GKN Aerospace-led Skybus collaboration project completes successful feasibility studies

Skybus ©Pascall+Watson

The Skybus collaboration project has reached a key milestone by completing the initial feasibility studies. The research project has explored the potential for a six-rotor, 30-person eVTOL concept to help decarbonise and decongest urban landscapes. The studies have identified significant opportunities for air ‘buses’ to feasibly operate alongside air taxis in future air mobility transport networks. The Skybus consortium also developed a Thames-based Vertiport concept as well as economic models and demand forecasts for a London-based intra-city use case, with further analyses now to be carried out.

GKN Aerospace is one of the leading Tier 1 airframe suppliers for Urban Air Mobility (UAM) platforms and leading the Skybus project has helped develop further understanding of the emerging UAM sector.

Skybus was launched in January 2021 in order to explore the feasibility for mass transit eVTOLs of this size to operate from Vertiports on scheduled journeys in the future, akin to bus network on today’s roads. These would operate alongside air taxis to help bypass road congestion in major cities – reducing travel time and emissions – and potentially improve access to more remote areas, such as islands and mountainous regions.  A successful zero-emissions mass transit system in the air would also ease congestion on the road network, reducing overall travel time, cost and emissions for all travellers.

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