Tags: flying cars | flying taxis | personal aircraft | transportation

Forbes: Flying Cars, Taxis Are Nearly Ready for Mass Use

Forbes: Flying Cars, Taxis Are Nearly Ready for Mass Use
The New PAL-V Liberty, a car that flies, a plane that drives, is presented during the press day at the 88th Geneva International Motor Show in Geneva, Switzerland on March 6. (Martial Trezzini/AP)

Thursday, 24 May 2018 07:29 PM

A few companies are closing in on commercializing a futuristic fleet of flying cars and air taxis, Forbes reported.

According to Forbes, the personal aircraft under development, include:

  • Pal-V Liberty, a two-seat, gas-powered gyrocopter with a flying range of about 250 miles at maximum weight. In car mode, the Dutch company says the three-wheeled vehicle can hit 100 mph. The company's applying for safety certification in Europe, and expects to make first deliveries in Europe in 2019, but 90 production models are on sale now from $399,000.
  • Ehang 184, an electric drone capable of vertical takeoff and landing and 25 minutes of flight time at 60 mph. The "184" comes from its design to carry one passenger and its eight propellers on four arms, Forbes reported. It is not clear when it will be available and the company says it is working with Chinese authorities to establish airworthiness standards.
  • Volocopter 2X, another two seater VTOL multicopter with 18 rotors, a max flight time of 27 minutes and range of 17 miles. Can be piloted or operated autonomously. It is still in testing but has provisional certification for manned flight in Germany, Forbes said. The Daimler-backed company has staged demonstration flights in Las Vegas and Dubai, where it is working with transportation authorities on laying the groundwork for establishing autonomous air taxi service there. It could be part of a multi-hub urban air taxi system within 10 years, Forbes reported.
  • Terrafugia Transition, a two-seated, folding wing flying care has a range of 400 miles in the air, and on the ground, it will be capable of "highway speeds," Massachusetts-based Terrafugia says. Runs on premium gasoline. First deliveries are planned for 2019.
  • Aurora Flight Sciences eVTOL, a three-seater electric with eight rotors for vertical takeoff and landing and a fixed wing and propeller — providing more efficient forward flight than a multicopter, Forbes reported. It is in testing, with a commercial launch set for 2023.
  • Lilium, a five-seat VTOL jet featuring fixed wings with 12 tilting flaps bearing 36 electric engines. The German company tested a two-seat version of the jet last year and secured $90 million in funding from investors including Tencent and Twitter co-founder Ev Williams. Officials aiming for test flight next year and on-demand air taxi service in 2025.
  • Kitty Hawk Cora is still a secretive California startup, bankrolled by Google's Larry Page and helmed by former Google X chief Sebastian Thrun. Testing underway with an aim to launch an air taxi service, but no proposed date yet.

Then there is the "flying taxi" that bobs on the River Seine in Paris, Reuters reported. The unique amphibious cab was spotted before a VivaTech conference there. Plans are for it to be the go-to taxi service on city waterways around the globe.

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A futuristic fleet of flying cars and air taxis is in the works for a few companies who are closing in on commercializing the technology, according to Forbes.
flying cars, flying taxis, personal aircraft, transportation
Thursday, 24 May 2018 07:29 PM
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