Airbus Helicopter has dived into a new futuristic endeavor. As one of the leaders in the aeronautical industry, this new project does not seem so far reaching. Airbus plans on designing a self-flying taxi with an entire independent drone network. To step things up on this already ambitious plan, the firm plans testing for the flying taxi to begin by early 2017.
Rodin Lyasoff, an engineer at Airbus has stated that
The company’s confidence comes from their reliability in the technologies they have developed from other projects. These machineries include batteries, motors, and other avionics.
The network that Airbus has envisioned is quite simple. Anyone could book a seat on what Airbus refers to as a zenHop “CityAirbus” drone which would lead to a zenHub Helipad. ZenLuggage would transport the user’s baggage. Fare to ride the flying taxi will be set to cost not much more than regular transportation as each ride would be shared with multiple passengers. The private zenCyber network would safeguard from any hackers. Engineers have been working on the electric aircraft design for about two years now, and though the architecture has not been formally approved, they do believe they are getting close to a model that would not need too many regulatory changes.
EHang, a Chinese firm has already developed a prototype for an electric passenger plane, while engineering company Volocopter has performed their first manned flight test. Though other firms have had similar projects, Airbus is the only company with an idea that seems feasible, especially as Airbus leads with second place in the aerospace manufacturing market. When compared to other companies, Airbus has over 55,000 workers that include top engineers that will help lead the project into a successful reality. Until then, the wait must continue for these flying taxis.
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