British startup Vertical Aerospace’s eVTOL Aircraft is poised to start offering an Air Taxi service in 2022. They already have a fully electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft that they have been using to demonstrate the possibilities. The drone-helicopter style craft—it has four rotors similar to the nearly ubiquitous drones all over the world—weighs only 750 kg, or about 1,600 pounds.
The vehicle may be pilotless, but that didn’t stop it from flying across the Cotswold Airport in Gloucestshire earlier this year. (The air taxi service that the company is planning to launch will feature piloted taxis.) The service will help ease traffic congestion and air pollution concerns.
Vertical Aerospace used lightweight materials, aerodynamics, and electrical systems that have been developed by F1 racing to put together their prototype. With the help of 28 veteran aerospace and technical experts from Airbus, Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Martin Jetpack, and GE, the company was able to put together a vehicle that was granted flight permission by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority. Vertical Aerospace has already set its sights on the European Aviation Safety Agency. Once that hurdle is out of the way, the world is right at the threshold of looking up to hail a taxi.