Boston-based aviation company Transcend Air wants to make flying between major cities like New York City and Boston faster and easier.
The company has been working on prototypes of an aircraft that would carry passengers between major cities at prices comparable to commercial flights, and has plans to launch by 2024.
Their six-seater, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft features a tiltwing design, allowing it to take off and land like a helicopter. The piloted, turbine-powered planes would have a range of 450 miles, with speeds up to 405 miles per hour, taking inspiration from the design of the CL-84, created by Canadair in the 1960s.
“We like to boast that we’re not inventing anything new here,” Transcend Air’s CEO Greg Bruelltold Travel + Leisure. “We’re taking a concept first demonstrated in the ’60s and finding a market for it, while updating it with the latest technology so that it doesn’t cost military-scale budgets to build them.”
Transcend has plans to fly from New York City to Boston (flight time of 36 minutes, $283 one-way), from Los Angeles to San Francisco (55 minutes, $315 one-way), and from Montreal to Toronto (1 hour, $325 one-way). The company is also looking at routes between San Diego, San Francisco and Las Vegas, and between Houston, Dallas, and Austin.
Since the aircraft can take off and land vertically, there’s no need for runways and airports, and its use of propellors instead of rotors (found on helicopters) would keep noise levels down. The biggest benefit to passengers may be the time saved by avoiding going to the airport and taxiing to and from the runway.
Onboard the aircraft, passengers will find an experience similar to what they’re used to on commercial airlines, though seats will be wider at 23 inches. Since the trips are short, there will be no restrooms or additional amenities.
The company has already started the certification process with the Federal Aviation Administration, and plans to start test routes between Boston and New York City in the next two years. They will then build a limited range production of aircraft with plans to partner with a manufacturer who will create the full range of aircraft.
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