New test flight footage shows that we are in the midst of the flying car revolution, propelled by new eVTOL designs that are taking to the skies with increasing frequency.
London-based startup Bellwether Industries released footage of the first untethered flight of a half-scale prototype of its 'Volar' eVTOL private flying car. The company says it believes it is an inevitability that people will commute in the skies within the next decade.
UK startup takes its 'Volar' prototype to the skies
The company hasn't revealed much in the way of specifications when it comes to the scaled-down model, code-named 'antelope'. However, last month we reported that Bellwether had conducted at least eight prototype flight tests and that the company aims to bring its eVTOL aircraft to the market as a private vehicle by 2028.
The Volar aircraft is designed to allow for sustainable intracity private flying car travel. The finalized version will be roughly 10.5 feet (3.2 meters) wide and will seat up to five passengers.
The 'antelope' on the other hand seems to have space for only one passenger and it is piloted remotely in the first test footage released by Bellwether. In our December report, we explained that the prototype flew up to 13 feet (3.9 meters) at a speed of roughly 25 mph (40 kph). The prototype looks a little shaky in flight, though it's important to emphasize that this is an early test model. As Bellwether says in the video, these tests will provide invaluable data to help them improve their flight system.
The 'Volar' aircraft is a 135-mph flying car
Bellwether showcased its 'antelope' prototype at the Dubai air show in 2021. The company has so far raised 1 million dollars from angel investors and it is now seeking more investment to develop its full-sized model. On its website, the company says, "'We believe that people commuting in the sky is inevitable within the next 10 years. Therefore, we create a volar for anyone to fly anytime and anywhere to any point. The ultimate goal of bellwether industries is to build a brand new 3-dimensional lifestyle and to lead the world toward a more comprehensive urban mobility."
According to Bellwether, the final 'Volar' model will cruise at altitudes of about 3,000 feet, reaching speeds of 135 mph (217 km/h). The battery duration, meanwhile, is expected to be roughly 90 minutes, which is similar to flying taxi models in the works, such as Lilium's eVTOL aircraft. A lot of work is still needed on Bellwether's prototype, and even flying taxi companies such as Volocopter still need to work towards getting flight certification before they can prepare their services for their planned 2023 launch date. Still, countless test flight videos show that eVTOL mobility is now most likely a question of when not if.