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” to the cinematic fantasy of Luc Besson’s “The Fifth Element” via the cartoon capers of “The Jetsons,” that has long been the vision of science fiction.
But a British company believes it could transform fantasy into reality within the next decade.
Perhaps motivated by the misery of traveling to work in one of the world’s most congested cities, London-based Avcen have unveiled plans to develop jetpods — small twin-jet aircraft capable of taking off and landing over much shorter distances than conventional light aircraft.
Using thrust management technology, the VQSTOL (Very Quiet Short Take-off and Landing) jetpod also reduces the noise of a regular jet engine by 50 percent, making it more comparable to a busy road.
And with a cruising speed of 350 miles per hour, the jetpod would be both quicker and quieter than a helicopter.
Requiring just 125 meters to take off and 300 meters to land, Avcen hopes busy city centers will embrace the jetpod, building elevated runways above harbors, roads and railway tracks to handle arrivals and departures from “park-and-fly” terminals located in the suburbs.
“We are expecting a great deal of interest from around the world in this new form of transportation that will see Short Take-off and Landing strips opening up inside world-class cities,” said Avcen managing director Mike Dacre.
“Avcen will not transform inner city air transportation, we hope to introduce it. We know that cities like Moscow, Tokyo and New York are crying out for something like this and there’s nothing remotely like it around.”