Air taxis? Boston company working to make unique air travel a reality

BOSTON — Boston to New York in less than 40 minutes sounds like a dream, but one local startup is working to make its unique air travel concept a reality.

The company, Transcend Air, plans to put air cabs up in Boston, and is determining how much it will cost to take one once they are ready.

Transcend Air wants to float a barge off the Fish Pier in Boston's Seaport District, with a helipad on top.

It would serve as the takeoff and landing space for its new "VY Air Taxi."

A VY prototype is being tested right now in Carlisle. It is part plane, part helicopter.

“We're taking pieces all of which have been done before and we're combining them in a unique way," said Peter Schmidt, chief operating officer of Transcend Air.

Schmidt, an MIT graduate, and his crew have been slowly developing the VY: Two propellers, two modes helicopter, and airplane.

But, he was skeptical when his business partner first pitched the concept.

"The last thing the world needs is another aircraft," he said. "We need to be able to offer a competitive ticket price for airline passengers.”

A company image of a full-sized VY, an aircraft designed to go 400 miles per hour, promises to get you from Manhattan to Boston in 36 minutes for $283.

It's faster and cheaper than other methods of flight, Schmidt said.

When you consider the hundreds of hours wasted on Massachusetts roadways, lengthy train rides and air travel congestion, Schmidt feels there's room to compete.

"This will be part of the solution to the transport crisis that we're under because of increased congestion," he said.

Schmidt said the VY wouldn't interfere with commercial airspace or fly low and loud over houses or offices.

There are a lot of next steps for Transcend Air, from meeting with local and state lawmakers
and federal regulators as well as the community. If all of it goes according to plan, they hope to
have the first one up in the air, by 2024.

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