Shanghai firm to test eVTOL aircraft, eying 'air taxi' plans
A Shanghai-based electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft manufacturer, which recently completed a new round of funding, will conduct its first "air taxi" trial flight in the city in the second quarter.
The M1 is a two-ton eVTOL aircraft. According to Vertaxi, the developer headquartered in Zhangjiang in the Pudong New Area, the cost will be comparable to a taxi fare after the company receives the necessary regulatory approval.
Vertaxi has raised a total of 150 million yuan (US$22 million) in its second round of funding. Skyview was in charge of the investment drive.
An eVTOL vehicle is typically used in the urban transportation, disaster relief, energy and logistics industries, and has a multi-billion-dollar market space.
The funds will be used primarily for research and development of M1 aircraft, as well as test flights and additional funds for airworthiness certification.
It will help the company seize the lead in the new round of global aviation competition and promote future air transportation.
The first M1 aircraft has completed static testing and has entered the final assembly stage, with the first flight in Shanghai scheduled for the second quarter, the company said.
It is consistent with Shanghai's updated digitalization strategy. Shanghai recently unveiled a blueprint for five strategic "future" industries: health, smart devices, energy, space and new materials. The city blueprint mentions eVTOL.