Rolls-Royce has unveiled plans to develop an all-electric flying taxi, and it could take to the skies as soon as the early 2020s.
Unveiled at the Farnborough Airshow, the British company announced the concept, which they say could be adapted for personal transport, public transport, logistics and military applications.
The concept vehicle has a M250 hybrid electric engine, which delivers 500kW of electric power. It features tilting wings for vertical take-off and landing, and at cruise height the propellers can fold away to reduce noise and thrust levels.
It can carry up to five passengers and can travel at a speed of 250mph for approximately 500 miles.
The head of Rolls-Royce’s electrical team, Rob Watson said: “Electrification is an exciting and inescapable trend across industrial technology markets and while the move to more electric propulsion will be gradual for us, it will ultimately be a revolution.”
“Rolls-Royce is actively exploring a range of possible markets and applications for electric and hybrid electric flight. We are well placed to play a leading role in the emerging world of personal air mobility”
The idea builds on experience that Rolls Royce has picked up from years of advances in the aviation world. As Rob Watson puts it, “As the third generation of aviation begins to dawn, it’s time to be pioneers yet again.”