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In Pictures: Air taxis and flying cars that could be a possibility in the near future

At the moment, they won’t be replacing the black and yellow taxis that ply on roads, but that future isn’t far off either.

March 11, 2021 / 04:15 PM IST
Flying taxis may have just seemed like a dream but recent developments and prototypes suggest they could be closer to reality than we would assume. (Image source: AP)
Flying taxis may have just seemed like a dream but recent developments and prototypes suggest they could be closer to reality than we would assume. (Image source: AP)
Of course, at the moment, they won’t be replacing the black and yellow taxis that ply on roads, but that future isn’t far off either.
Of course, at the moment, they won’t be replacing the black and yellow taxis that ply on roads, but that future isn’t far off either.
Air Asia is looking at launching a Flying Taxis business some time next year and in January, Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar inaugurated India’s first flying taxi service from the Chandigarh airport. (Image source: Twitter)
Air Asia is looking at launching a Flying Taxis business some time next year and in January, Haryana Chief Minister, Manohar Lal Khattar inaugurated India’s first flying taxi service from the Chandigarh airport. (Image source: Twitter)
This service will be limited to short routes on demand. But there are flying taxi prototypes in development. Here’s what we have so far.
This service will be limited to short routes on demand. But there are flying taxi prototypes in development. Here’s what we have so far.
AeroMobil prototype | Slovakia-based AeroMobil is developing a hybrid flying car. But its not a gasoline-electric powered hybrid they are talking about. The prototype is not capable of vertical take-off, unlike most flying cars, but takes off from a runway. What makes this car special is the fact that it can morph from a plane into a car by retracting the wings and wheels. Imagine taking off from the road outside your house to go to work. (Image source: Reuters)
AeroMobil prototype | Slovakia-based AeroMobil is developing a hybrid flying car. But its not a gasoline-electric powered hybrid they are talking about. The prototype is not capable of vertical take-off, unlike most flying cars, but takes off from a runway. What makes this car special is the fact that it can morph from a plane into a car by retracting the wings and wheels. Imagine taking off from the road outside your house to go to work. (Image source: Reuters)
Project Vahana | Aviation company Airbus is working on a more conventional flying car. Called the Vahana, it is capable of vertical take-off and will be powered by electricity. The Vahana will also be feature autopilot which means trained pilots need not be involved. In 2018, the car had its first successful full scale test rising up 16 feet into the air and staying there for 53 seconds. All of this completely on autopilot. (Image: Reuters)
Project Vahana | Aviation company Airbus is working on a more conventional flying car. Called the Vahana, it is capable of vertical take-off and will be powered by electricity. The Vahana will also feature autopilot which means trained pilots need not be involved. In 2018, the car had its first successful full scale test rising up 16 feet into the air and staying there for 53 seconds. All of this completely on autopilot. (Image: Reuters)
Terrafugia Transition | Like the AeroMobil prototype, the Transition again is a hybrid that means retractable wings and wheels. This hybrid however also gets a petrol and electric powertrain making it a true hybrid. It will need a runway to take off and land, but again you’ll be able to run it on streets as well.
Terrafugia Transition | Like the AeroMobil prototype, the Transition again is a hybrid that means retractable wings and wheels. This hybrid however also gets a petrol and electric powertrain making it a true hybrid. It will need a runway to take off and land, but again you’ll be able to run it on streets as well.
Joby Aviation | Just in December, Joby Aviation acquired Uber Elevate, Uber’s electric air taxi division. With investments from the likes of Toyota and Intel, Joby’s more realistic flying vehicle is capable of some very realistic features. It gets a range of 150 miles at 200 mph and is capable of ferrying up to five people at a time. (Image source: Joby Aviation)
Joby Aviation | Just in December, Joby Aviation acquired Uber Elevate, Uber’s electric air taxi division. With investments from the likes of Toyota and Intel, Joby’s more realistic flying vehicle is capable of some very realistic features. It gets a range of 150 miles at 200 mph and is capable of ferrying up to five people at a time. (Image source: Joby Aviation)
Porsche Boeing | This one will be something to watch out for. With the companies working in partnership, the engineers have already imagine a sleek looking aircraft that is fully capable of vertical take off and landing and will be for the people seeking luxury in the air. This one however, will take time seeing as how nascent the idea is. (Image source: Porsche)
