World’s first ‘vertiport’ could be used for flying taxis in future

A rendering of a future vertiport.  

One vertiport already exists in Coventry city centre in the UK.

It is currently used to launch drones into the sky. But the company that designed it, Urban Air-Port, is also trying to adapt it to flying taxis by 2024.It plans to build 200 similar facilities worldwide in the next five years.

r“It is the future of a segment of aviation that is coming. It will be here by the end of this decade. And I think in the 2030s it will start to become ubiquitous,” said Michael Whitaker, the chief commercial officer of Supernal.

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eVTOL: The flying vehicles that may be the future of transportation

A Hexa in the air

By Anderson Cooper

If you’ve ever had the fantasy of soaring over bumper-to-bumper traffic in a flying vehicle, that may be possible sooner than you think. Not with a flying car, but with a battery-powered aircraft called an eVTOL, a clunky acronym for electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle. Dozens of companies are spending billions of dollars to make eVTOLs that will operate like air taxis – taking off and landing from what are called vertiports on the tops of buildings, parking garages or helipads in congested cities.  EVTOLs promise a faster, safer and greener mode of transportation – potentially changing the way we work and live. Sound too good to be true? We went for a joyride to find out.

If this looks like an oversized drone I’m about to take off in, that’s pretty much what it is. 

It’s a single-seat eVTOL called Hexa, powered by 18 propellers, each with its own battery. No jet fuel required. 

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Canada’s hyperloop dream gets $550m capital injection

By KARL TOMUSK

While hyperloop projects around the world stall or get scrapped entirely, a Toronto startup has secured funding to develop a high-speed tube transportation line between Edmonton and Calgary.

TransPod’s plans claim that it could cut the journey between the two cities from three hours to 45 minutes and add $19.2bn to Alberta’s GDP by 2030.

In a vote of confidence, the UK’s Broughton Capital Group and the Chinese state-owned China-East Resources Import & Export Company agreed in principle to provide a combined $550m to fund the project.

“As the first and only company to confirm such finance for a multibillion dollar tube transportation infrastructure project, TransPod is proud of its commitment to driving growth in Alberta through true innovation and partnership,” said Sebastian Gendron, co-founder and CEO of the startup.

Expected to complete in 2030, the line has the potential to cut carbon emissions by 636,000 tonnes per year by removing some cars and planes from circulation and by generating solar power along the route, TransPod said.

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‘The Jet’ to fly across Dubai waters as world’s first hydrogen-powered boat is set for UAE launch

The vehicle will be able to carry up to 12 passengers and cruise at a speed of 40 knots

Swiss-based start-up THE JET ZeroEmission announced that it has inked an agreement with Zenith Marine Services LLC, a UAE based company; and DWYN LLC to manufacture and operate ‘THE JET’ – the first clean-energy, hydrogen-powered flying boat. Featuring an iconic design, the boat’s world premiere will be held in Dubai.https://640311b1a08327713afc3fa42ce45ffc.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

The announcement reflects Dubai’s leading position as a global hub for future industries. Dubai’s robust infrastructure and supportive investment environment has made it an ideal launchpad for innovative companies to reach their global ambitions.

‘THE JET’ features cutting-edge characteristics and technologies, making it capable of flying in silence over the waters at a cruising speed of 40 knots. The luxurious boat has a capacity of 8 to 12 passengers, and is equipped with two fuel cells and an air conditioner as well as other clean-tech, environmentally friendly technologies that help reduce carbon emissions.

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UK Startup Wants to Build 200 Flying Taxi Vertiports in 65 Cities

A massive boost for eVTOL infrastructure.

By  Chris Young

U.K. startup Urban-Air Port (UAP) announced that it has secured a new investment from Supernal, which was previously the Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group.

The funds will help it build 200 vertiport sites in 65 cities across the globe over the next five years, a press statement reveals. 

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Boeing Invests $450 Million in Wisk to Fund Moonshot Self-Flying Air Taxi Project

Wisk is developing an autonomous electric eVTOL that can seat three to four passengers. 

By Sissi Cao 

CERTIFICATION FOR SELF-DRIVING EVTOLS COULD BE YEARS AWAY.

Boeing said on Monday it has agreed to invest $450 million in the air taxi startup, Wisk Aero, to fund the development of a fully autonomous, electric aircraft that could one day fly millions of commuters in the world’s busiest cities. The funding around is one of the largest in the nascent eVTOL (electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing vehicle) industry.

Wisk was created in 2019 as a joint venture between Boeing and a unit of Kitty Hawk, the flying company founded by Google cofounder Larry Page that was developing an autonomous two-seater eVTOL called Cora. Cora is currently being tested as Wisk’s fifth-generation eVTOL. The investment from Boeing will fund the company’s development of the sixth-generation aircraft, a larger vehicle designed to seat three to four passengers, Wisk said.

Wisk seeks to certify the sixth-generation vehicle for urban taxi use in the U.S., Europe and Asia, CEO Gary Gyson told Observer in an interview last year.

The certification process could take years, however, especially for an unpiloted aircraft like Wisk’s. Wisk declined to disclose its estimated timeline for obtaining the FAA flight approval, but acknowledged that it may come after piloted eVTOLs get certified.

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Bird-Shaped Flying Car Phractyl Macrobat Is a Bonkers, Idealistic Take on Air Mobility

eVTOLs haven’t “arrived” yet, despite earlier predictions that man will be enjoying personal flight no later than 2020. The latest estimates claim that UAMs (Urban Air Mobility solutions) will go into production within a decade, but it will still be another while before they go mainstream.

By Elena Gorgan

The upside to the extended wait is that it allows for more time to perfect battery technology which, in turn, will offer Phractyl the chance to finalize the design on the most bonkers and idealistic aircraft ever. As the “most genius”artist on the face of the planet would say (*Kanye West): OF ALL TIME.

