Big city traffic is facing massive problems all over the world: however, eVTOL aeroplanes could be the solution for overcoming traffic jams of unbearable magnitude and environmental pollution. This segment is about to experience an explosion as, in the next five years, the size of the electric air taxi market could approach USD 100 billion. Orca, the developer of an eVTOL vehicle, and AerinX have concluded a cooperation agreement, in accordance with which the two companies will jointly examine and develop high-tech maintenance processes.
Big city traffic is facing ever-greater challenges all over the world due to the rapid increase of population and vehicles circulating in traffic. One of the possible solutions to the almost unbearable traffic jams and environmental pollution lies in the development of air taxis.
Numerous development projects are currently under way all over the world. The estimated size of the industry in 2020 could reach USD 45 billion, while experts forecast a global market of USD 97 billion for 2027.
The Hungarian Orca entered the international competition with its self-developed aeroplane, called eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing), the prime aim of which is to revolutionise air rescue. This aeroplane is light, fast and electric, meaning that there are no polluting emissions. Thanks to all these, both purchase and maintenance costs are lower than those of the gas turbine choppers being used in air rescue at present.
“According to industry experts, eVTOL will sky-rocket from the beginning of the 2030’s. Experts estimate that in China, for example, almost ten thousand vertical take-off and landing specialist aeroplanes would be needed in the field of air rescue. And we are also certain that air taxis will serve as a significant pillar of city mobility. For this, not only technological development is necessary, but also the preparation of related regulations, and both are progressing well,” said Soma Varga, the co-founder and Managing Director of ORCA Aerospace.
The concept of the eVTOL aeroplane was among those awarded at the designer competition of the Royal Aeronautical Society, as well as in the Airbus Sustainable Mobility Challenge. The team is planning to introduce an operating prototype in a few years: as a first step a 1:5 scale version will be built and tested soon to check control and the effect of surfaces, and perform a test flight.
Besides the pilot, two doctors and a bedridden patient could fit in the cabins of the vehicle designed by the Hungarian team, and the aeroplane would be driven by seven electric rotors, the first two of which would be rotatable, supporting both lifting and flying. The two-ton machine would be able to carry a total payload of more than 600 kg and, based on simulations performed so far, could fly almost 100 kilometres, when batteries are fully charged.
Orca and AerinX have concluded a cooperation agreement, under which joint examination and development of high-tech maintenance processes of the VTOL air vehicles will be performed by the two companies.
“We believe that the aviation industry is an area where technical knowledge and innovative abilities are capable of delivering global solutions. This is why we are happy to cooperate with a company which, just like us, aims at creating significant value with its in-house developed technology, and launch an internationally competitive solution to the market. VTOL and the eVTOL industry are important for AerinX, as they represent important mobility technologies for the future, and we aim to be an internationally significant technology player and a pioneer in the field of maintenance in this segment of aviation,” added Antal Bence Kiss, the co-founder and Managing Director of AerinX.