The developments in the electric motors and VTOL (vertical landing and takeoff vehicle) sector cause the number of urban flying taxi initiatives to increase in the city every day.
The British company Autonomous Flight has introduced the Y6S Plus, a luxury world-class six-seater electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft concept.
While most eVTOL concepts feature a four-propeller design, the Autonomous Flight Y6S Plus comes with a three-propeller design. This unique design of the propulsion system distinguished the flying taxi from its competitors. Two large propellers are located at the ends of the front wings, separated from both sides; the third is mounted at the rear of the aircraft, behind the large main wing. Since the propeller in the tail should not affect the airflow in the wings, we can say that the third propeller is well behind the car.
The Y6S Plus offers a clear weight advantage as it has fewer propellers, propeller arms, and motors compared to competing eVTOLs. Despite the fact that the three-propeller design is simpler and cheaper than the traditional quadcopter design, engineers have to install an extra servo motor on the rear propeller in order to ensure stability during the flight.
Although the design does not seem to have a visual flaw, it will be necessary to see the vehicle’s flight tests to see how much stability and control authority it’ll allow with only three lift points. According to the reports, the front two propellers lean forward after takeoff, enabling a cruise that reaches speeds of 125 mph (200 km/h).
The Y6S Plus will have a range of 80 miles (130 km) on a single charge. This means that the vehicle will be an urban flying taxi instead of long-range transportation flights. It will fly short routes between specified stations, where the company will install equipment for rapid replacement and charging of lithium-ion batteries. In this way, the developers will reduce the time required for recharging and reduce the air shuttle’s weight.
Still, we can state that the Y6S Plus has a long pre-service development time, as Martin Warner, founder of Autonomous Flight, said he did not expect air taxi operations to become common in the next 15 years.
The company has previously presented a similar model, but it was designed to carry only two passengers.