An air taxi on a military drone platform

Metro Skyways (a subsidiary of Urban Aeronautics) has been working on a very ambitious project - CityHawk - for four years now. It is a six-seater air taxi based on the Cormorant military drone, in which the power unit is a hydrogen-electric hybrid.

The characteristics of CityHawk

The army cargo drone has all the necessary characteristics to transport people. The drone can stay in the air for up to five hours and its carrying capacity is 635 kg. The maximum permissible flight height is 3.7 thousand meters.

Boeing and its subsidiary Urban Aeronautics Tactical Robotics are now working on tunnel propeller technology for the future of aero-taxi. The concept involves the use of a propeller that is located in a cylindrical duct to provide traction. The efficiency in this case is higher than that of an open rotor. Moreover, the technology has already been tested on the military version of the drone.

CityHawk perspectives

It is planned to present a serial prototype in 2021, but to enter the market of air transport not earlier than 2023. Urban Aeronautics has agreements with the booking service for Ascent helicopter charters. Therefore, the first flights will take place in Asia. A platform for commercialization of this kind of transportation is already being prepared there. Apparently, the era of compact air jets on drones will begin in Singapore.

Earlier, Uber and Hyundai joined forces to create air taxis. The eVTOL prototype they created uses a lithium-ion battery as a power source. The compact aircraft can travel distances of up to 100 km at speeds of up to 300 km/h.

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