Rolls-Royce unveils flying taxi at Farnborough Airshow

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The British engine manufacturer is developing a revolutionary aircraft with electric vertical take-off and landing technology

Flying taxis might be picking people up sooner than previously thought as Rolls-Royce, an engine making company from the United Kingdom, has unveiled a new concept of electric powered aircraft.

The model of the flying taxi  could be available by the early to mid 2020s — Rolls-RoyceThe model of the flying taxi could be available by the early to mid 2020s – Rolls-Royce

At this year’s Farnborough International Airshow, the biggest event of the year for the aerospace industry, the company will present their progress in the electric vertical take-off and landing technology (EVTOL), stating aircraft using such technology could take off at the beginning of the next decade.

Their newly presented vehicle could travel at speeds of up to 402 km/h for approximately 800 kilometres. With the wings able to rotate 90 degrees, the vehicle could take off or land vertically while using existing heliports and airports.

“We are well placed to play a leading role in the emerging world of personal air mobility and will also look to work in collaboration with a range of partners,” said Rob Watson, head of the company’s electrical team.

The EVTOL technology could serve the military as well — Rolls-RoyceThe EVTOL technology could also serve the military – Rolls-Royce

The company said the EVTOL market was “emerging as a result of technological advances and a need to meet the demands that will be placed upon conventional transport systems as more of the world’s population lives in large cities plagued by congestion”.

EVTOL could also become a key player because it would meet the requirements for more efficient travel with fewer emissions.

“We believe that given the work we are doing today to develop hybrid electric propulsion capabilities, this model could be available by the early to mid 2020s, provided that a viable commercial model for its introduction can be created,” the firm said.

Rolls-Royce is not the only company that aspires to support flying taxi services. In May, Uber announced its plans to launch flying taxi service in Los Angeles by 2023 in a partnership with Nasa.

Rolls-Royce has also come up with a delivery aircraft concept — Rolls-RoyceRolls-Royce has also come up with a delivery aircraft concept – Rolls-Royce

“Urban air mobility could revolutionise the way people and cargo move in our cities and fundamentally change our lifestyle much like smartphones have,” Nasa associate administrator Jaiwon Shin said in a statement.

Airbus has been developing its own EVTOL technologies as well, and so is Google co-founder Larry Page with his Kitty Hawk project.