This is Macrobat, an all-electric PAV (Personal Aerial Vehicle) like no other before. You could call it a flying-car birdoplane, and the people behind it, a team of researchers and designers from Africa, would probably appreciate it. Introduced in mid-November (hat tip to Interesting Engineering), it is now raising funds toward further developing the study and building a first functional prototype. 

Phractyl, the name of the startup, stands for the PHRontier for Agile Complex Technology sYstem evoLution. Macrobat was named so because “bats are the only mammals that can fly, and the Macrobat facilitates the flight of another type of mammal (badum-tish),” as the description on the official website reads. As you can see, the people behind the project have a very healthy sense of humor, which probably helps when it comes to selling an idea as bonkers as this.

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Hyperloop Transportation Technologies offers look inside capsule that will one day travel at 700 mph

By: John Kosich

CLEVELAND — While we’ve talked about Hyperloop travel since plans were announced in 2018 to one day connect Cleveland to Chicago in 28 minutes or Cleveland to Pittsburgh in 19, the renderings have always been from the outside. Now for the first time, Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, the group behind the Cleveland project, is giving us the inside look.

“This is the interior that we’re building for the first Hyperloop system so a version of this is what you’ll be able to ride for the first Hyperloop between Chicago and Cleveland,” said Robert Miller, HyperloopTT’s chief marketing officer.

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South Korea Demonstrates System to Control Air Taxis, to be Used at Airports by 2025

South Korea demonstrated a system for controlling urban air mobility vehicles (UAM) on Thursday, which it hopes will serve as taxis between major airports and downtown Seoul as soon as 2025.

SEOUL: South Korea demonstrated a system for controlling urban air mobility vehicles (UAM) on Thursday, which it hopes will serve as taxis between major airports and downtown Seoul as soon as 2025, cutting travel time by two-thirds.

Last year, South Korea announced a roadmap to begin commercial urban air travel by 2025. The transport ministry estimates such services could cut travel time for distances between 30-50km (19-31 miles) from an hour by car to 20 minutes by air.

“As UAM is expected to become one of the common means of transportation that citizens use in daily life, it is absolutely imperative that we test and try out UAM services in various environments,” Transport Minister Noh Hyeong-ouk, who attended the demonstration on Thursday, said in a statement.

A pilot flew a two-seat model made by Germany’s Volocopter at Seoul’s Gimpo Airport to test and demonstrate its control and coordination.

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Flying Electric Cars Compete In A Drag Race

The Mk3 Speeders flew at over 100 kmph and heights of 10 metres above the ground. 

A landmark moment in the future of motorsport played out in the deserts of South Australia last week as a pre-season test concluded with the first ever timed electric flying car drag-race. The drag-race was part of a key pre-season testing session for EXA, Airspeeder’s first electric flying car racing season, created by Alauda Aeronautics. This historic moment provided a first glimpse of flying car racing as a sporting entity, ahead of international competition in 2022.

Race events will see a grid of full-scale electric flying cars known as Speeders race blade-to-blade. Teams from a broad range of industries will be provided with the Speeders but given technical and tactical freedom to approach gaining competitive edge in the series as they see fit. This will ensure close motorsport based on pilot skill and race management.

Because flying car racing does not require the same physical infrastructure as legacy motorsport, this presents a sport built from the ground-up with sensitivity to the global requirement to race with minimal ecological impact.

This first drag-race represented the culmination of intense internal competition between two-sides of the Alauda Aeronautics technical team. The result was a tense and visually enthralling encounter with the internal teams forced to adapt strategy in line with wind and dust conditions in the selected desert location. As races play out in varying conditions including over ice, over sea, deserts and even forest locations, mastery of external factors add a compelling tactical layer to the sport.

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Electric air taxis planned to fly above potholes of Rome

The Volocopter displayed in the Piazza San Silvestro in central Rome on Thursday.

By Soraya Ebrahimi

Flying cab could be taking travellers from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport within three years.

With streets full of potholes, buses erupting in flames and soul-crushing traffic in the Eternal City, some say the only way is up.

A new electric air taxi could take passengers from Rome’s Fiumicino Airport to the city centre within three years, according to German company Volocopter, Rome’s airport operator ADR and transport infrastructure holding company Atlantia.

The project, called VoloCity – which is also planned for Paris and Singapore – promises to whisk people from the airport to the city in 20 minutes, with no traffic and zero emissions, travelling at a maximum of 110kph.

Initially, the taxi will carry the pilot plus one passenger, “until the aircraft will fly completely autonomously”, when it will be able to take two passengers, the partners said.

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Spanish start-up Zeleros to start pilot hyperloop project carrying cargo next year

Company says it is on track to take cargo by the end of 2022 and people by 2030 

By Ramola Talwar Badam

Spanish start-up Zeleros said it would have a working prototype of a hyperloop ready to carry cargo in the port of Valencia by the end of next year.

Juan Vicen, co-founder and chief marketing officer of Zeleros, told The National the company was also working on passenger pods that will carry between 50 to 200 passengers. The technology to test with passengers will be ready by 2030.We are kind of doing an electric aircraft inside a tube, without wingsJuan Vicen, co-founder of Zeleros

The company displayed a model of their hyperloop at the Spanish pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai for the first time on Tuesday.

“It will not be for passengers in the first test, as we want to ensure we can achieve reasonable speeds of 600kph,” Mr Vicen said.“For passengers we are talking about 2025 to 2030. This we consider reasonable in terms of safety to test passengers inside at higher speeds.”

The first capsule to be tested will carry about 300 kilograms to 2 tonnes of materials at the eastern Spanish port, which is the busiest in the Mediterranean Sea.

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