Air taxi craze: Russian firms race to produce flying car

Russian Foundation for Advanced Research Projects announced that a special laboratory was established at Siberian Aeronautical Research Institute in order to create “a full-scale demonstration model of an ultra-short takeoff and landing transport drone with hybrid propulsion (a flying car),” as Russia has joined the air taxi craze.

The scientists from Siberia’s largest city, Novosibirsk, were tasked with developing what may become the country’s first flying car within the next four years.

If everything goes to plan, the model will be designed and fully tested in a wind tunnel as well as in the air and on the ground until 2023. The vehicle is expected to be able to cover a distance of more than 1,000km by air, while moving at a speed of over 300kph. The drone will require a 50-meter landing pad in order to operate.

Flying cars are now being actively developed around the globe as a means of avoiding traffic on the ground and reducing pollution.

It is yet to be seen who will win the race to produce the first Russian flying car. In August, a state-run project, AeroNet, in which renowned aircraft manufacturers such as Sukhoi and Ilyushin are taking part, promised to launch an experimental model of its own aerial drone taxi in 2025.

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