Urban Aeronautics is working to produce a flying car that would be suited for the civilian commute; It has been dubbed the ‘Uber of the air’; The CityHawk vehicle would allow for up to five passengers and a pilot.
The concept of a flying car-like vehicle has been around for several years. Today, there are at least a dozen different companies around the world attempting to produce one of their own. Different attempts of the past have come in various shapes and sizes, and the intentions surrounding their use have varied as well.
Israel’s Urban Aeronautics, who originally focused on the design of a helicopter with internal rotors, is now well into their pursuit.
Founded by CEO Rafi Yoeli in 2001, Urban Aeronautics is developing its model called the CityHawk, which will serve as a multi-purpose flying vehicle. And like the helicopter they designed approximately seven years ago (and took flight two years later), it too, will not have external rotors. Using a system they call the Fancraft, the vehicle is also wingless. The Fancraft design consists of internal propellers that are built into the body of the car.
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Using hydrogen power, CityHawk is designed to be used for civilian purposes such as executive transportation, emergency response, air taxi, etc. It can hold up to five passengers in addition to the pilot. Mirroring the size of an SUV, it will be able to be efficient in its role without using excessive space. Additionally, it will have the ability to land on rooftops in circumstances that relate to first responder and emergency situations.
In an interview with Israel 21c, Yoeli shared how it’s likely that the first usage of his flying car would be for emergency purposes, stating, “With such a small physical footprint, they serve a critical need: the ability to land anywhere. You can bring a doctor directly to a patient or rescue a patient. Helicopters today often must land a kilometer away, then the medical team runs through the streets. A lot of time is lost.”
There’s no mystery as to why it has been dubbed the ‘Uber of the air’.
However, though the new vehicle is highly-anticipated, Yoeli has revealed that it likely won’t be ready until nearly 2030. Not to mention the approval process CityHawk will need to go through, he estimates that the prototype is still likely another three years out.