A prototype of electric flying taxi built by a Startup incubated in IIT-Madras was recently unveiled at Aero India in Bengaluru.
Innovations in the transportation sector had unearthed new enticing modes of travel and intra-planetary jet travels (supersonic boom), hyperloop and flying cars are the foremost few to mention. Further, the jeopardy of climate change made the innovators to convergently seek for eco-friendly ways of operating things and this is why electric vehicles and now electric flying vehicles have been possible.
In the aspect, a start-up named ePlane developed this electric flying taxi that could make travel 10 times faster than cars, it cites.
Electric Flying Taxi – IIT-M
The flying taxi by ePlane, incubated out of Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) garnered viewers at Aero India (biennial air show and aviation exhibition) in Bengaluru. Pranjal Mehta, CEO of ePlane and Professor Satya Chakravarthy, CTO of the startup said that they got the idea of innovating an electric flying taxi after seeing a video on electric ground transportation.
According to the firm, the flying taxi can swift for 200 kilometers on a single charge, carrying about 50 kilogram of payload per trip.
The vehicle called “e200”, is capable of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) with a 5×5 meter footprint, requiring less space while taking off and landing. With maximum of two seats, including a human pilot, the electric flying vehicle completes a 60 minute car-trip in fewer than 14 minutes, the firm claims.
It equips 4 ducted fans as its propellers providing enough thrust for the vehicle and weighs around 200 kgs. The maximum altitude the flying taxi is capable of reaching is 457 meters (1500 ft) cruising at speed range of 150 kmph and 200 kmph.
However, the company disclosed very less details of its battery – that it’s not swappable. The battery model, size and charging details are not known yet.
Future of E-Flying Taxi
According to the startup, the flying taxi might be ideal for urban air mobility where it can go from roof-top to another roof-top in any city. The flying car intends to make around 10 short trips of 10 to 15 km (up to almost 10 miles) on a single battery charge. Though it requires a pilot to operate, the startup aims to offer autonomous technology in future. ePlane had so far raised around $1 million (₹8.28 Crores) fund to develop the model.
ePlane is not the first in India to conceptualize making flying cars, as another Chennai-based startup named “Vinata” had laid the groundworks of building flying cars back in 2021. Vinata’s flying vehicle seems to be like a car atop a drone with a quad-copter and is fully autonomous using AI to take its passengers from one place to another. The flying car is capable of Vertical take-off and landing using its coaxial quad-rotor. Get to know fully about Vinata here.