British icons Rolls-Royce have just revealed plans for a personal electric flying vehicle that they say could be on the market by the ‘early 2020s’. Primarily designed for use as a taxi, the wings on the concept are able to rotate 90 degrees, enabling it to take off or land vertically.
Not for the first time, Rolls-Royce is taking to the skies. The jet engine maker has unveiled a new concept for a propulsion system that would power a flying taxi, rivalling similar concepts from the likes of Airbus and Uber. The difference with Rolls’ concept is electric vertical take-off and landing (EVTOL).
EVTOL is almost the Holy Grail for aviation specialists and Rolls-Royce think they can achieve it. As the company suggests, all the hardware and software needed to bring EVTOL to life already exists or is currently being developed. That’s why the estimate that their concept vehicle could be accepting passengers as soon as the ‘early 2020s’.
The first models of the EVTOL will likely boast an M250 gas turbine in order to create the power needed for six electric propellers, all of which are designed to have a low noise profile. When landing, the EVTOL’s wings will rotate 90 degrees, with the propellers folding away at cruising height.
The flying taxi would have space enough for four to five passengers, with Rolls saying it could travel for approximately 500 miles at a top speed of 250 mph. That’s because its battery would be powered by the gas turbine, meaning it wouldn’t have to make pit stops to recharge.
While the Rolls-Royce EVTOL flaying taxi concept is still nowhere near production ready, it seems as though the company are serious about this, claiming they’re currently looking for partners. Like all flying car concepts, we’ll just have to watch this space.
Earlier this year, Uber unveiled some renderings for their planned ‘Skyports’, which will be used as pick-up and drop-off points when UberAIR gets the go-ahead.