Often in our childhood, we have all heard that cars will run in the air and people can go from one place to another quickly. However, this was nothing but a rumour. But now it’s going to be true.
Satya Chakraborty, a professor in the aerospace division at IIT-Madras, and co-founder and chief technical officer of the e-plane company, is expected to launch unmanned drones, a two-seater electric plane and ferry cargo in the next two years.
By doing so, Chakraborty will join the list of air-taxi startups worldwide such as Slovenia’s Pipistral, UK’s Vertical Aerospace and Skyfall, Germany’s Volocopter, Sweden’s Jetson Aero, US-based ASKA and Joby Aviation and China’s Ehang.
How ePlane is making India’s flying cars dream a reality?
The e-plane company under Ubifly Technologies Pvt Ltd was launched by Chakraborty and her student, Pranjal Mehta, in 2019. It is now a part of the Chennai-based DeepTech startup, Kerala Startup Mission and has been incubated at IIT-M. Also, 70 people are working on it. The startup is developing an electric-flying taxi to ferry passengers inside the metropolis.
He said that electrical vertical take-off and landing (EVTOL) vehicles can land on the roofs of parking decks, fixed places in malls and other places. As the number of aircraft and landing sites increases and the network gets larger, the cost is likely to come down. He says the market is ready, and there are a lot of people who will be willing to pay more for a 10-fold reduction in travel time.
What’s The Take Off Plan?
The e-plane has designed three UAVs or unmanned air vehicle models – E6, E50 and E200. The E6 is designed to ship packages weighing 6 kg, it can be used for long-distance monitoring. The e50 is India’s first drone equipped with VTOL capabilities and is designed to carry up to 50 kg of payload.
The all-electric flying taxi, or e200, is the flagship product — to carry passengers and cargo 10 times faster. Chakraborty said the e-plane could commercially launch the E2025 in 200. He said that it is not easy to get Indian certification for flying drones and e-planes.