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Imagine a world where it’s the 21st Century, and there are no flying cars…oh wait, that’s us. Where are my flying cars?! I was told there would be flying cars by now, or at least Moller International claimed their Skycar would be ready for public use by 2011, according to an old Popular Science article on the Moller model. Well, we know that thing can barely get off the ground, but automakers and startups intend to take up the mantle of the first flying car. Back in 2020, the Consumer Electronics Show had several flying models on display, and more have been popping up, Such as the Blackfly, AirCar, and Project Skai. The Hyundai Motor Group (HMG) and Uber have been working on their own Airbus as of late, shaking hands with the right people and groups like ANRA Technologies for the deployment of a personal aircraft, its design, and more. Finally, at the Farnborough International Airshow, we got a good look at the first concept of the HMG and Uber Airbus.
Last year, HMG and Uber formed a joint company called Supernal that would oversee and direct the integration of HMG into the Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) market. During the Farnborough International Airshow, Supernal gave us the first look at the initial eVTOL vehicle cabin concept. Designed with current HMG cabin interiors (no pun intended) in mind, Supernal’s five-seat cabin concept has been designed with automotive design processes and material while also meeting the highest safety standards in aviation, while also optimizing AAM passenger experience and the starting MSRP.
Supernal is partnering with Hyundai Motor Group’s top automotive designers to develop our eVTOL vehicle for manufacturability and wide-spread public acceptance…We are taking the time to create a safe, light-weight commercial eVTOL that provides our future passengers with the security and comfort they find in their own cars.” - Jaiwon Shin, President of Hyundai Motor Group and CEO of Supernal
Don’t worry though, some random guy won’t land in the street to pick consumers up and enter the airways. At first, the eVTOL vehicle will only be sold for commercial use in the United States starting in 2028, with the E.U. and U.K. soon after. Plenty of time to work at the kinks, and no need for mom or dad to get his/her pilot license anytime soon.
To get this bird – or should I say butterfly - off the ground, Supernal is collaborating with external partners and more than 50 affiliates that HMG has worked with in the past. These parties span across a variety of industries, such as automobiles, automotive parts, construction, robotics, and autonomous driving. It takes a whole lot more hands to build a personal aircraft, but it should ultimately be worth it. Yes, I did say “butterfly” because that’s how Supernal describes the cabin concept – a butterfly is the inspiration for this design.
Made of forged carbon fiber, the cabin is being kept lightweight while creating a cocoon-like environment for passengers. Like modern vehicles, deployable seat consoles can offer storage options, a charging station for personal devices, and the typical center console. A combination of overhead lighting will mimic the idea of a sunroof with an emulated “light therapy” effect to keep wary passengers at ease. With materials including advanced recyclable carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic, durable plant-based leather, recycled plastic fabric, and responsibly sourced woods, the interior sounds fancy enough, but enough to allure everyday passengers? Only time will tell.
Want to follow along and learn more about the HMG and Uber Airbus? Learn more about the eVTOL vehicle concept when you follow us on NowCar social media.