Imagine taking a flying taxi instead of an airplane the next time you travel from Montreal to Toronto. While the flight time may not be that much shorter, you will save time by avoiding long security lines and dealing with other time-consuming tasks that often plague air travellers (such as taxiing to and from the runway).
Transcend Air Corporation has developed the Vy 400, which has the ability to take off and land vertically—no landing strip is required. The aim is to take business travellers to and from major cities without the hassle involved with airport travel. And the price will be rather affordable.
The company boasts that the Vy “will provide faster, more affordable door-to-door service than either helicopters or conventional airplanes, without the need for airports.” The craft will operate in cities such as Manhattan and Boston using special landing pads. It has the ability to fly three times faster than helicopters (405 mph) and travel a range of 450 miles. Because the Vy will use propellers instead of rotors, they won’t be as loud as helicopters.
The company plans on launching its commuter airline service in 2024.
“This is a necessary and transformative addition to city-to-city transportation options,” Greg Bruell, co-founder and CEO of Transcend said in a press release. “It solves multiple problems at once: we’ll take cars off congested roads, reduce pollution around airports, and lower the cost of air transportation while drastically reducing travel times.”
The six-seater, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft was inspired by Canadair’s 1960s CL-84, reports Travel+Leisure.
There are plans to fly from New York City to Boston in 36 minutes, costing $283 one way. Other routes include Los Angeles to San Francisco in 55 minutes for $315 one way and Montreal to Toronto in 60 minutes for $325 one way. Other possible routes involve travel between San Diego, San Francisco, and Las Vegas as well as routes between Houston, Dallas, and Austin.
Rides on the Vy will be similar to those on commercial airlines except the seats will be slightly wider at 23 inches. Unfortunately, since the aircraft is so small there will be no restrooms or traditional flight amenities.
The Boston-based company is currently working with the Federal Aviation Administration to be certified and plans on testing routes between Boston and New York City in the next couple of years. They will start with a small number of aircraft before partnering with a manufacturer to expand its fleet.