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Contxto – Partnered with Uber, Brazilian aircraft innovator EmbraerX recently showcased its product proposal at the third annual Uber Elevate Summit. Hoping to conduct the first public presentation at the Dubai World Expo on October 20, 2020, the goal is to start testing electric aircraft taxis before then.
As the disruptive innovation subsidiary of Embraer, a Brazilian aerospace conglomerate founded in 1969, EmbraerX presented at Uber Elevate Summit 2019 in Washington, D.C. on June 11. Manufacturers, investors, and government representatives gathered to strategize over the future of aircraft taxis.
Beginning in 2017, this electric urban aircraft taxi concept is the product of a partnership between Brazilian aviation manufacturer Embraer and Uber. Together, these companies want to start experimenting with this new form of travel by 2020.
Officials didn’t discuss the performance or anticipated release date of aircraft taxis. Rather, EmbraerX representatives stressed that it “seeks the best customer experience to make aircraft travel accessible to everyone.”
EmbraerX is a market accelerator introducing disruptive technology in the aviation industry. It belongs to Embraer, a multinational company that designs, develops, manufactures and markets aircraft as well as aviation systems.
Equipped with modern tech capabilities, the subgroup aspires to revolutionize urban mobility based on Uber requirements.
For example, Uber requires aircraft to function as helicopters, being able to take off and land smoothly. All the while, Uber intends to conserve energy with wing-powered aircraft known as electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) craft. Various partners have designed models.
Karem Aircraft presented a model at an Uber Elevate conference on May 8 with upward-pointing rotors for helicopter mode and forward for airplane mode. Another proposal came from Airbus that suggested tilted-wings
In terms of EmbraerX’s design, it entails two sets of rotors. Specifically, eight will be on top to lift the aircraft with two in the back to propel it forward. Aircraft will also have a cabin design similar to a shuttle van based on customer feedback.
As a whole, Embraer’s devotion to launching electric aircraft taxis is also apparent in its new platform, Beacon. Released on June 7, Beacon strives to connect aviation industry players with resources, aftermarket supply chain, plus general services. Dallas-based air carrier JetSuiteX is reportedly the first customer.
“Beyond its broad capabilities to meet the needs of existing aviation systems, Beacon was also designed to account for the future of urban air mobility,” said Antonio Campello, the President and CEO of EmbraerX. “The JetSuiteX spirit of innovation pairs well with Beacon’s purpose, and we are thrilled to have them onboard with this personalized, agnostic, and collaborative services initiative.”
As the proposed foundation for future aircraft taxis, the Beacon platform intends to accelerate aircraft maintenance and services with accredited providers. The app will be available on iOS and Android devices.