“Hyundai’s Electric Air Taxi Venture Set to Launch in 2028”

Supernal, the advanced air mobility company under Hyundai Motor Group, took the wraps off its latest iteration of an electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft called the S-A2 that executives say is designed to shuttle passengers by 2028. The S-A2 is essentially a more fully baked version of what it intends to launch commercially and confirms that, at least for now, Hyundai is still intent on getting into the yet-to-exist electric air taxi business. Supernal has grown to a 600-person team and is also using technical and business capabilities of Hyundai Motor Group and aviation suppliers around the world as it works towards a commercial launch, according to Jaiwon Shin, Hyundai Motor Group president and CEO of Supernal. The nuts and boltsThe aircraft shown Tuesday is a V-tail with a distributed electric propulsion architecture and eight all-tilting rotors. The S-A2 is loaded with the kind of redundant components like the powertrain, flight controls and avionics — all of the safety critical systems required for commercial aviation.

Supernal, the advanced air mobility company under Hyundai Motor Group, has unveiled its latest innovation: the S-A2, an electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft set to begin shuttle services by 2028.

This new iteration is a more refined version of the previous concept, the S-A1, and proves Hyundai’s commitment to entering the electric air taxi market, which is still in its infancy.

“2028 is our target date for launching shuttle services with the S-A2.” – Hyundai CEO of Supernal, Jaiwon Shin

This timeline, announced at CES 2024, has come a long way since the initial concept was revealed three years ago. Back then, Hyundai had announced a partnership with Uber Elevate, which has since been acquired by Joby Aviation, to develop and potentially mass produce air taxis for a future aerial ride share network. Uber Elevate had promised to begin flight demonstrations by 2020 and offer commercial rides by 2023.

However, with no commercial operators currently in the market, Supernal has readjusted its plans for a more realistic timeline.

According to Supernal CTO Ben Diachun, there is still much work to be done before commercial launch. The S-A2 will have to undergo the lengthy certification process with the Federal Aviation Administration known as Type 1. The company plans to begin testing its technology demonstrator vehicles in California this year and submit its application to the FAA. In 2025, they will propose their means of compliance to the FAA.

“The S-A2 is equipped with redundant safety critical systems, making it a reliable and secure mode of transportation.” – Supernal CEO Jaiwon Shin

The S-A2 boasts a V-tail design with eight all-tilting rotors powered by a distributed electric propulsion system. It is capable of cruising at 120 miles-per-hour at an altitude of 1,500 feet, making it ideal for suburban and inner city travel with trip distances ranging from 25 to 40 miles.

“The S-A2’s interior is designed to be modular, allowing for future upgrades in technology, including the battery.” – Supernal CTO Ben Diachun

During his presentation, Diachun also mentioned that the S-A2 will operate at a noise level of 65 decibels during takeoff and landing and 45 decibels while cruising, comparable to that of a dishwasher.

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Max Chen

Max Chen is an AI expert and journalist with a focus on the ethical and societal implications of emerging technologies. He has a background in computer science and is known for his clear and concise writing on complex technical topics. He has also written extensively on the potential risks and benefits of AI, and is a frequent speaker on the subject at industry conferences and events.

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