Russia starts testing prototype of flying taxicab

Hoversurf, a Russian-based company, has launched flight tests of the prototype of the unmanned aerial taxi in Moscow, the press service of the Moscow Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovative Development said.

"A drone-taxi is being tested inside the premises of the Small Sports Arena of the Luzhniki Olympic Complex. The unmanned aerial vehicle capable of delivering passengers and cargo by air at a distance of up to 100 km was developed by a member of the Moscow Innovation Cluster. The dimensions of the aerial vehicle (5 m by 1.6 m) are comparable to the size of a common car. It can fly up to the altitude of 150 m and land on a standard parking space, manoeuvre when on a parking lot, go inside and outside the garage. The drone is designed to carry two passengers, has a  maximum carrying capacity of 300 kg, and can develop the speed of 200 km/h," the message from the department said.

The prototype was made in a simplified frame design, has non-retractable chassis and two passenger seats. The prototype uses separate propellers for horizontal and vertical flight. Four large propellers  are responsible for the vertical thrust - two at the front and two in the rear part of the aircraft. Two duct fans provide a thrust for forward or backward flight. Signal lights are installed between them.

During the first tests, the air taxi performed takeoff and landing manoeuvres, as well as horizontal manoeuvres. Some of the tests were conducted with people on board. The developers of the aerial drone are testing an emergency parachute, which ensures a soft landing for an air taxi in the event of engine failure.