Business

Russian company begins testing Hi-Fly unmanned taxis in Kenya

Monday, April 1st, 2024 16:06 | By
Hi-Fly unmanned taxi
Hi-Fly unmanned taxi. PHOTO/@russembkenya/X

Russian Biryuch Innovation Center has started testing the Hi-Fly unmanned Taxi in Kenya.

The Biryuch Innovation Center is a multidisciplinary research and production company that develops biotechnological food, drones and fire and rescue helicopters.

In a statement, the Russian Embassy in Kenya revealed the piloting stage will feature flights from Nairobi's Wilson Airport to Diani in Ukunda.

"Russian Biryuch Innovation Center (part of Efko) together with the local partners begins testing of the Hi-Fly unmanned Taxi in Kenya! The first flights will be operated en route Nairobi (Wilson) - Diani (Ukunda). Don’t miss such an opportunity! More information to follow!" the statement read.

About Hi-Fly taxis

Hi-Fly, launched in December 2020, focused on designing and manufacturing electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) passenger and cargo aircraft.

"Hi-Fly's purpose is to improve the quality of people's lives providing them with fast air transportation, ultimately providing more personal time in their lives. With too many cars on the road causing traffic delays, the company foresees local air travel to be the only way to solve the massive amount of time it takes to use ground vehicles to drive to work, shop and drive for leisure activities," the company says on its website. 

"Passenger and cargo aircraft are being developed simultaneously. Each aircraft has its own unique clean-sheet design. The passenger aircraft is a multicopter design and the cargo aircraft has ducted rotating propellers with a high gull-wing."

Currently, the company has the S700, a one-passenger eVTOL multicopter aircraft which has 16 propellers, 16 electric motors and is powered by battery packs.

"The aircraft has a canopy over the cockpit providing spectacular views for the passenger. It is unknown as of July 2022, if the aircraft is self-piloted, remote piloted or has autonomous piloting," the company adds.

The multicopter has a cruise speed of 140 km/h (87 mph), a range of 90 km (56 miles) and has a flight time of 45 minutes. The aircraft can fly in almost all weather conditions.

"The S700 is a low noise multicopter and is extremely safe to fly due to the redundancy of its 16 propellers and 16 electric motors. If several propellers or electric motors stop working, the other propellers will continue to work and can land the aircraft safely on the ground," Hi-Fly adds.

The first prototype flight took place in June 2021 and its first weather flights took place in November 2021. The company expects to start serial production of the S700 passenger eVTOL multicopter aircraft in 2028

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