Several global aircraft designers at the annual Uber Elevate conference in Los Angeles, USA, presented new concepts of electric aerial taxis, which in the future can be taken by the US company Uber Technologies as a basis for the creation of new ships that meet the aforementioned role. Whether they succeed or not, we already have the images of the proposed models to imagine the future. The creatives this time were Brazilian Embraer, Slovenian Pipistrel Aircraft, American Karem Aircraft, as well as the design department of Uber Technologies.
According to Flightglobal reports, the experimental division Embraer X presented the concept of an electric taxi similar to a helicopter. It is assumed that the vehicle will have a short wing, at the ends of which two beams will be placed. In these beams will be installed four electric motors with air propellers that will provide vertical takeoff and landing.
In turn, Pipistrel Aircraft presented a project of an electric airplane with vertical takeoff and landing that performs in the “mixed wing” scheme. The developers plan to equip the promising machine with a tail propeller powered by an electric motor. In addition, the device will have motors hidden in the propellers of the glider, which will allow the “mixed wing” to carry out the vertical takeoff and landing. It should be noted that in the Pipistrel Aircraft concept presented, the air ducts of the vertical takeoff engines are not visible. In the Slovenian company they argue that the new air taxi will have a low energy consumption.
The company Karem Aircraft at the Uber Elevate conference showed the concept of an electric air taxi. It will have a helicopter fuselage, a wing and a long V tail. The installation angle of the propellers will vary for vertical or horizontal flight. The company says the promising machine will have large propellers and low speed motors. It is assumed that such a solution will reduce air taxi noise and reduce energy consumption in flight.
Finally, the design department of Uber Technologies presented the eCRM-003 concept. This aircraft will have an aircraft fuselage, to which two wings will be attached – front and rear. At the ends of the front wing and in the middle part of the rear part, two beams with electric motors and rotor propellers will be placed in the front part. In addition, electric motors and rotors will be installed at the rear.
The Uber Elevate program was launched in 2016. It involves the creation not only of the aircraft itself, but also of a network of air taxis. The company plans to use four-seat aircraft, which can make at least two daily flights for a distance of up to 97 kilometers. Electric aerial taxis must have batteries of such capacity that it is sufficient for two vertical takeoffs and two landings of approximately one minute.