Air Taxis Are About To Change The Future Of Travel

BY DAVE MCQUILLING
Have you ever been stuck in bad traffic and daydreaming about how easy life would be if your car could just fly over the half-mile of honking metal in front of you? Well, those dreams could soon come true, sort of. The solution could be air taxis, which are basically exactly what they sound like: flying vehicles that are capable of taking a small number of passengers on short-range trips. Although it may seem like one of those futuristic ideas that are perpetually five years away, air taxis are already here, and some major companies have bought into the idea.


One of the most recent air taxi acquisitions was by United Airlines. The airline has already put down a $10 million deposit as part of a staggering $1 billion partnership with air taxi manufacturer Archer Aviation. The down payment will go toward the initial 100 air taxis United has ordered. Production on those aircraft is expected to begin in 2023, and the $1 billion deal could see United acquire 200 air taxis in total. In a statement, Archer Aviation CEO celebrated what he called the industry’s “first real cash commitment,” according to Popular Science.

United isn’t the only airline interested in air taxis and the possibilities they might bring. American Airlines and Boeing are also investing heavily in the concept. According to The Wall Street Journal, Boeing is throwing $450 million into a joint venture with Google co-founder Larry Page. If the Boeing/Page effort bears fruit, you could be whizzing around a city in a self-flying air taxi within the next few years. American Airlines has chosen to back Vertical Aerospace, a similar company to Archer Aviation, to the tune of $25 million.

Continue reading… “Air Taxis Are About To Change The Future Of Travel”
0

Zapata launches 250-km/h, flip-capable, jet-powered flying deck chair

Franky Zapata is back with another epic jet-powered flying machine

By Loz Blain

When we last saw Franky Zapata back in May, he was spinning uncontrollably down into the water from a serious height in a terrifying jetboard crash. But the flying Frenchman is back to launch a new, high-speed personal aircraft called the JetRacer.

Zapata has already built a resume most would be proud of. A former jet ski world champion, he went on to invent the Flyboard, a jet ski attachment that re-routes its water jets to let users rise out of the water like the love-child of Aquaman and Iron Man. Before long, he’d ditched the jet ski altogether, and moved to jet turbines to create the Flyboard Air, which allowed him to zoom around like the Green Goblin and set all sorts of records, on nothing more than a backpack full of kerosene fuel. He also built an “Ezfly” version with handles, a Segway of the skies for the rest of us, for whom no quantity of brown undies would ever suffice. 

The latest vehicle in the Zapata stable builds on this small-turbine technology base but takes things in a new direction. The JetRacer is effectively a carbon-fiber bucket seat that flies on the thrust from 10 of the same small jets that power the Flyboards. 

Continue reading… “Zapata launches 250-km/h, flip-capable, jet-powered flying deck chair”
0

The flying megayacht: Italian designer devises exclusive catamaran blimp

By Miquel Ros

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The aerospace industry is currently living through an era of innovation, unlike anything it has seen in recent years. From drones and air taxis to sea gliders and new clean propulsion technologies, it seems that the floodgates of creativity are wide open following decades of slow but steady incremental advances. Even airships may be about to stage a comeback.

This passion for innovation is encouraging entrepreneurs from across the globe to propose ever more outlandish concepts — one of which is the eye-catching Air Yacht, a hybrid vehicle that looks like a crossover between an airship and a catamaran.

This futuristic aircraft is the work of Italian designer Pierpaolo Lazzarini, founder of Rome-based Lazzarini Design Studio, which has designed a number of innovative projects for the automotive, yachting and aerospace industries.

Continue reading… “The flying megayacht: Italian designer devises exclusive catamaran blimp”
0

Forget Sidewalk Robots or Drones. In the Future, Food Could Travel to Your Home in Underground Pipes

By Michael Wolf

Why use a drone or sidewalk delivery robot to deliver packages when you can have them sent directly to your kitchen via a series of tubes?

No, I’m not referring to Ted Stevens’ imagining of the Internet or a plotline from a Steampunk novel, but one startup’s vision of an underground delivery network that would send packages hurling towards their end destination at speeds of up to 75 miles per hour. 

That startup is Pipedream Labs, which has a plan to build an underground pipe network for near-instant delivery of physical goods. The idea, which is one of those that is so crazy you can’t figure out if it’s brilliant or stupid, works like this:

The Pipedream delivery system would be a citywide underground delivery network that utilizes pipes and electric-powered delivery pods to shuttle things around at high speeds. It’s essentially a Hyperloop for delivery, only instead of transporting people, it will bring you the latest Amazon package or hamburger from your favorite restaurant.

