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Unmanned Air Taxi Made Its First Intercity Flight In China

Electric air taxis with vertical take-off and landing capabilities represent a new breakthrough in urban mobility, replacing expensive helicopters and making air transport accessible to the masses. Chinese company AutoFlight recently successfully launched its Prosperity self-driving air taxi between the cities of Shenzhen and Zhuhai, covering a distance of 50 km in just 20 minutes, which is several times faster than land transport.

Air taxi Prosperity is capable of transporting four passengers over a distance of up to 250 km at a speed of up to 200 km/h. AutoFlight expects to receive permission for commercial flights of the vehicle in 2026. The air taxi scheme is quite simple and reliable. The beams house 10 electric motors with propellers, which operate only when aircraft are moving vertically. In horizontal flight, the device is driven by a tail electric motor with a propeller, transitioning to flight on the wings.

In the Shenzhen area alone, the manufacturer expects up to 300 thousand flights per year.  

This will be the same as regular passenger transportation, cargo delivery, tourism, as well as the work of emergency services. The company expects that other Chinese agglomerations will pick up the initiative and this will create a new economy and new comfortable conditions for citizens without increasing the load on infrastructure with relatively modest budgets for park maintenance.

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