A few game changers are shifting perceptions of urban commuting with designs for short-distance aircraft.
Aston Martin has released a striking design for a microjet that will be able to take off and land vertically. With automated steering features and space for three people, the drone-like jet is said to cost between £3-million and £5-million (R52-million to R87-million). It will be able to fly at speeds of up to 360km/h for a distance of 480km.
“We are positioned to change the future of transportation, giving our customers a new dimension of freedom,” says Aston Martin CEO Andy Palmer.
Palmer believes air travel is the next innovative solution to the problem of rising congestion in towns and cities. Short-distance aviation could allow more suburban cities to grow as more areas will become commutable.
Although Aston Martin’s Volante Vision Concept is priced for the super-elite, it could inspire other companies to build more affordable models.
It does not have a release date yet.
The Honda Jet, which came out in 2015, is more of a business aircraft made for longer distances but it shows aviation could be the future of public transport.
It is a little early for logistical details around personal urban air travel but it is an exciting concept, nonetheless. Rolls-Royce has added to the hype by releasing an “air taxi” model which is slated to be action in the mid-2020s. It’s designed to be used at heliports and airports, and might not be as casual as the Aston Martin microjet, but it is helping to inspire competition in the field of sports car aviation.