THEeCopter developed by the Austrian startup FlyNow Aviation marks a turning point in the concept of the air taxi. This innovative electric vertical mobility (eVTOL) solution stands out for its compact design and a “pragmatic” approach that aims to accelerate the adoption of urban air travel and make it more accessible to the general public.
In a rapidly evolving sector such as urban transport, the eCopter offers an intriguing perspective on how we might move in the future, combining energy efficiency, technological innovation and a sustainable vision of mobility. Let's take a quick look at it.
Certification and innovative design
One of the most notable aspects of the eCopter is its unique design, which moves away from conventional multi-rotor configurations and closer to that of an electric helicopter. A design choice that kills two birds with one stone: it makes the aircraft more distinguishable and facilitates the certification process with theEuropean Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Why? Well, because FlyNow's plan is to insert the eCopter into an already recognized category of aircraft, and therefore enter the market first. Will he succeed?
A sustainable air taxi: how many times have we heard it already?
Many. This, however, it must be said, is an interesting novelty. The adoption of a coaxial electric propulsion system, with two counter-rotating propellers, reduces the mechanical complexity of the aircraft and improves its energy efficiency. This, combined with a design optimized to reduce weight, allows the eCopter to boast a battery range of up to 50 km, at a cruising speed of 130 km/h. How much maximum load does it carry? 200 kilos.
The perspective? An eVTOL air taxi for single hit-and-run urban trips, cost-effective and with a reduced ecological footprint. It responds exactly to the growing needs for sustainable transport solutions in city areas.
Versatility and accessibility
FlyNow plans to build versions of the eCopter for both passenger (single and double) and cargo, using a common basic platform. Not just air taxis, therefore, but also freight transport. The goal of making the cost of an eCopter trip comparable to that of a traditional land taxi would revolutionize the concept of urban mobility, making air travel a convenient choice for an ever-increasing number of people.
At least in terms of proportions, I'm skeptical about this hypothesis, but perhaps it's just because I'm not used to the idea of a “Blade Runner-style” sky crossed by hundreds of these contraptions. Maybe. Time will tell. And time says that today the eCopter has only ground tests under its belt: between flying prototype and commercial production we have to wait until 2026 (for the cargo model). Soon after, says the CEO of FlyNow Jürgen Greil, it will be the turn of the air taxi version.
An air taxi that will usher in a future where “celestial” urban transportation is not only possible but accessible to all.