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Japan to Become One of the First in the World to Introduce 200 MPH Zero-Emission Air Taxis

Japan is ready to start operating air taxis, which will make it one of the first countries in the world to introduce eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) ride-sharing businesses. To do that, it’s partnering with Avolon, an international aircraft leasing company.
Vertical's VA-X4 aims to become a globally certified eVTOL "with no borders" 6 photos
Japan Airlines (JAL) has kicked off the process of determining the infrastructure and certification requirements, as well as the right partners, for shaping the first aircraft ride-sharing project. A huge step in that direction is the recent agreement signed with Avolon, through which JAL commits to purchasing or leasing 50 eVTOLs, with an option for 50 additional units.

According to JAL representatives, this is a strategically important step for “achieving Air Mobility revolution in Japan” and significantly reducing aviation’s negative impact on the environment.

The eVTOLs that Avolon will be providing to JAL are the revolutionary VA-X4 aircraft developed by Vertical Aerospace. Vertical’s eVTOL aims to become globally certified. By the time it beings operating in Japan, it will be certified by UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and Japan’s Civil Aviation Bureau. At the moment, the companies that have signed the agreement are working on obtaining the type certificate validation for the VA-X4, in Japan.

The VA-X4 claims to be powered by “the world’s lightest and safest electric powertrain,” developed together with Rolls-Royce. In addition, the proprietary battery system significantly reduced the overall weight, making it easier to comply with certification requirements when it comes to design. Another remarkable feature of this eVTOL is the enhanced maneuverability and high level of automation, thanks to the advanced avionics that are similar to the ones of the military F-35B.

Flying at over 200 mph (322 kph), Japan’s future air taxi will boast a remarkable range of more than 100 miles (161 km). Besides being powerful and eco-friendly, the VA-X4 will also be almost completely silent – claiming to be 100 times quieter than a helicopter, both at cruise and hover.

After the official unveiling at the Osaka Kansai Expo, Japan’s air taxi is planned to start operating in 2025.

 Download attachment: Avalon and Japan Airlines Sign Purchase Agreement (PDF)


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