An electric-powered taxi with tilting wings technology is taking off
At the Detroit Motor Show, AirSpaceX has showcased a vertical take-off aircraft that is also capable of steering down a road. The flying taxi will initially connect downtown areas and the suburbs.12 Feb 2018 Roland Freist
Despite its similar-sounding name, AirSpaceX has no connection whatsoever with SpaceX , Elon Musk’s aerospace company. The American company is part of the Detroit Aircraft Corporation (DAC) and has introduced MOBi-ONE, an autonomous flying taxi with electric propulsion system , at the auto show in Detroit . The lightweight construction comprises three modules: the passenger cabin, the flight module with the propulsion system, and a chassis. The two wings are designed as tilted wings. During take-off and landing, the wings and the electric propeller will be pointed upwards. Once flying, they will tilt into horizontal position.
The MOBi-ONE should reach a cruising speed of approximately 240 km/h and have a range of approximately 100 km. Up to four passengers plus 100 kg in cargo can be taken on board. On landing, it can be converted into a chassis, which will then drive the passengers to their final destination. AirSpaceX’s vision for the MOBi-ONE is that of a flying taxi for connecting downtown areas and the suburbs, potentially enabling commuters to cut a one-hour drive down to a seven-minute flight. For now, though, the flying taxi exists only as a model. AirSpaceX is already working on a full-scale MOBi-ONE for testing and approval. The company’s goal is to sell 2,600 flying taxis by 2026, and for these to be up and running in the 50 busiest cities in America by then.
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