Hyundai unveils flying taxi

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A Hyundai five-seater capable of vertical-off and landing has been shown at CES in Las Vegas.

Hyundai has shown an electric five-seat ‘urban’ aircraft concept at the 2024 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, ahead of a potential on-sale date of 2028.

Developed by Hyundai’s Advance Aero Mobility (AAM) arm, Supernal, S-A2 is an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) ‘vehicle product’ designed for faster short, urban trips than ground transportation.

The S-A2 is designed to meet Supernal’s mission statement “to make Advanced Air Mobility an additional safe and reliable option for everyday transportation needs”.

The company employs 600 people and used Hyundai’s automotive design team in developing the latest concept as it aims to bring a flying product to customers – most likely commercial buyers to begin with – in 2028.

In 2022 Supernal signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the US city of Miami, Florida, to introduce AAM programs including a taxi service in the city at a later date.

The company is working towards a production model, with the electric S-A2 concept being an evolution of the S-A1 shown at the 2020 CES with a similar design.

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This includes an unconventional V-tail configuration and eight tilting propellers to enable vertical and horizontal flight, with room for a pilot and four passengers.

The S-A2 extends capabilities with a claimed 193km/h cruising speed at an altitude of 1500 feet (457 metres).

Supernal says the S-A2 is extremely quiet, generating 45 decibels (dB) at cruising speed, and 65dB during take-off and landing, which it compares to the volume of a dishwasher.

There are no details provided on the battery range or charging functions of the S-A2, however the SA-1 was designed to be fully recharged in four to seven minutes.

The company also has a partnership with Electric Power Systems to work on advancing battery technology.

The S-A2’s design has been created to attract aviation operators with a range of exterior colour choices.

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Inside there is a distinct separation of the pilot and passenger sections, similar to existing commercial aircraft.

Supernal also says the S-A2 incorporates automotive best practice philosophies in the design of its cabin for the best possible passenger experience.

Attendees at the 2024 CES are able to take a virtual flight above Los Angeles in the S-A2.

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