It could be the perfect way to soar above the traffic if you’re running late.
The Airvinci allows users to call their own personal heli-taxi, then take to the air to soar above the traffic.
The firm behind the radical idea says it is preparing for its first test flights this summer of its ducted fan, fixed-pitch rotor aircraft drone.
‘So far, a ‘Heli-Taxi’ seemed to be reserved for VIPs or at least very wealthy people, it says.
‘Soon, this will change.
‘We are developing and building a helicopter that is compact for take-off and landing in urban environment and has low maintenance costs, which will keep the price down for customers.
‘Our next milestone is our first test flight next month.’
The firm said it hopes the system could one day take on car firms.
‘Going down in the elevator of your hotel, you realize you are late for your meeting somewhere in Midtown Manhattan,’ it said.
‘You get your phone out, open the Heli-Cab App and call the closest Helicopter.
‘When your helicopter arrives, you authenticate yourself with your smartphone, get inside and get greeted by the instructor in the control center.
‘He tells you to buckle up before the helicopter can take off and confirms that you chose the ‘Autonomous Flight option’.
Tarek Ibrahim, the man behind the design, told Gizmag ‘We scheduled our first test flight this (US) summer with more test flights later this year,’ says Airvinci project manager, Markus Engelhart.
‘Currently, we are finishing final versions of several components like the rotors, the rotor hub and control surfaces.
‘In about two weeks we are planning to start the final assembly of our prototype.’
The design puts the pilot in a sitting rather than standing position and is powered by two aircraft-specific engines and a single-rotor rather than a single engine and two rotors.
According to Airvinci, the prototype engines for the drone put out around 28 hp (21 kW) each, and the total rotor size for the craft is about 7 ft (2.1 m).
‘With our design we are convinced to have a better weight balance that will improve flight dynamics and the ease of use,’ says Engelhart. ‘
The design has two separate engines making it safer and more resilient to engine failure.
Intended for a range of users and uses, the team at Airvinci say their markets will include pilots, search and rescue teams.
It could also be used by shipping firms.
It says the Airvinci Backpack Helicopter is easy to control, mechanically simple, needs no runway and will have the capacity to lift 260lbs up to 12,000 ft high, and claims it could be avilable in 2017.