It’s funny how with regular cars we call it “carpooling” while in the sky the word “taxi” still describes new helicopter-like vehicles meant to carry rental mobility into the clouds.
Advanced air mobility (AAM) company Wisk Aero, a joint venture formed in 2019 between Boeing and Kitty Hawk Corporation, announced Monday (January 24) that Boeing will invest an additional $450 million in its electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) concept.
In a press release, Boeing Chief Strategy Officer Marc Allen said: “With this investment, we reconfirm our confidence in Wisk’s business and the importance of their work as a pioneer in all-electric capability. , AI-driven and autonomous for the aerospace industry. Autonomy is the key to unlocking the scale of all AAM applications, from passenger to cargo and beyond. This is why direct autonomy is a first fundamental principle. »
One of Kitty Hawk Corporation’s main backers is Google co-founder Larry Page, who is said to own (and fly in) three of the company’s eVOTL creations.
Saying in the statement that its sixth-generation eVTOL aircraft is “a first-ever candidate for certification as an autonomous, all-electric, passenger-carrying aircraft in the United States,” Wisk Aero is one of the few companies pushing to fly in flight. – welcoming the next big revolution in connected mobility.
As news from Wisk Aero hit the wires on Monday, Joby Aviation hit the headlines with reports that its S4 eVTOL reached speeds of 205 mph and traveled 155 miles on a single charge, two new records for the the company’s all-electric flying taxi.
Joby announced in a press release on January 6 that it “received special airworthiness certification from the FAA and airworthiness approval from the United States Air Force for a second prototype pre-production aircraft in December 2021”.
The company said in the statement “the second aircraft will significantly accelerate Joby’s capability for flight testing in 2022, further supporting the company’s ambition to certify its aircraft with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) in time to launch. commercial operations in 2024. The aircraft is expected to begin flying later this month and will enter service under Joby’s Agility Prime contract with the US Air Force.
Joby plans to have passenger service operational by 2024.
See also: Joby air taxi service goes public under SPAC deal
Bringing its technology to America, Germany’s Volocopter announced in Q3 2021 that it is partnering with Urban Movement Labs (UML) in Los Angeles to investigate air mobility options for congested Los Angeles.
Read more: Volocopter partners with Urban Movement Labs
As PYMNTS reported, “A subcategory of advanced air mobility, urban air mobility aims to understand how alternative aircraft traverse urban areas. Volocopter is creating its own electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft, with an eventual goal of 100% electric commercial transportation of people and cargo.
All of these flying taxis will need cabin mounts.
News site Interesting Engineering also reported on Monday that UK startup Urban-Air Port (UAP) “says it is on track to deliver the ‘essential infrastructure’ required” to enable mass adoption of eVTOL aircraft. “.
Called “vertiports”, their concept is that of low-footprint, high-volume helipads in the city.
The story adds that with “a new investment from Supernal, which was formerly the Urban Air Mobility division of Hyundai Motor Group… [t]he fund will help [UAP] build 200 vertiport sites in 65 cities around the world over the next five years.