The 18-rotor aircraft can be manned without a pilot’s license.
Lift Aircraft. While the likes of Uber, Airbus and Porsche tinker away on their respective passenger and transportation drones, a lesser-known startup is taking an altogether different approach. Instead of getting mired in the logistics and regulatory frameworks of city-wide drone rides, Lift Aircraft wants you to use its 18-rotor “Hexa” aircraft for short recreational flights. The large drone — which weighs 432 pounds and is capable of 10-15 minutes of continuous flight with a single passenger — could be available to the public as early as next year.
Lift is promising flight experiences at hubs located in “scenic, un-congested areas” in 25 cities across the US. Because the Hexa doesn’t count as a “real” aircraft (it’s a “powered ultralight”) it doesn’t require a pilot’s license. However, you also can’t go past a few hundred feet of altitude or fly over populated areas.
Here’s how it will work: if you decide to fork out around $150-$200 for the experience on a day out, you’ll first have to complete a VR training simulator. Budding pilots must be over 18 years of age, up to 6 foot 5 inches in height and weigh under 250 lbs. You’ll then be able to take to the skies for up to 15 minutes at a time, controlling the drone using a joystick and an iPad, while its onboard computer keeps it stable.