UAV Technology Promise Keeps Air Taxi Ideas Alive

By Graham Warwick
Source: AWIN First

Beginning with competitions to develop electric wheel motors for taxiing and takeoff, and quiet propellers, the series would culminate in the demonstration of a quiet, autonomous ESTOL Sky Taxi, Seeley told the AIAA conference.

The air taxi would fit within the weight and performance limits for a two-seat light sport aircraft, with a stall speed of less than 32 mph. and top speed above 120 mph. A high lift-to-drag ratio wing would extend glide performance to improve safety.

Wheel motors would be used to increase acceleration and achieve a 90-ft. ground roll to a 45-mph. takeoff speed. Takeoff noise with a 600-lb.-thrust propeller would be less than 60 dBA, keeping any nuisance well within the 500 X 250-ft. perimeter of the airpark.

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