For a few years already, we have been talking about the concept of a “flying taxi”, often taking the form of a huge electric drone or a small helicopter, it depends. Already, many start-ups are carrying out various tests to occupy the field, and to monopolize as quickly as possible this new market to come. On the Wisk Aero side, for example, we aim to have a fleet of 5,000 flying taxis by 2035, in the largest cities around the world, in a way fulfilling the fantasy of fans of the film The Fifth Element.
The flying taxi takes off this week from Pontoise!
In France, the first two “vertiports“, the vertical take-off zones dedicated to these new flying taxis, will be installed in the Paris region, at La Défense (Hauts-de-Seine) and quai d’Austerlitz (13th arrondissement). Indeed, the RATP and ADP groups, as well as the Île-de-France region intend to put this new generation urban air transport into service for the next Olympic Games in 2024. Also, a first flight will take place this Thursday, November 10, and the latter will of course be “integrated into conventional air traffic“.
A first flight which will take off near the Pontoise aerodrome, and which obviously aims to gauge the effectiveness of the thing in real conditions. Concretely, this first “flying taxi” will rise to an altitude of approximately 300 meters, and will move at a speed of 80 km/h.
A model developed by the company Volocopter, called VoloCity, whose firm boasted 3 years ago already the advances in terms of comfort and safety, defined by the European Aviation Safety Agency. In terms of autonomy, the model in question can fly for about twenty minutes at most. Obviously, this flight will be an opportunity for a passenger to inaugurate this new type of air transport, even if we still do not know what the route will be taken here.
According to the magazine Capital, from April 2024, ten flying taxis could circulate regularly from one vertiport to another in France. The first commercial flights would be planned for the year 2030.
Remember that the electric aircraft signed VoloCopter has a total of 18 rotors with 18 propellers, promising both stability and comfort on board. On this subject, the VoloCity is able to accommodate two people, with of course a dedicated storage space for their belongings, on the condition however of traveling light. It remains to be seen whether this new mode of transport will prove sufficiently convincing (and safe) to encourage users to favor urban air transport in the future.