Aircraft

The six Skyport designs that could provide the launchpad for Uber's flying taxis

The beehive-inspired Mega Skyport by Dallas-based architecture firm Humphreys & Partners Architects would be a mixed-use development containing offices and retail spaces
The beehive-inspired Mega Skyport by Dallas-based architecture firm Humphreys & Partners Architects would be a mixed-use development containing offices and retail spaces
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The Uber Sky Tower is the result of a collaboration between firms Pickard Chilton and ARUP
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The Uber Sky Tower is the result of a collaboration between firms Pickard Chilton and ARUP
The Uber Sky Tower, by Pickard Chilton and ARU, is designed to handle 1,000 five-seater vehicle arrivals and departures every hour
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The Uber Sky Tower, by Pickard Chilton and ARU, is designed to handle 1,000 five-seater vehicle arrivals and departures every hour
The modular Uber Sky Tower, by Pickard Chilton and ARU, is extendable and can be put together vertically and horizontally
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The modular Uber Sky Tower, by Pickard Chilton and ARU, is extendable and can be put together vertically and horizontally
The modular Uber Sky Tower, by Pickard Chilton and ARU, is extendable and can be put together vertically and horizontally
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The modular Uber Sky Tower, by Pickard Chilton and ARU, is extendable and can be put together vertically and horizontally
The Uber Sky Tower, by Pickard Chilton and ARU, is designed to handle 1,000 five-seater vehicle arrivals and departures every hour
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The Uber Sky Tower, by Pickard Chilton and ARU, is designed to handle 1,000 five-seater vehicle arrivals and departures every hour
The Uber Sky Tower, by Pickard Chilton and ARU, is designed to handle 1,000 five-seater vehicle arrivals and departures every hour
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The Uber Sky Tower, by Pickard Chilton and ARU, is designed to handle 1,000 five-seater vehicle arrivals and departures every hour
The Uber Sky Tower is the result of a collaboration between firms Pickard Chilton and ARUP
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The Uber Sky Tower is the result of a collaboration between firms Pickard Chilton and ARUP
This Skyport concept by US firm BOKAPowell features six landing pads and is designed to handle 1,000 vehicle landings and take-offs every hour
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This Skyport concept by US firm BOKAPowell features six landing pads and is designed to handle 1,000 vehicle landings and take-offs every hour
BOKAPowell says its Skyport concept could get folks from one of Uber’s cars on the ground into one of its VTOL aircraft within three minutes
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BOKAPowell says its Skyport concept could get folks from one of Uber’s cars on the ground into one of its VTOL aircraft within three minutes
This Skyport concept by US firm BOKAPowell features six landing pads and is designed to handle 1,000 vehicle landings and take-offs every hour
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This Skyport concept by US firm BOKAPowell features six landing pads and is designed to handle 1,000 vehicle landings and take-offs every hour
BOKAPowell says its Skyport concept could get folks from one of Uber’s cars on the ground into one of its VTOL aircraft within three minutes
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BOKAPowell says its Skyport concept could get folks from one of Uber’s cars on the ground into one of its VTOL aircraft within three minutes
This Skyport concept by US firm BOKAPowell features six landing pads and is designed to handle 1,000 vehicle landings and take-offs every hour
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This Skyport concept by US firm BOKAPowell features six landing pads and is designed to handle 1,000 vehicle landings and take-offs every hour
BOKAPowell says its Skyport concept could get folks from one of Uber’s cars on the ground into one of its VTOL aircraft within three minutes
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BOKAPowell says its Skyport concept could get folks from one of Uber’s cars on the ground into one of its VTOL aircraft within three minutes
This Skyport concept by US firm BOKAPowell features six landing pads and is designed to handle 1,000 vehicle landings and take-offs every hour
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This Skyport concept by US firm BOKAPowell features six landing pads and is designed to handle 1,000 vehicle landings and take-offs every hour
The beehive-inspired Mega Skyport by Dallas-based architecture firm Humphreys & Partners Architects would be a mixed-use development containing offices and retail spaces
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The beehive-inspired Mega Skyport by Dallas-based architecture firm Humphreys & Partners Architects would be a mixed-use development containing offices and retail spaces
The beehive-inspired Mega Skyport by Dallas-based architecture firm Humphreys & Partners Architects would be a mixed-use development containing offices and retail spaces
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The beehive-inspired Mega Skyport by Dallas-based architecture firm Humphreys & Partners Architects would be a mixed-use development containing offices and retail spaces
The beehive-inspired Mega Skyport by Dallas-based architecture firm Humphreys & Partners Architects would be a mixed-use development containing offices and retail spaces
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The beehive-inspired Mega Skyport by Dallas-based architecture firm Humphreys & Partners Architects would be a mixed-use development containing offices and retail spaces
The beehive-inspired Mega Skyport by Dallas-based architecture firm Humphreys & Partners Architects would be a mixed-use development containing offices and retail spaces
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The beehive-inspired Mega Skyport by Dallas-based architecture firm Humphreys & Partners Architects would be a mixed-use development containing offices and retail spaces
The Skyport imagined by Dallas-based architecture firm Humphreys & Partners Architects would sit over the top of an existing parking garage in LA
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The Skyport imagined by Dallas-based architecture firm Humphreys & Partners Architects would sit over the top of an existing parking garage in LA
