British vehicle engineering and aerospace giant Rolls-Royce has designed a flying taxi using a gas turbine-charged electric propulsion system and its ambition is to release it to the skies early next decade.
On Sunday, Rolls-Royce said it had formulated plans for an electric vertical take-off and landing (EVTOL) vehicle, or flying taxi, with wings able to rotate 90 degrees to enable this function. It stated that the vehicle would have a top speed of 250 miles per hour, a range of approximately 500 miles, and it would have the capability to carry up to five people at a time.
Rolls-Royce is searching for partners to help develop and release its project by the start of the next decade. Names that have emerged so far include Airbus, Uber, Kitty Hawk (a company supported by Larry Page, co-founder of Google) along with many other startups, who all share the same ambition of creating flying taxis accessible by the public. German sports cars manufacturer Porsche was the most recent luxury car company to join the race before Rolls-Royce.
Rolls-Royce's design will be showcased in digital form at the Farnborough Airshow until July 22, to an estimated 80,000 spectators or more, with the firm hoping to make a new name for itself within the increasingly congested startup market for flying taxis.
The aim is to create an environmentally friendly flying vehicle which is able to transport clients from A to B at very high speeds. The battery of the vehicle would not need to be recharged on the ground because it is charged by a gas turbine when the taxi is in flight, according to a report by Reuters.
"The initial concept vehicle uses gas turbine technology to generate electricity to power six electric propulsors specially designed to have a low noise profile," the Rolls-Royce said.
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