A world-first demonstration of a fully operational hub for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft and drone technology has opened in Coventry, UK.
Urban-Air Port, the UK-based developer of ground infrastructure for air taxis and autonomous delivery drones, will operate Air-One in the center of Coventry for at least one month. Take a look inside the vertiport in our exclusive video.
Backed by the UK Government and supported by US-based mobility service provider Supernal (part of Hyundai Motor Group), Air-One will demonstrate the potential of advanced air mobility.
Air-One is a 1,700 sq m prefabricated vertiport designed for both rapid assembly and disassembly. A central 17m diameter aircraft carrier serves as the FATO (final approach and take-off) platform in the centre of the structure to support eVTOL vehicles. Air-One will demonstrate aircraft command and control, eVTOL charging, cargo loading for unmanned drones, and will host demonstrator flights.
West Midlands Police and Skyfarer will be among the first to operate flights from the site. Flights of large cargo drones will also be demonstrated by UK-based drone developer Malloy Aeronautics. A full-sized model of Supernal’s initial concept vehicle, S-A1, is on display inside Air-One.
Ricky Sandhu, founder and executive chairman of Urban-Air Port, says that the opening of Air-One is the starting gun for a new age of transport.
“From design, through to fabrication and now into operation, Urban-Air Port has delivered Air-One in just 15 months, setting the standard for deployment globally and opening up a world of possibilities for rapid response air mobility,” says Sandhu. “Air-One is just the first model in our infrastructure fleet and our order-book is not only open but already growing. The interest is turning into recognition of the need for our technology and into demand.”
Mike Whitaker, chief commercial officer of Supernal, says: “Air-One serves as a valuable, tangible asset to helping build stakeholder confidence and trust in emerging mobility technology and supporting systems. The Coventry demonstration is an important first step forward to reimagining how people across the world will move, connect and live.”
Air-One will provide a physical and regulatory blueprint for more than 200 vertiports planned by Urban-Air Port worldwide over the next five years to meet growing demand. Urban-Air Port says vertiports are already planned in the West Midlands and London, UK, and internationally in the US, Australia, South Korea, France, Germany, Scandinavia and South East Asia.
Members of the public interested in visiting Air-One in Coventry can sign up for tickets.
Urban-Air Port will redeploy Air-One to other locations in the UK and internationally to undertake demonstrations in different environments and settings.
Air-One’s official partner, Hyundai-backed Supernal is aiming for passenger flights in its eVTOL craft by 2028.
Images: Urban-Air Port, Hyundai, Ben Sampson