Air taxi eVTOLs star at Paris Air Show’s first aerial mobility section

The Paris Air Show broke all records for attendance with its habitual large-draw long-haul passenger planes and military jets, but the main stars of the 2023 biannual event were arguably the next-generation electric takeoff and landing (eVTOL) air taxis making their first appearance.

The Paris Air Show closed its doors at Le Bourget yesterday, with organizers reporting 400,000 visitors during the first weeklong exhibition since COVID-19 forced cancellation of the 2021 event. While most of the $55 billion in deals signed during the gathering involved traditional aircraft, however, no small amount of that activity – and public interest – was generated by the show’s first-ever Paris Air Mobility section, gathering top eVTOL developers readying air taxi services for as early as next year.

DroneDJ checked out the tech on hand and now shares a few images of the new annual attraction.

Full-sized and -equipped eVTOLs by leading sector companies Archer and Volocopter attracted enormous crowd interest – the latter as the craft scheduled to provide the world’s first air taxi services during the Paris 2024 Summer Olympics

Sector rivals including Eve and Lilium participated with demonstration models of their respective air taxi passenger sections.

Other makers featured reduced-scale versions of their eVTOLs, including Toulouse-based Ascendance Flight Technologies’ hybrid-fueled, wing-ducted rotor-powered air taxi. 

Also present were developers Airbus, Wisk, AutoFlight, Plana, Joby, and China’s EHang, which exhibited its full-scale craft.

Not surprisingly, the largest crowds to Paris Air Mobility congregated around the full-sized eVTOLs displayed by Volocopter and Archer. Close inspection of both craft revealed the emphasis makers are placing on passenger comfort and flight information tailored to each trip. 

Also visible amid the new-car smells of those interiors were the controls and navigation panels pilots will use for air taxi operation.

Those and other proud displays of aerial tech doubled as sweeteners to close the many deals concluded by on-hand air taxi companies with future suppliers of their eVTOL components. 

Read: Volocopter adds emergency medical response to diversifying air taxi uses

But also vital to the maiden Paris Air Mobility exhibit, said Paris Air Show chief organizer Patrick Daher, was familiarizing and enticing visiting members of the public through close-up and personal interaction with emerging transportation they’ll soon be seeing aloft – and taking for their own inner-urban travel.

“The technologies are ready, the first tests have been successful, and the revolution of daily aerial mobility may be for tomorrow,” Daher said. “Will those ‘cars’ be flying in the skies above the cities of tomorrow like in science-fiction motives? We’re almost there… and this event allows us to help the public understand that better.”

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