The Skyport imagined by Dallas-based architecture firm Humphreys & Partners Architects would sit over the top of an existing parking garage in LA
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The Skyport imagined by Dallas-based architecture firm Humphreys & Partners Architects would sit over the top of an existing parking garage in LA
The Skyport proposed by American engineering firm Gannett Fleming is to make use of a wire-guided robot that rotates the aircraft on the launchpad, positioning it for landing, loading, charging and taking off
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The Skyport proposed by American engineering firm Gannett Fleming is to make use of a wire-guided robot that rotates the aircraft on the launchpad, positioning it for landing, loading, charging and taking off
The Skyport proposed by American engineering firm Gannett Fleming is to make use of a wire-guided robot that rotates the aircraft on the launchpad, positioning it for landing, loading, charging and taking off
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The Skyport proposed by American engineering firm Gannett Fleming is to make use of a wire-guided robot that rotates the aircraft on the launchpad, positioning it for landing, loading, charging and taking off
The Skyport proposed by American engineering firm Gannett Fleming would be modular and able to be constructed both on top of and in between existing buildings
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The Skyport proposed by American engineering firm Gannett Fleming would be modular and able to be constructed both on top of and in between existing buildings
The Skyport proposed by American engineering firm Gannett Fleming would be modular and able to be constructed both on top of and in between existing buildings
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The Skyport proposed by American engineering firm Gannett Fleming would be modular and able to be constructed both on top of and in between existing buildings
The Skyport proposed by American engineering firm Gannett Fleming would be modular and able to be constructed both on top of and in between existing buildings
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The Skyport proposed by American engineering firm Gannett Fleming would be modular and able to be constructed both on top of and in between existing buildings
The Skyport proposed by American engineering firm Gannett Fleming is to make use of a wire-guided robot that rotates the aircraft on the launchpad, positioning it for landing, loading, charging and taking off
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The Skyport proposed by American engineering firm Gannett Fleming is to make use of a wire-guided robot that rotates the aircraft on the launchpad, positioning it for landing, loading, charging and taking off
Atlanta’s architecture firm Beck has designed a Skyport also inspired by the beehive, and says, much like bees, electric VTOL aircraft will buzz in and out of “The Hive” in a “never ending cycle of activity"
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Atlanta’s architecture firm Beck has designed a Skyport also inspired by the beehive, and says, much like bees, electric VTOL aircraft will buzz in and out of “The Hive” in a “never ending cycle of activity"
The flexible design of Beck's beehive-inspired Skyport means it can be scaled up by simply adding more hexes as the service gains popularity, just as a bee scales up its hive
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The flexible design of Beck's beehive-inspired Skyport means it can be scaled up by simply adding more hexes as the service gains popularity, just as a bee scales up its hive
The flexible design of Beck's beehive-inspired Skyport means it can be scaled up by simply adding more hexes as the service gains popularity, just as a bee scales up its hive
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The flexible design of Beck's beehive-inspired Skyport means it can be scaled up by simply adding more hexes as the service gains popularity, just as a bee scales up its hive
The flexible design of Beck's beehive-inspired Skyport means it can be scaled up by simply adding more hexes as the service gains popularity, just as a bee scales up its hive
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The flexible design of Beck's beehive-inspired Skyport means it can be scaled up by simply adding more hexes as the service gains popularity, just as a bee scales up its hive
Atlanta’s architecture firm Beck has designed a Skyport also inspired by the beehive, and says, much like bees, electric VTOL aircraft will buzz in and out of “The Hive” in a “never ending cycle of activity"
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Atlanta’s architecture firm Beck has designed a Skyport also inspired by the beehive, and says, much like bees, electric VTOL aircraft will buzz in and out of “The Hive” in a “never ending cycle of activity"
The Skyport concept designed by architecture firm Corgan would be equipped to handle up to 1,000 electric VTOLs per hour
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The Skyport concept designed by architecture firm Corgan would be equipped to handle up to 1,000 electric VTOLs per hour
The Skyport concept dreamt up by architecture firm Corgan would be a modular system so it can be adapted to different cityscapes
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The Skyport concept dreamt up by architecture firm Corgan would be a modular system so it can be adapted to different cityscapes
The Skyport concept dreamt up by architecture firm Corgan would be a modular system so it can be adapted to different cityscapes
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The Skyport concept dreamt up by architecture firm Corgan would be a modular system so it can be adapted to different cityscapes
The Skyport concept designed by architecture firm Corgan would be equipped to handle up to 1,000 electric VTOLs per hour
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The Skyport concept designed by architecture firm Corgan would be equipped to handle up to 1,000 electric VTOLs per hour
The Skyport concept dreamt up by architecture firm Corgan would be a modular system so it can be adapted to different cityscapes
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The Skyport concept dreamt up by architecture firm Corgan would be a modular system so it can be adapted to different cityscapes

One of the more fanciful aspects of Uber's already pretty fanciful flying taxi service is the concept of Skyports. Like airports and train stations, these terminals would be used as a base for electric aircraft to stay charged up and for passengers to hop on and off. Here's a look at six finalist concepts dreamt up by architects collaborating with Uber on the idea.

