I was chatting to @thehusbandintow recently about whether air taxis (eVTOLs, or Electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing) have a real future.
After thinking about this, I don't think I'm ready to fly in anything that can't glide to safety in the event of an engine / power failure. Planes and helicopters can glide. I'm not so sure about drones... so I'm on the fence on this one.
What do you think? Would you fly in an electric air taxi?
PS: Seoul will be trialling eVTOLs next year: evtolinsights.com/2023/05/seoul-to-begin-trialling-evtol-flights-in-2024/
We've obviously discussed this privately and I'm still 100% bullish on eVTOL.
I think there's a lot to unbox with eVTOLs. First, they are the future. So long as they can make companies money.
Second, companies like Archer and JOBY are working human pilots into their aircraft. While others are working on unmanned aircraft. At this stage, I'd prefer having a pilot on board. But I see the industry as a whole heading down the path of most unmanned aircraft. While the jury is still out for me on unmanned.
In terms of potential engine/power failure. Some models do incorporate wings into their designs. To what extent that's going to help I can't say. For the ones that don't, I suppose they have the potential to "glide" just a well as a helicopter with a similar design. Being electric doesn't make them more or less susceptible to failures.
As we discussed, it's going to come down to economics. A local Chicago news station reported about United Airlines and their air taxi plans for downtown Chicago to O'Hare and Newark Airport to Manhattan. United has signed a deal with Archer. They estimate the price out to O'Hare from a pre-existing heli-port in Chicago to be the same as the price of Uber Black, around $150 pp. We'll see.
IMO, all machines can fail at any time. Redundancies are built into eVTOLs much like airplanes and helicopters.
Just my $0.02
Yes i will. With my company Helipass, we work on it and hope to be ready for Paris Olympic games 2024.
We have an order pending for 50 eVTOLs from EVE air mobility
I've been following your company and can't wait to see them flying over Paris in 2024. All the best.
Absolutely, I'm looking forward to seeing how this goes!