Skai made big waves last month with the launch of its long-range hydrogen-powered eVTOL air taxi prototype. In an interview with New Atlas, Skai’s CTO tells us these flying commuter vehicles will cost about the same per mile as an Uber ride, and that he expects to be able to land them just about anywhere.
Brian Morrison, CTO of Skai and its parent company, Alaka’i Technologies, is not shy about what his company is proposing: a democratization of air transport that doesn’t have to wait for a huge leap in lithium battery technology. Battery energy density is one of the two biggest challenges facing eVTOL developers at this stage, the other being FAA certification.
Morrison says his company’s use of liquid hydrogen fuel completely leap-frogs the issue of how to get electric air taxis flying for more than 20 minutes, and that Skai is working “hand in hand” with the FAA to complete the certification process for this completely new type of aircraft – a process he believes will be completed and allow for commercial flights by the end of 2020.
This is an audacious plan, but if it comes together, it might put Skai well ahead of the rest of the pack in bringing affordable vertical commuting to the masses. We spoke with Morrison over Skype this morning. What follows is an edited transcript.