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Urban-Air Port explores vertiport concept for eVTOL ‘air bus’

Tier 1 aerospace supplier GKN Aerospace is working with U.K. vertiport infrastructure company Urban-Air Port (UAP) to develop a new vertiport concept that could accommodate future “air buses.”

Urban-Air Port
Tier 1 aerospace supplier GKN Aerospace is working with U.K. vertiport infrastructure company Urban-Air Port to develop a new vertiport concept that could accommodate future “air buses.” Urban-Air Port Image

The work is a part of the Skybus research project, launched in January 2021 by GKN Aerospace in collaboration with Swanson Aviation Consultancy, Pascall+Watson and Connected Places Catapult under the U.K.’s Future Flight Challenge.

Earlier this year, GKN Aerospace said it completed its initial feasibility study that explores the potential for a six-rotor, 30-person eVTOL air bus to be integrated in existing and future transportation modes. While the technology is likely decades away, the companies believe there’s opportunity for future air buses to operate alongside air taxis.

“We’re very excited to be working with GKN Aerospace, a world-leader in the aerospace and UAM industry, on this groundbreaking and game-changing project,” said Ricky Sandhu, founder and executive chair of UAP.

UAP has claimed that its Air-One vertiport design is modular, scalable and ultra-compact — able to be tailored to serve larger eVTOL air buses alongside smaller air taxis in an urban environment.

The company envisions its mass transit vertiport will include multiple hangars, multilevel take-off and landing zones and flexible stands that incorporate a multiple apron ramp system (MARS) for eVTOL aircraft.

UAP said its new design responds to and informs the technical design specifications for vertiports, published by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in March.

Recently launching its Air-One demonstration vertiport in Coventry, U.K., the vertiport company has plans to develop more than 200 vertiport sites around the world over the next five years in partnership with Supernal, Hyundai Motor Group’s urban air mobility division.

The U.K. startup has also attracted the attention of Canada-based Dymond Group, which is interested in developing two Air-One vertiport sites in Canada — the first one likely built in Newfoundland.

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