Flying taxis are about to take off at last

THE HISTORY of the flying car is almost as old as that of powered flight itself. It started with the Curtiss Autoplane of 1917, an awkward-looking contraption with detachable wings. It never left the ground. Later machines made it into the skies but failed to take off commercially. Money is now pouring into flying taxis. On March 30th Lilium, a German company that develops them, announced a reverse merger with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that values it at $3.3bn—a sign that investors think the business will fly.
Thanks to better batteries and lightweight materials the vehicles, some of them ten years in the making, are ready to carry passengers. Up to 300 firms are working on short-range battery-powered craft that take off and land vertically, estimates Natasha Santha of LEK, a consultancy. Carmakers, aerospace firms, tech companies and others are ploughing money into the field. Morgan Stanley, an investment bank, reckons the market for aerial hops could be worth $674bn by 2040. Regulators are offering a glide path to certification. America’s Federal Aviation Administration is engaged in the process with around 30 firms, Ms Santha says. Others besides Lilium are heading for the stockmarket, after mergers with SPACs. One of them, Joby Aviation, has been valued at nearly $7bn. Another, Archer, is worth almost $4bn….
Read More

Leave a comment

My Newsletter

Sign Up For Updates & Newsletters