Engine maker Rolls-Royce revealed it is working on the propulsion system for a flying taxi that could be ready for mass production by the early-to-mid 2020s.
According to BBC.com, Rolls-Royce electrical team leader Rob Watson revealed ahead of the Farnborough Airshow the company is working on an electric vertical take-off and landing (EVTOL) vehicle that will be able to carry around five people.
The British company claims the new flying taxi could achieve speeds of 250 miles per hour for approximately 500 miles. As part of Rolls-Royce’s desire to play a leading role in the emerging world of personal air mobility, the company is jumping head first into the development of flying taxis.
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“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,” a Rolls Royce spokesperson told BBC.
Watson said the concept design for the EVTOL uses gas turbine technology to generate electricity which would power six electric propulsors. With the intention of vertical takeoffs and landings, the wings would be able to rotate 90 degrees.
Rolls-Royce’s presence at the Farnborough Airshow is to find an airframe maker who meets their needs, as well as a firm that would partner with the engine maker on aspects of the electrical system.