TCab Tech was founded in May 2021 in Shanghai, China by Yon Wui Ng, CEO and other engineers. The company's goal is to make reliable and zero emission electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for urban air mobility (UAM) aerial on-demand riding sharing for the general public. The TCab part of the company's name is an abbreviation for "Time Cab" which means a time-efficient form of air transportation. The company foresees using artificial intelligence (AI) to help their aircraft navigate through complex urban air space to ensure safety for all urban air travelers. After two rounds of funding earlier in 2021, the company raised nearly $10 million USD.
The E20 eVTOL aircraft holds one pilot and four passengers traveling at a cruise speed of 260 km/h (162 mph) with a range of 200 km (125 miles) and has a maximum payload of 450 kg (992 lb). The aircraft flies has six propellers: four tilt-propellers plus two double-stacked fixed propellers for VTOL; the four tilt-propellers are used for forward flight and transition. The aircraft has one high wing with a conventional fuselage mounted tail and has tricycle fixed wheeled landing gear.
As safety is an important part of TCab Tech, the E20 will have no single point of failure in the flight control system. Another safety feature is the high wing allowing passengers to enter and exit the aircraft with ease and safety. The company expects as batteries improve over the years, the aircraft will be capable of being fully charged in one hour.
As of September 2021, according to one website, the population in China has reached 1.398 billion people and the company is counting on customers in China to use their aircraft in an effort to spend less time traveling to work and to gain more free personal time. TCab Tech and the entire aviation industry is aware that as low altitude restrictions become more lifted in China, the market for air taxi service should begin to boom.
TCab Tech announced on Monday, September 6, 2021 they had started flight testing, presumably with a sub-scale technology demonstrator as detailed by the company later in the year. Later in autumn, they announced that they had received 10 million dollars in investments in their seed funding phases. In December of the same year the company revealed a full-scale mockup of the E20 along with planned vertiport infrastructure. Eventually, the company expects its production aircraft to cost in the several million yuan (approx. $500,000–$750,000 USD) price range.
The first market the company foresees to be successful with their E20 eVTOL aircraft will be in the tourism industry. After that, TCab Tech expects their aircraft will be used in the on-demand urban air taxi industry. The company predicts their first commercial flight for the E20 will take place sometime in 2024.
- Aircraft type: eVTOL passenger UAM aircraft
- Piloting: 1 pilot
- Capacity: 4 passengers
- Cruise speed: 260 km/h (162 mph)
- Range: 200 km (125 miles)
- Flight Time: Unknown
- Maximum payload: 450 kg (992 lb)
- Propellers: 8 propellers (4 tilt-propellers, 2 double stacked VTOL propellers)
- Electric Motors: 6 electric motors
- Power source: Batteries
- Fuselage: Carbon fiber composite
- Windows: Panoramic wrap around windows allowing forward, left, right and top visibility, for spectacular views
- Wings: High wing
- Tail: Conventional fuselage mounted tail
- Landing gear: Tricycle fixed wheeled landing gear
- Safety features: Distributed Electric Propulsion (DEP), provides safety through redundancy for its passengers and/or cargo. DEP means having multiple propellers (or ducted fans) and motors on the aircraft so if one or more propellers (ducted fans) or motors fail, the other working propellers (or ducted fans) and motors can safely land the aircraft.
- TCab Tech website
- TCab Tech Twitter
- Article: Affordable air taxi travel expected to enter commercial use in China around 2024, Global Times, Sept. 6, 2021
- Article: Chinese eVTOL startup TCab Tech revealed fundraising details and design concept, eFlight Journal, Sept. 6, 2021
- Article: China's Rising eVTOL Industry, Vertiflite, Nov/Dec 2021
- Article: An Interview with TCab Tech, Asian Sky Media, Mar. 8, 2022
- Video: TCab Tech successfully completed transition flights with the E20 50% subscale demonstrator, TCab Tech, Apr. 14, 2022
- Article: China's TCab E20 eVTOL prototype is making regular transition flights, New Atlas, May 15, 2022
- Article: Safran electric motors to power TCab Tech’s eVTOL aircraft, eVTOL Magazine, June 2, 2022