Bell has officially unveiled the 4EX at CES 2020, and just in case you are wondering, the name comes from its “4” ducted fans, “E” for electric, and “X” for experimental. This 7,000-pound electric air taxi can safely transport 4-5 passengers up to 60 miles at a cruise speed of about 150 mph. It’s designed to be an electric aircraft, but a hybrid model could be in the works and extend the range to beyond 150 miles.
We have seen the future of air taxis, and it includes the Lilium Jet. The company’s commercial air taxi service is set to launch in 2025, but they have just successfully completed yet another test flight in which the aircraft takes off vertically and then accelerates up to a speed of 40 mph, while ascending at 300 feet per minute. It then performs a 20-degree bank angle turn, increases the bank angle to 30 degrees, descends at 300 ft per minute, and lastly performs another banked turn before vertically landing.
Air taxis are still several years away from hitting the skies, but one company is planning ahead. Alaka’i Technologies’ Skai is an electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) that uses a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain, and it can travel up to 400-miles on a full tank, while boasting a five-passenger capacity.