Air Mobility Tour |  A network of air taxis on the drawing board

Air Mobility Tour | A network of air taxis on the drawing board

From the suburbs to downtown Montreal in a few minutes, aboard an electric flying taxi that flies over traffic jams. Tomorrow is not the day before that service is offered, but two companies hope that will change soon. Vertical Mobility and Jaunt Air Mobility put their cards on the table this Wednesday, knowing that they have a lot of work ahead of them on the issue of social acceptability.

Plan

Vertigo wants to order 70 Jaunt Journey electric (eVTOL) aircraft and two other hybrid aircraft from Jaunt Air Mobility. The goal, initially, is to operate nine electric air taxis that will have access to six heliports in the Montreal metropolitan area, primarily on the roofs of large apartment towers, by 2026.

“The next three years will be used to pilot projects and establish links,” explains Vertiko Executive Vice President Yannick Richard. Planes don’t go everywhere. »

It states that the six helipad locations for the initial phase are “well-identified”, without elaborating. These are building complexes where the developers would own the infrastructure.

How much would it cost?

Although the project still has to go through several stages, its promoter considers it realistic to offer a one-way ticket, for example, from the south coast of Montreal to the metropolis, for less than 20 dollars.

“The economic models let us believe that it would be around $14 to $18,” says Mr. Richard. We’re talking about $18 at the beginning, but the price could come down if we reduce operating costs »

From left to right, John Valley (Vertiko Mobility), Suzanne Benoit (Aéro Montréal), Éric Côté (Jaunt Air Mobility) and Yannick Richard (Vertiko Mobility)

sell the model

Both companies are well aware that social acceptability is one of the main obstacles to their ambitions. After all, who wants to hear these devices and see them on the air?

If it looks like a helicopter, the device offered by Jaunt Air Mobility is not so loud, says Éric Côté, president of the company’s Canadian division.

“We have a patent to take off and land with a rotational speed [du moteur] lower, he said. It’s only 55 decibels. It is the equivalent of a truck. We’ll see it before we hear it. I think that what tires people is that [le bruit]. »

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, a level of 55 decibels is lower than “normal conversation” (60 dB). It is a bit beyond what is considered “inconvenience”. On the visual side, Mr. Richard explains that helipads risk being installed high enough to ensure air taxis are as inconspicuous as possible.

According to Vertigo, there are currently exchanges with five cities in Quebec, but Montreal is not part of this list. The exchanges should begin in the “coming weeks”, according to the company.

Are you ready to fly?

The Jaunt Air Mobility device is not certified. Mr. Côté believes that the company has an advantage over other players in the sector because his model is inspired by a helicopter. Therefore, it can be certified to existing Transport Canada standards, he argues.

“The rotor is the main element for takeoff and landing,” says Mr. Côté. We are the only actor that can certify [son prototype] by a regulation that does not need to be modified. »

If all goes according to plan, the production phase should start in 2026. In talks with Quebec for a financial boost, Jaunt Air Mobility intends to set up shop in the northern suburbs of Montreal to assemble its flying taxis.

Jaunt’s journey in a nutshell

Speed : about 280km/h

Ability : 1 pilot and 4passengers

Autonomy  between 130 and 190 kilometers

Reward  from 1.5 million to 2 million

source: Vertiko MOBILITY


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