Air-One, which opened in the West Midlands city on Monday, claims to be the world’s first hub for flying taxis. More accurately, it’s the first demonstration of a “vertiport” for electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft, which are known as eVTOLs.
While engineers and designers are working on vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft to make them feasible for rapid urban transport, the U.K.-based startup Urban-Air Port Ltd (UAP) is working to demonstrate that the infrastructure needed to make these urban aerial transport centers an operational reality is not as complicated as it may seem.
Air One was completed in 15 months, including the planning and building of the airport.
Powered by hydrogen fuel cells, Air One is designed to be fully autonomous and integrates with electric vehicles to deliver a zero-emission urban public transport system. The airport can handle electric drones and air taxis and has collaborated with Hyundai's air mobility arm, Supernal, to use a full-sized model of their SA-1 air taxi as a demonstrator.
At the airport, one can witness all the elements of urban mobility such as passenger taxi processing, command and control center, logistics, charging infrastructure as well as disaster management and security services. One can also experience live-flight demonstrations with drones that will also see the local police participate in operational scenarios, Air One's website reads.
According to interestingengineering