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A Passenger Drone Sets Its Sights on the UK Skyline

| January 1, 2018

Passenger Drone

Looking for a new addition to your fleet? Autonomous Flight, A UK start-up, is aiming to “transform city transportation from the air” with a passenger drone that is expected to perform test flights as early as next year. Known as the Y6S, the aircraft seats two people, has a maximum speed of 70mph and will fly at an altitude of 1,500 feet.

The concept vehicle is expected to be unveiled in March 2018 with manned test flights planned for September, making Autonomous Flight the first company in the UK to join the burgeoning global market of the passenger drone.

According to the company’s founder Martin Warner, the Y6S could take passengers from London Heathrow to Charing Cross in just 12 minutes.

“The Y6S is going through a series of tests. By end of March we will have a full, living concept – 70% of the concept will be the prototype, ” said Warner. “We will be doing test flights using sandbags to adjust for human weight in August. At the end of the third quarter, we will most likely be doing our first passenger test flight.”

Warner describes the VTOL sector as the “new gold rush in transportation and aviation”.

Chinese drone maker Ehang has been working on a single-seater vehicle called the EHang 184, while cab-sharing firm Uber recently unveiled plans to launch “flying taxis” by 2020. Meanwhile, German aviation start-up Lilium is also working on a VTOL prototype that it claims will be five times faster than travelling in a car.

As well as Y6S, the company is also working on two other VTOL prototypes – Y6S Plus, which will seat four people and be aimed at private users looking to buy or rent the aircraft, and the AS1, an eight-seater designed to provide transportation for the masses.

 

Warner said: “We are aiming to transform city transportation from the air. The focus is on solving transportation and improving people’s lives.

“There are several hundred million dollars to be made in this market. In 10 years, VTOLs will be mainstream for sure, but once the order books are open for private use, we will certainly see an air shuttle-based system coming to fruition at that point.”

Category: Featured, General Update, News

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