Flying Vehicle Takes to the Skies in Tokyo

The flying vehicle was designed in 2017 and has been shown and demonstrated around the world

Chuck Martin, Editorial Director AI & IoT

May 23, 2024

2 Min Read
The Lift Hexa eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle) at sunset.
Lift Aircraft

The Lift Hexa eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicle) was flown in Tokyo this week as a demonstration hosted by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government.

The Lift electric aerial vehicle (EAV) is in the category that does not require a pilot’s license to fly it.

The vehicle was designed in 2017 and has been shown and demonstrated around the world. 

“It’s very, very simple to fly,” said Lift Aircraft chief pilot Jace McCown. “The computer handles most of the details. Press a button to take off, press a button to land.”

The Lift Hexa was recently featured and flown at the annual Sun ‘N Fun Aerospace Expo in Lakeland, Florida.

The week-long event attracted an attendance of 200,000.

Lift had been offering general public flights in the Hexa for several weeks at the airport in Lakeland in advance of the event, which featured continuous air shows, flight demonstrations, hundreds of exhibits and lots of emerging aerial technology.

Some of the Lift early testing was done with the military, CEO and founder Matt Chasen told me recently.

At the Florida event, local residents had a chance to personally fly the EAV. They attended a 45-minute instruction class followed by a flight in the simulator in preparation to fly the vehicle. A simulator was set up in the exhibit area.

Related:Flying Vehicle Showcased at Sun ‘N Fun Expo, Florida

Most of the public flights were sold out.

The Tokyo flights were conducted with Lift partner Marubeni Corporation, which has been working with Lift since 2021 to develop the flying vehicle for the Japanese market.

"I want more people to experience this cutting-edge technology,” said Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike at the flight demonstration. “Lift Aircraft's demonstration represents the future of transportation, and I am excited to witness the positive impact it will have on our city and beyond."

Under Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules, flying vehicles such as Lift fall under the ultralight category of FAA Part 103, which limits capable vehicle speed to 63 mph, requires only a single occupant and does not require any training or previous experience before operating a vehicle. 

However, the flying vehicle makers require training before allowing their vehicles to be flown.

The Lift Hexa has 18 independent motors, a single joystick for operation and is capable of landing on both land and water.

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About the Author(s)

Chuck Martin

Editorial Director AI & IoT

Chuck Martin, author of "Flying Vehicles," New York Times Business Bestselling author and futurist, is Editorial Director at Informa Tech, home of AI Business, IoT World Today and Enter Quantum. Martin has been a leader in emerging digital technologies for more than two decades. He is considered one of the foremost emerging technology experts in the world and his latest book title "Flying Vehicles" (The Emergence of Personal Air Travel, Flying Cars, and Air Taxis) followed "Digital Transformation 3.0" (The New Business-to-Consumer Connections of The Internet of Things).  He hosts a worldwide podcast titled “The Voices of the Internet of Things with Chuck Martin,” where he converses with top executives from the companies driving the adoption of emerging technology.

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