While the initial plan is to create a “middle mile” network for long-haul delivery across cities, the company’s CTO says they have a vision for eventually delivering products directly into consumers’ homes. He envisions a new kind of home appliance called the Home Portal which would enable “cheap, fast, and environmentally friendly delivery of groceries, food, and packages.”

The delivery infrastructure will be PVC piping, the same kind used by city utilities for plumbing or electrical systems. In fact, the company says they plan on making all infrastructure usable by utilities “if needed” or “in the event that PipeDream migrates to an alternative delivery method (Star Trek Transporter?) or ceases operations”. 

Continue reading… “Forget Sidewalk Robots or Drones. In the Future, Food Could Travel to Your Home in Underground Pipes”
0

Meet Railway Motocycle, An Electric Concept Made For Rails And Roads

It’s intended to help railway workers perform maintenance more efficiently, but will it? 

By: Janaki Jitchotvisut

What do railways and motorcycles have in common? Plenty, if artist Heqi Wang has anything to say about it. The Railway Motocycle is her design, and it’s an electric motorbike with a difference: It can ride the rails and the roads. Although it’s just a concept at this point, it’s definitely one that’s worthy of further study. Let’s take a look. 

In 2022, railways are interesting to contemplate. For many of us, they’ve just been part of the landscape since before we were born, hauling items and people from one place to the next. They’re good for long hauls and short journeys alike. While they’ve evolved quite a bit over the decades, one thing has remained totally constant: Railways require regular maintenance. 

Here’s where the Railway Motocycle concept comes into play. Railway maintenance can be tricky, mainly because accessibility isn’t always easy for workers. However, the Railway Motocycle concept can transform from a road-going electric bike to a rail-riding machine with a few adjustments.  

According to the design, the bike makes use of cleverly designed body panels on either side of the middle. The rider can slide them down so they can securely grip a rail. When the rider opens the throttle, they can then ride down the rail, locked on top of it with stability as they go. To be absolutely clear, no details on how the system is stabilized are available at present, as this is just a concept. 

Continue reading… “Meet Railway Motocycle, An Electric Concept Made For Rails And Roads”
0

World’s fastest electric ‘flying’ ferry to make commuting in Stockholm faster than cars and metros

By Camille Bello  

The world’s fastest electric ship will soon navigate the archipelago around Stockholm in a bid to make public transport by water more attractive.

The Candela P-12 Shuttle will begin operating in Sweden’s capital next year with its makers claiming the vessel to be not only the fastest of its kind with a speed of 30 knots, but also the most energy-efficient electric ship ever.

It’s hoped it will make marine public transport in the city more attractive than trains, buses and cars.

Continue reading… “World’s fastest electric ‘flying’ ferry to make commuting in Stockholm faster than cars and metros”
0

The Average Air Taxi Will Be Cheaper Than an Uber Black, a New Study Says

Deloitte’s “Advanced Air Mobility, Disrupting the Future of Mobility” looks ahead 10 years to when air taxis will be common over city skies. 

By MICHAEL VERDON

Within 10 years, that electric air-taxi flight that now seems like sci-fi could be as cheap as a ground taxi, and without the carbon output. A report released on Tuesday by Deloitte paints a viable picture of the future of electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft as part of urban and regional transport networks, or Advanced Air Mobility (AAM), across the US.

“Our study showed that the speed improvement of these air taxis could be three to five times faster than driving options today,” John Coykendall, principal of Deloitte’s Global and US Aerospace and Defense leader division, told Robb Report. “We believe AAM will integrate with the transportation methods we have today—it’ll be a case of ‘and’ with this type of transport rather than ‘or’ with existing modes.”

The “Advanced Air Mobility, Disrupting the Future of Mobility” study looked five to 10 years ahead when eVTOL and other forms of air taxis will be certified and networks will be established around the world. At that point, Deloitte expects AAM to be highly competitive with conventional taxis and more upscale forms of ground transport.

Continue reading… “The Average Air Taxi Will Be Cheaper Than an Uber Black, a New Study Says”
0

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.

Continue reading… “World’s first ‘vertiport’ could be used for flying taxis in future”
0

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. 

Continue reading… “eVTOL: The flying vehicles that may be the future of transportation”
0

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.

Continue reading… “Canada’s hyperloop dream gets $550m capital injection”
0

‘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.

Continue reading… “‘The Jet’ to fly across Dubai waters as world’s first hydrogen-powered boat is set for UAE launch”
0

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. 

Continue reading… “UK Startup Wants to Build 200 Flying Taxi Vertiports in 65 Cities”
0