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Factbox-From San Francisco to Munich, key players developing flying taxis

Factbox-From San Francisco to Munich, key players developing flying taxis
Factbox-From San Francisco to Munich, key players developing flying taxis   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021
By Reuters

By Aishwarya Nair and Kannaki Deka

– Electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft (eVTOL) maker Eve, part of Brazilian planemaker Embraer, is planning to go public in the fifth such debut as investors bet on environmentally friendly urban air travel.

That comes after Vertical Aerospace saw its shares surge 19% in a New York debut on Friday

Following are some of the leading eVTOL developers, some of which aim to start their “flying taxis” before mid-decade.

Vertical Aerospace

- The Bristol-UK-based manufacturer was founded in 2016 and launched its eVTOL VX4 in 2020.

- It is backed by investors such as American Airlines Group Inc and Honeywell International Inc.

- It says it has the largest sales with pre-orders for up to 1,350 aircraft. VX4 can fly at a top speed of 202 miles per hour and can carry 5 people at a time including the pilot.

Joby Aviation

- The California-based company started in 2009 and is now worth more than $3.9 billion.

- Backed by Toyota Motor Corp, Joby has developed an eVTOL supported by six electric motors and operated by a pilot. It can carry four passengers and go at 200 miles/hour.

- Joby aims to get certification in 2022. Archer Aviation

- The San Francisco-based company was founded in 2018 and went public in September after merging with Atlas Crest Investment. It is now worth $1.7 billion, according to Refinitiv data.

- Archer is backed by United Airlines Holdings and Stellantis NV. Its eVTOL named Maker will be piloted, with a capacity of four passengers and a speed of 150 miles/hour, powered by 12 motors and six independent battery packs.

- Archer has received FAA approval for ground tests.

Volocopter- German air taxi startup Volocopter began making its eVTOL in 2011. It has raised 322 million euros ($363.92 million) and is looking to go public via a SPAC deal.

- The startup counts Daimler AG and BlackRock among its investors. The two-seater eVTOL Volocity is battery-powered, supported by 18 motors and will have a maximum airspeed of 110 km/hour (68 miles/hour).

Wisk

- The San Francisco-based autonomous air taxi developer was established in 2019 as a JV between Boeing and Kitty Hawk Corp, which is backed by Google’s Larry Page. – Wisk’s eVTOL, Cora, is a two-seater aircraft designed with a speed of 100 miles/hour and has 12 motors. – Cora has an experimental airworthiness certificate from both the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the U.S. FAA. Lilium

- German air shuttle startup Lilium has been developing its electric aircraft since 2015. The company listed on the U.S. stock market via a reverse merger with Qell Acquisition Corp. It has a market cap of more than $1.9 billion.

- Its seven-seater eVTOL can fly at 175 miles/hour. The jets rely on a single-stage rotor system driven by an electric motor.

- The company is pursuing concurrent certification of the 7-seater jet with EASA and FAA. CityAirbus

- CityAirbus was unveiled by Airbus in September 2021 after its fixed-wing, V-tail design was picked as the planemaker’s eVTOL offering over a rival demonstrator.

- CityAirbus NextGen is a four-seater aircraft with a cruise speed of 62 miles/hour. It entered a detailed design phase in 2021, with the prototype’s first flight planned for 2023. Eve Urban Air Mobility

- Brazilian planemaker Embraer’s eVTOL unit was spun off from innovation subsidiary EmbraerX in October 2020.

- It has agreed to go public with blank-check firm Zanite Acquisition Corp in a deal valuing Eve’s equity at $2.9 billion.

($1 = 0.8848 euros)