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Flying taxis, the future is now

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TORINO – That future that as children we imagined at least a couple of centuries ahead of us, made up of robots bringing coffee to bed and flying taxis whizzing between buildings, is actually much closer. Indeed it already has a name, ANN2, and is the first hybrid electric propulsion aircraft with turbine and batteries capable of taking off and landing vertically to transport passengers on interurban routes of a few hundred kilometers, at a speed of 300 per hour. Developed by the Italian company Manta Aircraft, the ANN2 will soon face its certification path thanks to the agreement with SkyGate, the accelerator dedicated to Advanced Air Mobility (AAM), whose task is to facilitate all those projects belonging to the new general aviation segment. The experimentation program will take place at Turin Aeritalia airport, a program thanks to which the aircraft will be able to obtain the requirements of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and fly freely in urban and commercial air spaces.

To test the new ANN2, an exceptional pilot: Maurizio Cheli, whose experience ranges from the orbital mission with the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1986 to the tests of military aircraft such as the Project Pilot Eurofighter. In 2009 he was entrusted with the testing of one of the first electric aircraft in the world, the SkySpark, with which he recorded a world speed record, literally anticipating by over ten years the advent of the technologies that today make Advanced Air Mobility possible. (AAM).

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“The Italian aeronautical industry has the great opportunity to play a leading role in the nascent AAM sector, capitalizing on decades of experience and aeronautical projects of excellence and integrating innovative concepts also deriving from the automotive industry, of which Turin is the Italian capital ”, Explains Lucas Marchesini, CEO of Manta Aircraft. “ANN2 will be an example of the Italian inventiveness and ability to create synergies between companies with long experience, thus giving birth to the Italian AAM ecosystem”. The Advanced Air Mobility market could reach 241 billion euros by 2035. More than half will be generated by the passenger transport segment, while the remainder will come from freight transport and the emergency management and surveillance segments. (fp)


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