Big news for travelers: United Airlines and Archer Aviation recently announced its first commercial electric air taxi route in Chicago. Using this innovative aircraft, the partnership is aiming to “move the world forward” according to Archer’s founder Adam Goldstein.
The electric air taxi, dubbed ‘Midnight’ is a 4-passenger electric aircraft complete with fixed wings, and 12 small rotors. The air taxi, which utilizes innovative technology, is “engineered for speeds up to 150 mph.” according to officials. It’s made for short trips and only requires a charging time of about 10 minutes. The plane will cruise at 2,000 feet and plans to be low noise, which is said to be about 1,000 times quieter than a helicopter.
An official statement notes that these air taxis will take off from O’Hare and land at a heliport dubbed ‘Vertiport Chicago’ near the Loop. A joint press release from United and Archer announces plans to bring air taxi services from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport to a heliport in the City’s Medical District.
As for the air taxis’ landing spot: The heliport, Vertiport Chicago, will span ten acres, with about 30,000 square feet dedicated to hangar space and 11,700 square feet of office space. With an additional eight helicopter parking spots, and one takeoff and landing space, this helipad is aiming toward the future of transportation in Chicago. It’s already thought to become the largest commercial takeoff and landing facility in the U.S.
The route will cover about 12 air miles and will take around 10 minutes to travel from O’Hare to the helipad. It will be the first Chicago-based route available in the joint ‘urban air mobility’ (also known as UAM) network in the Chicago area with hopes to expand to LA, and Miami in the future. Earlier last year, the company announced a New York route
Eventually, the partners hope to branch further to surrounding areas and hope to get the electric air taxi’s up and running by 2025. Additional questions like cost per seat, the number of flights per day, and other inquiries are currently up in the air.
Photo via: Archer Aviation