When will you be able to fly in a VTOL aircraft (2018 predictions)?
More than 50 companies have announced passenger carrying vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) projects and the sector has never received so much coverage from mainstream media.
But few companies are willing (or able) to give a firm date for when customers will actually be able to take delivery of a passenger VTOL. This is hardly surprising. Getting an aircraft certificated by the US FAA or Europe’s EASA is not an easy process. Large, well-established aircraft manufacturers often have to delay planned deliveries for this reason.
We will keep updating this forecast, but here’s a list of the brave few who are prepared to set hard deadlines in August 2018.
Workhorse (originally founded as AMP Electric Vehiclesin 2007) is hoping to start delivering its SureFly personal helicopter/VTOL to customers. It started the certification process in 2018 and has already demonstrated a two-person prototype several times.
Germany’s Volocopter is not giving a hard deadline but some industry analysts believe it could be certificated as early as 2020.
Israel’s Urban Aeronautics says it will start testing its CityHawk eVTOL with manned flights in 2021 and then start certification – so it could be flying this early
Uber has targeted 2023 for the commercial launch of its Uber Elevate scheme, so its partners -- Aurora Flight Sciences (Boeing), Bell, CityAirbus, Embraer (pictured) and Pipistrel Aircraft – have all committed to having aircraft certificated by 2023.
Los Angeles and Dallas Fort Worth are set to be the launch cities. Uber Elevate eventually hopes to offer shared flights for a similar price to travelling in a UberXL.
Transcend Air plans to launch a new city-to-city VTOL service in January 2024. It aims to be able to offer 36-minute shared flights from New York City to Boston for $283.