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Tecnalia Umiles


San Sebastián, Spain

Tecnalia's research and technological development center has what is says is the first air taxi in Spain. A full-scale one (1) passenger Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) prototype has already flown (tethered).

While the current full-scale prototype has been made for one (1) passenger traveling at 90 km/h (56 mph) for a range of 15 km (9 miles), Tecnalia says the aircraft can be scaled up for a four (4) passenger aircraft at a speed of 190 km/h (118 mph). The aircraft propulsion is made by having four (4) sets of propellers powered by electric motors which are located on the four (4) corners of the aircraft. Each propeller has its own electric engine which makes for a total of sixteen (16) propellers and sixteen (16) electric motors. The pictures below illustrate this.

As each set of propellers can be independently controlled and due to advanced electronic controllers, these drone like propellers provides the aircraft with stability, efficiency, precision and controlability allowing the passenger to have as a comfortable ride as traveling in a car. In addition, Tecnalia's controller technology will allow precision landing and take-offs, such as to and from a parking space and will be able to navigate the aircraft smoothly through strong wind and rain.

The company plans for the aircraft to be able to interact with mobile phones, have plenty of space to move around and provide the passenger with a high tech experience for the urban traveler. The passenger will enter and exit easily from the rear of the aircraft.

Tecnalia sees the first uses of this aircraft to be a shared service for air taxi and cargo services. The company is predicting they'll have their aircraft in service by 2005.


  • Piloting: Autonomous
  • Passengers: 1
  • Possible future passengers: 4
  • Speed: 90 km/h (56 mph)
  • Possible future speed: 190 km/h (118 mph)
  • Range: 15 km (9 miles)
  • Duration: 15 minutes
  • Maximum altitude: 300 m (984 ft)

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