I am not going to lie, when I first read about Arthur Weasley’s flying car in Harry Potter: Chamber of Secrets, it did ignite a desire to one day own such a vehicle. After decades, the dream of owning a flying car and actually using practically is closer to realization than ever.
Earlier this year, Klein Vision AirCar, which transforms from a road vehicle to a flying plane within three minutes, successfully passed safety tests, and now an airport built to accommodate flying cars and taxis is up and running in the UK. One of the 200 terminals to be built around the world in near future, the world’s first ‘vertiport’ Air-One is finally open.
Urban-Air Port, the UK-based developer of ground infrastructure for air taxis and autonomous delivery drones has inaugurated Air-One, the world’s first fully-operational hub for electrical vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles, and unmanned cargo drones. This vertiport is ushering in a new age of zero-emissions, low-crowding transport for urban settings.
Over two months ago, Urban-Air Port began work on the modular Air-One eVTOL platform in the Midlands city of Coventry, UK. The inaugural ceremony was called the “starting gun for a new age of transport” of goods and people. While the vertiport might be waiting a while for next-generation crafts, operators and passengers to reach it, it will soon open to visitors for a glimpse at the future of urban air travel.
The site also includes off-grid hydrogen eVTOL vehicle charging stations, a raised takeoff and landing podium, security checks and waiting areas, a cargo drone area, and spaces for retail brand partners. It will house a prototype of an S-A1 eVTOL air taxi plane from Supernal, Hyundai’s advanced air mobility branch, on display.
The future of urban travel
With city areas getting extremely congested, air travel is likely the future of urban transport. Air-One will showcase areas for aircraft command and control, eVTOL charging, cargo loading and autonomous drones. The port will also host demonstrator flights, where West Midlands Police and Skyfarer will be among the first to maneuver airlifts from the facility.
Company executive chairman Ricky Sandhu, said, “Air-One is just the first model in our infrastructure fleet and our order-book is not only open but already growing.”
Urban-Air Port is planning to construct 200 vertiports for eVTOL air taxis and delivery planes in 65 international cities across the US, Australia, South Korea, France, Scandinavia, Germany, and Southeast Asia. These ports will be located on rooftops, along waterways, and within municipal settings like the Air-One.