The Race to Build a Legal Flying Car Is Well and Truly On

This jet-black English ‘air taxi’ is the latest to take flight

By Tanner Garrity

 
The Race to Build a Legal Flying Car Is Well and Truly ON
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18 September 2018

I had a rough train home from work yesterday. One of those commutes where you get to the station, see about 600 people gunning for the same track and realize dinner is an extra hour away.

But news like this gives me a modicum of hope: Bristol, England-based Vertical Aerospace recently launched the maiden voyage of its all-electric flying car.

VA (3 images)

As we mentioned when Silicon Valley’s BlackFly sent its joystick-controlled hovercraft into the air over the summer, flying cars aren’t headed to our airspace next year, or even the year after that. And when they do, even the approachably priced models (BlackFly imagines a price similar to an SUV) will face logistical hurdles before they can zip formerly beleaguered commuters to work as the crow flies.

But similar to Mercedes-Benz’s news regarding their all-new electric SUV, more entries from hopeful companies creates a moon-race-like competitive atmosphere, urging designers to bring their concepts to market as quickly as possible. Vertical Aerospace itself is following an aggressive timeline, propelled by a pretty stacked team: they've got engineers from Airbus, Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Martin Jet Pack, DarkTrace and GE (despite having only launched in 2016), and they've already sent at least one glossy black eVTOL (electrical vertical take-off and landing vehicle) prototype into the skies.

Lucky for us commuters, Vertical Aerospace imagines its carbon-free flying machines as an “intercity air taxi service.”

You can more information on the prototype here.

h/t Robb Report
All images from Vertical Aerospace

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