The founder of uShip has announced the unveiling of LIFT Aircraft, an electric, vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft as part of the launch of an experiential entertainment business leveraging eVTOL aircraft, the company said.
The company said it plans to open up LIFT locations where anyone will be able to rent aircraft and experience an entirely new kind of flying with no requirement for a pilot´s license.
LIFT plans to own and operate fleets of aircraft in scenic and uncongested areas near major metro areas, tourist destinations and entertainment hubs. After training in their virtual reality simulators, anyone over the age of 18, and up to 6´ 5″ tall and 250 lbs, will be able to fly for up to 15 minutes at a time.
The aircraft, named Hexa, resembles a large drone with 18 sets of propellers, motors and batteries. It has one seat for the pilot and weighs only 432 lbs – which qualifies it as a Powered Ultralight by the FAA so no pilot´s license is required to fly.
Electric multirotor aircraft fly using something called distributed electric propulsion (DEP), which allows an aircraft to be controlled simply by varying the speed of multiple electric motors – a task that is accomplished by flight control computers.
Companies ranging from small startups to aerospace giants like Boeing and Airbus are pursuing opportunities in this new eVTOL industry, including Uber – who is developing an air taxi service.