London-based startup Bellwether Industries has revealed footage of the first untethered flight of a half-scale prototype of its ‘Volar’ eVTOL private flying car. The company is optimistic that this travel will be normalized by the next decade.
The model is being called the ‘antelope’. The company has done eight prototype flight tests and it aims to bring its eVTOL aircraft to the market as a private vehicle by 2028.
The Volar aircraft will set the precedence of sustainable intracity private flying car travel. The finalized version will be around 10.5 feet (3.2 meters) wide and will accommodate up to five passengers.
The ‘antelope’ will only seat one passenger and it is piloted remotely in the first test footage released by Bellwether.
Bellwether exhibited 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 goal of bellwether industries is to build a brand new 3-dimensional lifestyle and to lead the world toward a more comprehensive urban mobility.”
The final ‘Volar’ model will cruise at heights of about 3,000 feet, reaching speeds of 135 mph (217 km/h). The battery duration, meanwhile, is expected to be roughly 90 minutes. 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.