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11/6/16

European Aircraft Industry: Airbus building flying cars and taxis so that it can become the Uber of the skies - by Danielle Muoio

Airbus working on building flying car
Tech giants are starting to turn their attention to “flying cars.”

Uber released a 98-page white paper last week outlining its plans to bring “flying cars” to commuters by 2026. Google co-founder Larry Page is also funding a “flying car” project through a start-up named Zee.Aero, and its prototype was reportedly seen in action at Hollister Municipal Airport in October.

But Airbus, which offers a legacy of building civil aircrafts and working with the Federal Aviation Administration, is also developing its own “flying car” as part of its Project Vahana – and its aviation experience could give it an edge. Project Vahana is being run under Airbus’ Silicon Valley arm, named A³.

To get this out of the way early, all of these companies aren’t really interested in developing flying cars, hence the quotation marks. That would indicate they were trying to take the same route as Terrafugia, which is building a hybrid car that can drive on the road and also fly.

But A³, along with Uber and what we know of Zee.Aero, isn’t focused on the car portion of a flying car. All three are working on VTOL aircrafts, which is short for Vertical Take-Off and Landing. That means the aircrafts don’t need a runway to ascend, similar to a helicopter.

Read more: Airbus is building flying taxis so that it can become the Uber of the skies

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