Italy-designed Air Taxi Carrying Four Passengers to Make Its Way into a Socially Distant World

·2-min read

With the coronavirus pandemic affecting the conventional mode of transport, an Italian designer is looking towards a post-pandemic world to help commuters travel safely to their destination.

Designer Andrea Ponti launched a gallery of concept designs for a private jet-like drone that carries up to four passengers while they sit in single seats with soft fabric and leather cushions.

The vehicle named Kite would use a propulsion system of four double-helix rotors and a pair of LED headlights to help with landing and low-altitude flying.

The vehicle name is inspired by the black kite, a bird found in Hong Kong. The black kite is a bird of prey that is fast, agile and intelligent – qualities that the vehicle aims to have. Ponti wishes to use the air taxis in China’s Greater Bay Area which consists of nine cities and two special administrative regions. These locations are suffering economically due to travel restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The drone is fully electric with zero-emissions and comes with a number of cutting-edge features. Passengers can access the cabin through a single rear door and walk down the short aisle to one of the four seats inside that recline and feature a polycarbonate shell. Each seat comes with its own four-point quick-release safety harness and retractable trays that allow commuters to do work or enjoy a snack before arriving at the office.

However, there is also under-seat storage space for riders to stow away items but the back of the seat storage provides space for larger luggage. The KITE cabin comes with two large screens at the front and two smaller ones on the back of the front-row seats that display flight information, such as duration and take-off and landing data. The fuselage has a rounded and compact design that minimizes drag and optimizes manoeuvrability during flight.