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This 'heli-taxi' is all set to take you above the clouds next year

Toronto: Going down in the elevator and you realize you are late for your meeting somewhere near Manhattan. You get your phone out, open the Heli-Cab App (not launched yet) and call the closest helicopter. The app tells you it will arrive in 5 minute

India TV Business Desk Updated on: June 28, 2016 12:48 IST
The heli-taxi tested in the presence of skydivers
The heli-taxi tested in the presence of skydivers

Toronto: Going down in the elevator and you realize you are late for your meeting somewhere near Manhattan. You get your phone out, open the Heli-Cab App (not launched yet) and call the closest helicopter. The app tells you it will arrive in 5 minutes; enough for you to grab a coffee in a nearby café.

When your helicopter arrives, you authenticate yourself with your smartphone, get inside and get greeted by the instructor in the control center. He tells you to buckle up before the helicopter can take off and confirms that you chose the 'Autonomous Flight option'.

During the flight you can go through your presentation slides for the last time, while the helicopter follows a pre-programmed flight path to your destination. Safe and sound you arrive a couple minutes early, since some other participants are still stuck in traffic.

It could be the perfect way to travel traffic free without running late.

India Tv - The heli-taxi in air

The heli-taxi in air

Much to your surprise, all this will hold true in the coming years - thanks to Airvinci, an aviation company based in Toronto, Canada.

The Airvinci allows users to call their own personal heli-taxi and fly to their destination amongst the clouds.

India Tv - The heli-taxi

The heli-taxi

The firm behind the profound idea says it is preparing for its first test flights this summer of its ducted fan, fixed-pitch rotor aircraft drone.

“So far, a 'Heli-Taxi' seemed to be reserved for VIPs or at least very wealthy people,” it says.

“Soon, this will change. 

We are developing and building a helicopter that is compact for take-off and landing in urban environment and has low maintenance costs, which will keep the price down for customers. 

Our next milestone is our first test flight next month.”  Tarek Ibrahim, the man behind the design, said.

India Tv - The heli-taxi at your convenience

The heli-taxi at your convenience

The firm said it hopes the system could one day take on car firms.

 “We scheduled our first test flight this (US) summer with more test flights later this year”says Airvinci project manager, Markus Engelhart.  “Currently, we are finishing final versions of several components like the rotors, the rotor hub and control surfaces.”

“In about two weeks we are planning to start the final assembly of our prototype.”

The design puts the pilot in a sitting rather than standing position and is powered by two aircraft-specific engines and a single-rotor rather than a single engine and two rotors.

India Tv - The heli-taxi takes you anywhere

The heli-taxi takes you anywhere

According to Airvinci, the prototype engines for the drone put out around 28 hp (21 kW) each, and the total rotor size for the craft is about 7 ft (2.1 m).

“With our design we are convinced to have a better weight balance that will improve flight dynamics and the ease of use,” says Engelhart.

The design has two separate engines making it safer and more resilient to engine failure. 

Intended for a range of users and uses, the team at Airvinci say their markets will include pilots, search and rescue teams. It could also be used by shipping firms.

It says the Airvinci Backpack Helicopter is easy to control, mechanically simple, needs no runway and will have the capacity to lift 260lbs up to 12,000 ft high, and claims it could be available in 2017. 

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