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First flying car takeoff in Latin America will be in Curitiba


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The Chinese company EHang chose Curitiba (PR) to host the first flight in Latin America of an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft, or eVTOL, the so-called “flying cars”.

Last week, Mayor Rafael Greca received representatives from the company in Brazil, AT Global, and authorized EHang to carry out feasibility studies for carrying out vehicle takeoffs. The company will seek the regulation of manned flights with Anac (National Civil Aviation Agency).

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If all goes well, the forecast is that a first demonstration, without crew, will be held during the fourth edition of Smart City Curitiba Expo, between March 22nd and 24th. “It would be a great 330-year-old present for Curitiba,” stated the mayor.

The CEO of AT Global, Alexandre Daltro, explained that EHang saw in Curitiba the ideal showcase to start the operations of the eVTOL car in Latin American countries. He also presented the mayor with a miniature replica of the eVTOL EH216 AAV, the model that is already on the market for two-passenger manned flights.

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“Curitiba is a city that offers all the conditions to test a disruptive technology like eVTOL. We want to show all of Brazil and Latin America that we are facing something with the potential to change the way we see air mobility”, said Daltro .

What is eVTOL

Although it still seems like a possibility for long-term transport, eVTOL is an option for creating a new urban mobility system that is already a reality in other cities around the world.

It is an intelligent vehicle, without a pilot, that performs pre-programmed routes, with technology similar to that of drones. Its proposal is to be more popular than the helicopter –with which it shares the way of landing and taking off, made vertically– with lower cost and greater agility.

Cities in China, Seoul, Canada and the United States, for example, have already hosted manned flight tests. Last week, it was Spain’s turn: the EHang 216 was tested, where the objective is to use the autonomous aerial vehicles in emergency missions of the Spanish Police.

Presented as a safe mobility alternative, the eVTOL is also in line with sustainable policies, as it does not emit CO2.

In addition to carrying out commercial or tourist flights for travelers, it can also work in logistics, delivering goods; in public safety, in surveillance, rescue operations and access to risk areas; also in health, speeding up emergency trips and transportation of organs for donation, among other possibilities.

These aircraft run on an electric battery and can reach altitudes of up to 3,000 meters.

Other companies also invest in the development of eVTOL betting on these aircraft as the new air revolution and on the take-off and landing structure, the vertiports (port for flights that start vertically).

EHang stands out for its know-how in this type of autonomous aircraft and in the operation of drones for logistics and aerial presentations. Elon Musk’s Tesla and the Brazilian Embraer are also developing eVTOL projects. Companies from different aviation sectors, such as Boeing and Azul, and even automotive companies, such as Porsche, are also looking for their share in this new market.

Last November, a partnership between Volocopter, Skyports and the ADP Group opened the first vertipoint in France, on the outskirts of Paris, with a focus on starting commercial flights for the 2024 Olympics, in the French capital.

In the presentation of eVTOL to mayor Rafael Greca this afternoon, the vertipoint project for the city, created by the founder of Curitiba-based Arquitetare, Elaine Zanon, was also shown.

The initial proposal would be to install the structure in Barigui Park, for flyovers over the park and landing in a smaller area called “vertiponto”.

“This proposal would definitely place eVTOL in the city, helping people to get to know this new way of traveling, bringing the future to Curitiba to be replicated throughout Brazil”, highlighted Elaine.

The viability of installing the vertiport will also be evaluated in studies to bring innovation to the capital of Paraná, which includes necessary investments and even the location of its installation.

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