The electric flying taxi could soon become a reality, at least for customers of American Airlines. The stars and stripes airline allegedly ordered 350 small electric aircraft from a British startup to expand its fleet. But the company does not seem to be the only one interested in this new mode of transport: it seems that Virgin Atlantic and Avolon have also placed orders.
The news was announced by the Financial Times and relaunched by ElecTrek: in total, there would be approximately 1,000 electric aircraft ordered by the three companies.
American Airlines relies on the electric taxi
The aircraft in question is proposed by Vertical Aerospace, a company specializing in vertical take-off aircraft from Bristol, UK.
According to reports from the overseas press, several airlines have expressed interest in the plane VA-X4, a craft of about 13 meters in length and 15 in wing, equipped with special horizontal propellers to ensure vertical take-off.
Little noisy – even 100 times less than a normal one helicopter – the aircraft weighs approximately 450 kilograms and is fully battery powered. According to the manufacturer’s plans, the flying taxi could be ready for commercial flights starting in 2024.
The autonomy of the plane is approx 193 kilometers, for a cruising speed of 325 kilometers per hour. It will be used mainly for short trips, for example between neighboring cities, and will mostly be used for private flights.
According to reports from ElecTrek, American Airlines would have ordered 350 of these specimens, perhaps to launch a private transport service for wealthy customers. At the moment the rental costs and any costs are not known travel fares but, according to some analysts, in a first phase it will not be an extremely cheap proposal. All that remains is to wait a couple of years to see if the flying taxi project will be effectively confirmed.