Electric air taxis and flying cars are getting closer and closer to reality, especially after United Airlines announced this week that air taxi service was coming to New York. This is the first official announcement of an air taxi service in the United States. Manhattan’s Pier 6 Heliport, on the East River near Wall Street, will take passengers to Newark Liberty International Airport in less than 10 minutes.
How long is the drive from Manhattan to Newark?
At peak times, the trip takes an hour or more, with the trip being approximately 22 miles. But the air taxi will take a more direct shot between the two points. And this is only the first route that will eventually see a network of routes. Newark is one of United’s biggest hubs.
Aircraft manufacturer Archer has ordered 100 of its Midnight eVTOL air taxis from United Airlines. “We are delighted to confirm that New York will be the first of many routes we will announce alongside United as we work to grow our nationwide UAM network,” said Archer CEO Adam Goldstein. “We look forward to continuing our collaboration with United and working closely with state and local government leaders in the New York and New Jersey area as we bring this exciting new form of transportation to life.”
What other companies are developing air taxi services?
United’s ultimate goal is carbon neutrality. At the same time, it also serves as a model for other companies to follow. Archer already has development plans for similar services in Miami and Los Angeles, it hopes to be operational by 2025. But no route has been announced so far. Its first routes will go from airports to major urban centers. From there, it will branch out to outlying communities.
Last month, Delta Airlines announced its partnership with Joby Aviation, another air taxi developer. Their plans are also for service in New York and Los Angeles, although they have not announced specific plans.
How much will the plane ticket cost?
No pricing has been announced, but an Archer company spokesperson told FutureFlight that air fares will be “roughly in line with the price of carpooling services.” Midnight taxis can accommodate four passengers plus the pilot.
As for traveling in icing conditions, Archer did not say whether its electric air taxis will be grounded in winter. Even though they will be IFR certified, helicopters with the certification must always remain on the ground. Being an eVTOL, it is both a helicopter and an airplane combined.
The production version of the Midnight has not been seen by the public, but that will change next week. It will be released to a testing facility in California. Archer and United are therefore taking the lead, but it won’t be long before air taxis are as common as taking an Uber.