Why are these air-taxis always late
How several companies are trying to keep the promise of delivering the impossible
Lilium claims to have reached 155 mph (250 kph) in a test set. A German company is set to design an Air Taxi vehicle. They got a new milestone in a recent test (7th prototype version).
Although sending out a PR, they were scarce with details. It seems it was a lab test in Spain.
Although concept designs were glamorous, they still have a long way to go. But they self-imposed a goal to have the air taxi ready by 2025. Many companies want to take a piece of the air travel action. Competition is fierce, including competition for resources like engineers, money, and perhaps government grants.
Grants are a common theme in the EU, but they include not just money but also free licenses. An air taxi can be a question for aviators also. Is it a plane or a car? Which oversight body will be responsible and capable of doing certification and inspections.
Another company that seems to have peaked already is US-based Joby Aviation. Peaked, as in it had its five minutes of glory already. Although Joby has said, it plans to build the first car in 2023. And that it has received FAA 2 out of 5 stages approval to continue.
Joby claims to be the first to do this. Also, Jobs purchased Uber elevate, so to gain additional momentum. So they are either to gain some serious traction or die off.
A US company, Archer aviation, peaked also. They have pretty much the same claim as Joby. Nothing to show, but they promise an extreme launch in 2023.
These two (Joby and Archer) are fishing in the same pond but not catching any. So the natural question will be, who buys who and quick. Before somebody else snatches or surpasses both.
Ehang from China is making its way into the market also.
A company called Volocopter from Germany, backed by Intel, is also in the race. But honestly, it is more of a modernized helicopter than an air-taxi. But that is a question of design, probably. Their design mimics the Copter from the movie Oblivion a bit :)
Some even put Zunum Aero, backed by Boing and Aero, in the same race. But they have a bit different tactic. They are planning to build an air-bus, basically. Air vehicle with 50 seats.
Will we be able to fly with an air taxi in 2023? Probably not. Many questions are not answered yet(!). But we will get there, probably even sooner than later.
Pics via Freepik.
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