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.
Hyundai has partnered with Uber to develop a Personal air Vehicle (PAV), called the S-A1. It’s designed for vertical take off and landing, thus negating the need for a runway, and can reach a top speed of 180 mph and a cruising altitude between 1,000 feet – 2,000 feet. The aircraft is fully electric and has a multi-rotor / propellers design to decrease a single point of failure and noise pollution.
Photo credit: Nikolay Kazakov
Volocopter teamed up with Skyports to unveil the world’s first full-scale air taxi vertiport today at the Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) World Congress in Singapore. This is where the Volocopter 2X, a two-seat, semi-autonomous, multi-rotor electric helicopter, will land and take off. Featuring 18 fixed-pitch propellers, each powered by its own electric motor, while the interior boasts a two-seat, side-by-side configuration in an enclosed cockpit with a windshield.
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.