eHang, Volocopter and Archer Aviation are each billion-dollar or multi-billion valuation companies that are racing to establish the commercial VTOL air taxi industry in the 2021-2024 timeframes.
Flying super-sized drone taxis are using electric engines and should become lower cost than helicopters. Multiple engines should be safer as one or two engines could fail and there would not be a crash. The unfortunate example of the risk with helicopters was the Kobe Bryant helicopter crash last year.
eHang VTOL for Passengers and Packages
eHang is expanding into Europe in France, Spain and Austria. eHang is operating in China.
eHang is working on launching package delivery with DHL.
eHang is flying in 40 cities in China and could get the permit for air taxi operation this year. They expect this to be in common usage within 3 years.
They are the first and only electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) company to receive Design Organisation Approval (DOA) by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency. They have scaled up the eight-engine hobby drone to carry a pilot and a passenger.
Archer Aviation is targeting commercial air taxi operation by 2024. Archer has a $3.8 billion valuation after a SPAC deal and have a $1 billion order from United Airlines.
SOURCES- Volocopter, eHang, Archer Aviation
Written By Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com