Porsche Boeing | This one will be something to watch out for. With the companies working in partnership, the engineers have already imagine a sleek looking aircraft that is fully capable of vertical take off and landing and will be for the people seeking luxury in the air. This one however, will take time seeing as how nascent the idea is. (Image source: Porsche)
Aston Martin Volante Vision | Its no surprise that there are car manufacturers on this list. Seeing as how roadways will eventually disappear into virtual highways in the air, cars will have to become airplanes. Aston Martin’s concept is more of a design study called the Volante Vision. With Rolls Royce providing the powertrain, Aston Martin’s concept will feature vertical take off and landing as well and could be autonomous. (Image source: Aston Martin)
Aston Martin Volante Vision | Its no surprise that there are car manufacturers on this list. Seeing as how roadways will eventually disappear into virtual highways in the air, cars will have to become airplanes. Aston Martin’s concept is more of a design study called the Volante Vision. With Rolls Royce providing the powertrain, Aston Martin’s concept will feature vertical take off and landing as well and could be autonomous. (Image source: Aston Martin)
Volocopter | Dubai’s excursion into flying taxis involved this German engineered VTOL (vertical take-off and landing). The Volocopter 2X will be capable of carrying two passengers over 30 minutes and 17 miles. With a little help from Intel, the Volocopter gets a variety of safety redundancies including a parachute built into the top of the verhicle. (Image source: Volocopter)
Volocopter | Dubai’s excursion into flying taxis involved this German engineered VTOL (vertical take-off and landing). The Volocopter 2X will be capable of carrying two passengers over 30 minutes and 17 miles. With a little help from Intel, the Volocopter gets a variety of safety redundancies including a parachute built into the top of the verhicle. (Image source: Volocopter)
Moog SureFly | Developed by Workhorse, the Surefly is another VTOL capable of self-controlled flight. It will be aimed at commercial operators and consumers. Workhorse sold its aviation division to Moog back in 2019 after incurring significant losses, however, The SureFly seems to still be in development. (Image source: Moog)
Moog SureFly | Developed by Workhorse, the Surefly is another VTOL capable of self-controlled flight. It will be aimed at commercial operators and consumers. Workhorse sold its aviation division to Moog back in 2019 after incurring significant losses, however, The SureFly seems to still be in development. (Image source: Moog)
Ehang 184 | One of the oddballs in the list, the company filed for backruptcy in 2018 and applied for a $100 million IPO in 2019. The Ehang 184 itself is claimed to have some very, very futuristic tech – tech that made it safe, comfortable and fully automated. It features a touchscreen interface for anyone to use and company has stated that the vehicle has been tested in all types of situations. But whether it will actually make it to reality and production, we will just have to see. (Image source: Reuters)
Ehang 184 | One of the oddballs in the list, the company filed for backruptcy in 2018 and applied for a $100 million IPO in 2019. The Ehang 184 itself is claimed to have some very, very futuristic tech – tech that made it safe, comfortable and fully automated. It features a touchscreen interface for anyone to use and company has stated that the vehicle has been tested in all types of situations. But whether it will actually make it to reality and production, we will just have to see. (Image source: Reuters)
Opener BlackFly | This one packs in manual as well as automatic flying features including auto landing and return home features. Born in Canada, the BlackFly on its own is very distinctive as is its take-off pattern. It has to be rocked back and forth to build up momentum to lift off. With a 40 mile range at 72 mph, regulations will dampen anyone’s mood to fly fast. (Image source: Opener)
Opener BlackFly | This one packs in manual as well as automatic flying features including auto landing and return home features. Born in Canada, the BlackFly on its own is very distinctive as is its take-off pattern. It has to be rocked back and forth to build up momentum to lift off. With a 40 mile range at 72 mph, regulations will dampen anyone’s mood to fly fast. (Image source: Opener)
Rolls Royce prototype | We already know Rolls Royce as a big name in the aviation industry as well as the luxury car segment. Their first prototype comes unsurprisingly from their aviation business. Aside from being autonomous, the VTOL will be capable of ferrying cargo as well as passengers over a distance of 500 miles. The concept is still in the design stage and it will take a while for a working model, but it is not a farfetched dream. (Image source: Rolls Royce)
Rolls Royce prototype | We already know Rolls Royce as a big name in the aviation industry as well as the luxury car segment. Their first prototype comes unsurprisingly from their aviation business. Aside from being autonomous, the VTOL will be capable of ferrying cargo as well as passengers over a distance of 500 miles. The concept is still in the design stage and it will take a while for a working model, but it is not a far-fetched dream. (Image source: Rolls Royce)
Moneycontrol News
first published: Mar 11, 2021 04:15 pm

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