NEW YORK - It's a new day for transportation in New York City, as the creators of an all-electric air taxi took the aircraft on its maiden voyage in Lower Manhattan on Monday.
Manufacturer Joby Aviation carried out an exhibition flight of it's "eVTOL" aircraft, short for Electric Vertical Takeoff and Landing.
Initially, the vehicle will go to the airports, and its backers, including Uber and Delta Airlines, are looking into other landing sites across the city to shuttle passengers between.
"What we're doing is developing this new class of aircraft that can take off and land vertically like a helicopter, but fly on a wing, just like an aircraft or an airplane." Joby Aviation's Head of Product Design Eric Allison told FOX 5 NY, "We are actually able to design this whole aircraft with no single points of failure and the entire propulsion system, which is a really big deal, because no other small aircraft and certainly no helicopter can be designed that way just because of the physics of how they work."
Being electric means the aircraft runs quietly and is better for the environment than gas-powered motors, like the ones on helicopters.
The eVTOL aircraft requires a pilot and can take up to 1000 pounds of payload. With four passenger seats, it can travel up to 100 miles - JFK airport is less than 1/3 that distance.
Mayor Eric Adams was on hand for the announcement Monday expressing excitement for how the new aircraft will change transportation in New York City saying, "We will not only put New York City at the cutting edge of sustainable flight technology while addressing a persistent quality-of-life issue with helicopter noise, but also get trucks off the road and make our streets safer."
A ride on the air taxi is expected to mirror the cost of using Uber black, around $200 per seat to get to JFK airport. And then there’s search pricing to take into account.
The timeline for it to become operational is remarkably tight with Joby Aviation saying it's already working with the FAA on certification and expects to be up and running in NYC in 2025.