Aeronext Inc has announced its Gondola drone concept, along with a miniature model of what could become a series of drones that transport from one to four people.
This design would allow for a unique experience as the four-passenger version even has a table around which passengers can chat (or drink/eat) during the flight.
The window surface area is as large as possible to offer “breathtaking outdoor views,” and we’ll assume that people who fear heights will probably not opt for this transport method as their first choice.
All of this put together should make the ride more “comfortable,” at least when compared to something like a helicopter ride, which is the closest thing you can do today.
The Gondola drone is a VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft, which means that after take-off, the rotors can tilt forward and fly more efficiently (and probably faster) like a fixed-wing aircraft. VTOL is a way to harness the benefits of both traditional drones (airstrip optional) and planes (higher speed, energy efficiency, maximum range).
Aeronext says that the ride should be extra comfortable because the computer-controlled system keeps the passenger seat perfectly level with the ground at all times.
It’s not clear when a life-size version will be ready, but the claims seem technically plausible. Of course, it comes down to the details: what autonomy and load capacity will it have? That’s particularly true for the 4-passenger version, which seems to be a bit too good to be true.