Bold plan for electric air taxis to takeoff in Melbourne
Electric air taxis are once again being considered in Melbourne.
A previous plan to fly air taxis in and out of the city by 2023 has been shelved by Uber, but two recent announcements have put air taxis back on the agenda.
Aircraft producer, Embraer hopes to bring air taxis to Melbourne by 2026, and Melbourne company Skyportz is working with US company Electra Aero to investigate bringing hybrid-electric aircraft to Victoria.
Chief executive of Skyportz and former state Liberal MP, Clem Newton-Brown, says while Uber’s futuristic plan to take off and land on top of building is a “long, long” way off, electric helicopters will be here in some capacity in 2025.
“These aircraft are coming. the frontrunners have raised over $1.5 billion each and the aircraft are already in the air,” he told Ross and Russel.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt the aircraft are coming and they’re essentially just electric-powered helicopters.”
Mr Newton-Brown’s company is investigating landing sites for the aircraft.
“What I’m doing … is assembling these landing sites, focusing more on realistic use cases starting with industrial land, city fringe, rural and regional green field flights,” he said.
“The issue is how they’re going to be operated, are they goin to be different to planes and helicopters? And that’s dependent on the community accepting that these small, quiet essentially electric helicopters are acceptable in places where helicopters might not be.”
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