Urban air mobility firm Eve is going to run a trial using helicopters in downtown Chicago to gain a better understanding of how flying taxis will work for commuters in real life operations.
Eve, spun off from Brazilian aerospace manufacturer Embraer, said it wants to study operations, ground services, passenger journeys and the needs of operators of electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOLs).
The Chicago simulation will be conducted using helicopters from Blade Air Mobility and run for three weeks, starting with ground tests on September 12, 2022, and passenger flights on September 14, 2022. Ground tests will be carried out at Vertiport Chicago, an existing downtown heliport facility.
The helicopter being used to replicate Eve’s planned eVTOL will take passengers from the Vertiport to two helistops in the northwest and southwest of Chicago on morning and afternoon weekday flights. Passengers can book flights through Blade to “experience the future of commuting” Eve said.
“Simulating the eVTOL operation in Chicago allows us to study how people will experience this service and understand the entire ecosystem requirements for our product and services, while showcasing the benefit of Urban Air Mobility in one of North America’s most prominent and populated cities,” said André Stein, co-CEO of Eve, in a press release dated August 23, 2022.
Eve has formed a consortium of partners for the simulation, including Blade, Republic Airways, Halo Aviation, Vertiport Chicago, Village of Tinley Park, Village of Schaumburg, ACCIONA, SkyWest (SKYW), Inc. and Speedbird Aero.
Along with regulation and integration into airspace alongside existing aircraft, customer acceptance is set to be one of the key challenges for the emerging UAM market.
“For Eve, it is essential to understand and address through these projects involving partners and the community the key challenges associated with the main pillars of the UAM ecosystem,” said Luiz Mauad, Vice President of Services and Fleet Operations at Eve.
“Our proposal brings together all stakeholders and counts on different views and feedback to structure and deliver the best solutions.”