Russia Reportedly Testing Unmanned Hi-Fly Aircraft Taxi in Kenya

By Thea Felicity

Apr 02, 2024 11:30 AM EDT

An emergency helicopter flies above the site of a plane crash near the village of Kuzhenkino, Tver region, on August 24, 2023. Russian state-run news agencies on August 23, 2023 said that Yevgeny Prigozhin, the head of the Wagner group that led a mutiny against Russia's army in June, was on the list of passengers of a plane that crashed near the village of Kuzhenkino in the Tver region.
(Photo : Photo by OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP via Getty Images)
As posted on X, the Russian company, Biryuch Innovation Center, has initiated trials for the Hi-Fly unmanned Taxi in Kenya. 

The multidisciplinary research and production firm, known for developing biotechnological food, drones, and fire and rescue helicopters, is collaborating with local partners for the pilot phase.

The Russian company's partnership with local partners will help oversee the unmanned Hi-Fly flights from Nairobi's Wilson Airport to Diani in Ukunda, as announced by the Russian Embassy in Kenya.

Presently, the company's flagship model, the S700, is a one-passenger eVTOL multicopter aircraft powered by battery packs. It offers a cruise speed of 140 km/h, a range of 90 km, and a flight time of 45 minutes.

With plans for serial production slated for 2028, Hi-Fly envisions a future where local air travel becomes a prevalent mode of transportation.

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How is Hi-Fly Unmanned Taxi Different From Commercial Planes?

According to Daily People, the Hi-Fly unmanned taxi, announced in December 2020, differs from commercial planes in several key aspects.

Firstly, it operates as an electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, distinguishing it from traditional commercial planes that rely on conventional runway takeoffs and landings. This unique feature allows the Hi-Fly taxi to access more confined spaces and urban areas, providing greater flexibility in its routes and destinations.

The Hi-Fly taxi is also designed to be unmanned, meaning it does not require a human pilot on board to operate. This autonomous capability sets it apart from commercial planes, which rely on highly trained pilots to navigate and control the aircraft.

Furthermore, the Hi-Fly taxi is smaller in size and capacity than commercial airliners, catering to shorter-distance flights and serving as a more localized transportation solution.

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