May 26, 2022

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The UK welcomes the world's first 'port' for drones and future flying taxis

The UK welcomes the world’s first ‘port’ for drones and future flying taxis

The first flight of a drone in Coventry’s vertical port, carrying two bottles of sparkling wine – AFP

The urban harbor for delivery drones – and future flying taxis – opened in the UK on Monday, sending a bright wine box flying in the air on a brief test flight.

The “vertical port” for Air-One, drones and electric vehicles landing vertically in the future is said to be the first of its kind by its promoters, foretelling a new era of future, low-carbon aviation.

Located in a former automobile factory in Coventry, central England, the facility will be a showcase for the growing industry for a month.

The maiden aircraft marked a box containing six bottles of sparkling wine weighing about 12 kg from the launch pad.

The commercial drone used – a Malloy aeronautics T150 borrowed from the British military – is the largest flying machine in such an urban environment, says Ricky Sandu, founder and CEO of the British company Urban-Airport behind the project.

“You are in the world’s first fully operational vertical port,” Alley told guests at the venue. “This is a start-up sector, of course, but it is just starting to gain real momentum now,” he added.

– Environment –

Urban-Airport builds the ground infrastructure for autonomous delivery drones and air taxis, which is expected to be built by the end of this decade, and spent last year preparing its presentation in Coventry.

The temporary installation of Air-One near the city’s train station is intended to show how the integrated hub for these devices operates in a saturated urban environment.

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The company plans to hold similar demonstrations in the UK and around the world in the coming months, with the goal of setting up more than 200 venues around the world.

“Vertical ports” are designed to easily assemble and disassemble and “create zero emissions” of CO2 using hydrogen fuel cells.

The company says it has orders worth 65 65 million ($ 83 million), with plans planned for the US, Australia, France, Germany, Scandinavia and Southeast Asia.

One of the partners in the project is Southnal car company Hyundai US subsidiary Supernal, which is developing the concept of an autonomous flying electric vehicle to carry passengers.

“We are focused on creating the ecosystem that will allow this new technology to thrive,” Supernell business director Michael Whittaker told AFP. “Without vertical ports, without landings, there would be no business.”

Supernal is showcasing its eight-rotor all-electric concept vehicle, the Air-One, which must be certified for 2024 before starting serial production.

“We will see some activity in this decade, but I hope the 2030s will really be a decade of advanced wind movement, and it will start to spread everywhere,” Whittaker said.


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