Progress for drone taxis slows down – vtol companies advance forecasts


With a cruising speed of around 240 km/h, the British evtol VX4 should have a range of 16 miles.

Once again, Vertical Aerospace is moving forward the year when their drone taxi will fly commercially. The company’s CEO now sees that the entire vtol industry is delaying its forecasts.

Among more than 400 developers of vtol craft globally, British Vertical Aerospace entered the list of the 40 players predicted to survive the journey into the future segment in 2021. This is according to the analysis company SMG’s report Advanced Air Mobility Reality Index.

But getting started with the flights themselves has proven to be complicated, and several companies are now forced to moderate their ambitions around getting paying passengers into the air. An example is Vertical Aerospace.

The CEO sees that the industry is affected

The Bristol-based company has had a flying prototype since 2018. But in a letter to shareholders, CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick notes that it is very difficult to set an accurate timetable, not least because many of the factors involved lie outside the company’s control. That’s what the Financial Times writes. And Vertical Aerospace believes that many players in the segment are now reevaluating their forecasts.

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“We believe that the industry as a whole will experience some corrections to the schedule – and we are already seeing signs from our industry peers that confirm this,” Fitzpatrick wrote in the letter.

Vertical Aerospace has previously moved forward the date for when they will fly in commercial traffic, from 2024 to 2025 – and now the company is adding another year. The hope is that the British CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) will give the green light in 2026.

There are more vtol manufacturers who have had to delay certification from the responsible authority. One example is the German Lilium, which last year went from the previous forecast of 2024 to 2025. For this, the company has informed the shareholders that it needs investments of around SEK 2.7 billion for the development of the craft.

Investments in Europe and the USA

At the same time, an airport outside Paris has received an integrated part just for vtol journeys. Participating in the project is Volocopter, who announced in the spring that series production of their craft has now started. The company aims to have a service up and running by the summer Olympics in Paris in 2024.

Another strong initiative in the segment is United Airlines, which has announced that it will have a vtol line up and running as early as 2025. It will take passengers between O’Hare Airport and a landing site in central Chicago – then with drones from Archer.

Source: Ny Teknik – nyheter inom teknik och innovation by

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