Flying Taxis are coming! At least, that’s what Vertical Aero is hoping. The UK-based company has just announced that it has recruited former McLaren CEO Mike Flewitt to its board of directors. Flewitt is a big get for Vertical Aero, as he brings with him a wealth of experience in the automotive industry. The company hopes his expertise will help them move closer to starting production of their flying taxi. Flying taxis have long been seen as a futuristic dream, but with companies like Vertical Aero and Virgin Atlantic Airways getting involved, that dream may soon become a reality!
McLaren, a Formula One racing team that also makes occasional street cars, transitioned to becoming a producer of luxury supercars under Flewitt. Vertical has received more than 1,400 orders for its VX4 flying taxi but now needs to industrialize the program so it can begin test flights and be ready for service by 2025.
Flewitt said that race cars and electric vertical takeoff and landing crafts are similar because they both need to be light to perform well. Race cars need to be fast, and flying taxis need a lot of range and capacity.
Vertical and McLaren are both focused on design and technology. However, they rely on bigger companies for many aspects of development. Vertical’s partners include Honeywell International Inc., Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc, Microsoft Corp., and GKN.
This flying taxi will have production volumes closer to sports car levels and higher than what you usually find in aviation.
How close are we to having flying cars?
The flying cars are coming, and they’re closer than you think! With companies like Vertical Aero and Virgin Atlantic Airways leading the charge, it’s only a matter of time before we’re all zipping around in our flying taxis. By 2040, one study predicts there will be 430,000 eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) flying taxis worldwide. Uber and Boeing are also working on their versions of flying taxis. To meet the demands of a future in which drones and flying taxis (such as big, multi-propeller drones) coexist over busy cities, supporters of the technologies believe that cities will need to construct numerous “skyports,” little airports.
The airports will be needed for the taxis to land at locations where people want to go.
So keep your eyes peeled for these incredible machines in the sky! Who knows, you might be able to ascend to the skies the next time you’re stuck in traffic.
Vertical Aerospace is hoping to begin test flights later this year, with the program culminating in trials with Virgin Atlantic Airlines Ltd. in the spring of 2024. The company plans to have the flying taxi commercially available by 2025. Keep your eyes peeled for these flying taxis! They may be the future of transportation.
What do you think about flying taxis? Do you believe they are a good idea? Let us know in the comments!