A test flight of an urban flying taxi was performed at the airport in Seoul, South Korea.
It is an aircraft with 18 propellers, which should become an urban flying taxi in the near future. This system could become operational by 2025 and thus help reduce traffic congestion.
The unusual aircraft was designed by the German company Volocopter, and the test flight was performed at the Gimpo airport in Seoul. The pilot lifted the aircraft and flew back and forth. He covered about three kilometers and did not exceed a height of 50 meters. The maximum speed reached was 45 km / h, and the flight lasted five minutes. The main goal of the test was to check how the aircraft behaves in an airport environment where traffic control is key to safety.
The model has two seats, electric motors drive 18 propellers, and is very similar to a drone with four propellers. The first test flight was performed in 2013, and a public test flight is scheduled for next week in Incheon.
Last year, South Korea announced plans to develop a national UAM infrastructure and intends to invest $65 million in this technology. The government hopes that flying taxis will enter commercial use in 2025 and will transport passengers between Incheon International Airport to the center of Seoul. The trip will cost about $93, which is more expensive compared to the premium conventional taxi. The service is expected to be five times cheaper by 2035, when UAM aircraft will be more accepted and controlled by automatic systems.
Volocopter also has competition from the domestic OPPAV aircraft, which is backed by the KARI Institute. The aircraft of this institute will be tested next year.
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