Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Japan’s largest helicopter charter company to operate 50 eVTOL air taxis

Eve Air Mobility has come so far in its journey to expand its market reach. The Brazilian company has now signed a letter of intent with AirX, Japan’s largest public helicopter air charter service, for up to 10 firm and up to 40 optional electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. The order will support the continued development and scaling of innovative transportation operations in Japan.

In addition to the aircraft, the Japanese operator has chosen to use Eve’s operations solution and Vector urban air traffic management software. Eve’s efforts towards developing a comprehensive ecosystem, rather than just an aircraft, seem to have played a role in AirX’s decision to purchase air taxis from the Brazilian startup.

Eve has collaborated with other Japan-based companies in the past, including SkyScape, a vertiport developer in Osaka. SkyScape’s vision is focused on developing modular and flexible vertiports using sustainable units, and Eve’s Vector ATM tool is expected to play a crucial role in these vertiports.

Vector was created as an agnostic software solution for managing air taxi traffic, making it accessible to any vertiport operator or eVTOL maker. This flexibility could bring about many benefits. Eve has already received orders for its electric aircraft from all over the world, including the US and the Asia-Pacific region.

Eve has been working hard to establish a dedicated factory in Sao Paolo’s Taubate city. This will be a significant step towards producing and testing their first full-scale Eve demonstrator.

The Brazilian air taxi will have a unique configuration with eight lift rotors for vertical takeoff and landing and one push rotor for cruise flight. It will operate with a limited range of 100 km and a maximum speed of 100 knots, which is common among battery-electric air taxis. It will have low noise levels for urban operations and lower costs due to fewer parts and operational efficiency.

The company has begun assembly of its first full-scale eVTOL prototype, which will be followed by a test campaign. Eve has letters of intent for nearly 3,000 eVTOLs, and the aircraft is expected to enter into service in 2026.

Concurrently, Eve continues to develop a comprehensive portfolio of agnostic service and operations solutions, including Vector, a unique Urban Air Traffic Management software to optimize and scale Urban Air Mobility operations worldwide.