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January 11, 2024

Hyundai's Supernal Unveils Ambitious Plans for Electric Air Taxis by 2028

Get ready to soar into the future with Supernal, Hyundai Motor Group's cutting-edge air mobility visionary

In a riveting move towards revolutionizing urban mobility, Supernal, the advanced air mobility arm of Hyundai Motor Group, has unveiled its latest innovation, the S-A2 electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. Positioned to transport passengers by 2028, the S-A2 signals Hyundai's determined foray into the emerging electric air taxi domain. As the curtains lift on this ambitious project, we delve into the details that showcase Hyundai's commitment to aerial innovation and urban transportation.

Announced at CES 2024, the S-A2 represents a significant leap forward from Hyundai's vision concept, the S-A1, revealed three years ago in collaboration with Uber Elevate. While the initial partnership with Uber Elevate aimed for flight demos in 2020 and commercial rides in 2023, the landscape has evolved, and Hyundai's Supernal is now pursuing a more tangible and grounded plan.

With undisclosed but substantial investments, Supernal has evolved into a 600-person strong team, leveraging the technical prowess of Hyundai Motor Group and global aviation suppliers. Jaiwon Shin, President, and CEO of Supernal, emphasized their commitment to a commercial launch, shedding light on the extensive resources dedicated to realizing this vision.

Despite the grand aspirations, the path to commercialization is riddled with regulatory hurdles. Supernal's CTO, Ben Diachun, acknowledges the challenges ahead, highlighting the necessity of the Type 1 certification process with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Testing is slated to commence this year in California with technology demonstrator vehicles, while the FAA application and proposal for means of compliance are anticipated in 2022 and 2025, respectively.

The S-A2 itself is a marvel of engineering, featuring a V-tail design, distributed electric propulsion architecture, and eight tilting rotors. Boasting redundancy in critical components, including the powertrain, flight controls, and avionics, the aircraft adheres to stringent safety standards for commercial aviation.

Designed for suburban to inner-city travel, the S-A2 aims to cruise at 120 miles per hour at a 1,500-foot altitude, catering to trips between 25 and 40 miles initially.

Hyundai's Supernal is charting an ambitious course towards the future of urban air mobility with the S-A2. While the vision of electric air taxis shuttling passengers by 2028 is exhilarating, the journey involves meticulous testing, regulatory navigation, and a commitment to safety. As Supernal takes flight on this groundbreaking mission, the S-A2 stands as a testament to Hyundai's dedication to shaping the future of transportation. Buckle up for a thrilling ride into the skies of innovation.

Josefina Dipaolo
Josefina Dipaolo
Content writer at TechNews180
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