Uber first floated the idea of taking its transportation services skyward in a 2016 white paper. The Uber Elevate service would use vertical takeoff and landing aircraft to ferry people around busy urban centers. With a range of up to 60 mi (96 km), the aircraft would move between Skyports stationed around cities, getting passengers where they need to go and swapping batteries or charging up at the same time.

At its Uber Elevate conference in LA this week, the company shared a few concepts of what the vehicles could look like, and it has now done the same for the Skyports themselves. These are the results of an invitation-based design competition held by Uber, and provide a thought-provoking, and let's face it, pretty audacious idea of what a future filled with flying taxis could look like.

Uber Sky Tower, by Pickard Chilton and ARUP

The Uber Sky Tower, by Pickard Chilton and ARU, is designed to handle 1,000 five-seater vehicle arrivals and departures every hour
The Uber Sky Tower, by Pickard Chilton and ARU, is designed to handle 1,000 five-seater vehicle arrivals and departures every hour

The Uber Sky Tower is the result of a collaboration between firms Pickard Chilton and ARUP, who stress that, while conceptual, it is "not science fiction" and is based on solid research. The modular structure is extendable, can be put together vertically or horizontally, and is designed to handle 1,000 five-seater vehicle arrivals and departures every hour.

eVTOL Aircraft Skyport, by BOKAPowell

This Skyport concept by US firm BOKAPowell features six landing pads and is designed to handle 1,000 vehicle landings and take-offs every hour
This Skyport concept by US firm BOKAPowell features six landing pads and is designed to handle 1,000 vehicle landings and take-offs every hour

This concept by US firm BOKAPowell features six landing pads and is also designed to handle 1,000 vehicle landings and take-offs every hour, which it equates to between 2,000 and 4,000 passengers. It says it can get folks from one of Uber's cars on the ground into one of its VTOL aircraft within three minutes.

Skyport, by Humphreys & Partners Architects

The Skyport imagined by Dallas-based architecture firm Humphreys & Partners Architects would sit over the top of an existing parking garage in LA
The Skyport imagined by Dallas-based architecture firm Humphreys & Partners Architects would sit over the top of an existing parking garage in LA

Dallas-based architecture firm Humphreys & Partners Architects has gotten a little more specific with its concept, which actually includes two types of Skyport. One is imagined to sit over the top of an existing parking garage in downtown LA, with its design able to be easily replicated for other locations around the city.

The beehive-inspired Mega Skyport by Dallas-based architecture firm Humphreys & Partners Architects would be a mixed-use development containing offices and retail spaces
The beehive-inspired Mega Skyport by Dallas-based architecture firm Humphreys & Partners Architects would be a mixed-use development containing offices and retail spaces

The other is a beehive-inspired Mega Skyport that would be a mixed-use development containing offices and retail spaces. Its facade could also be configurable to blend in with the surroundings.

Skyport by Gannett Fleming

The Skyport proposed by American engineering firm Gannett Fleming is to make use of a wire-guided robot that rotates the aircraft on the launchpad, positioning it for landing, loading, charging and taking off
The Skyport proposed by American engineering firm Gannett Fleming is to make use of a wire-guided robot that rotates the aircraft on the launchpad, positioning it for landing, loading, charging and taking off

The solution proposed by American engineering firm Gannett Fleming is to make use of a wire-guided robot that rotates the aircraft on the launchpad, positioning it for landing, loading, charging and taking off. The design is also modular and can be constructed both on top of and in between existing buildings.

The Hive, by Beck

The flexible design of Beck's beehive-inspired Skyport means it can be scaled up by simply adding more hexes as the service gains popularity, just as a bee scales up its hive
The flexible design of Beck's beehive-inspired Skyport means it can be scaled up by simply adding more hexes as the service gains popularity, just as a bee scales up its hive

The approach from Atlanta's Beck is also inspired by the beehive, and its designers say, much like bees, electric VTOL aircraft will buzz in and out of "The Hive" in a "never ending cycle of activity." The flexible design means it can be scaled up by simply adding more hexes as the service gains popularity, just as a bee scales up its hive. The firm says the facility could handle more than 1,000 landings and takeoffs per hour.

Mega Skyport, by Corgan

The Skyport concept dreamt up by architecture firm Corgan would be a modular system so it can be adapted to different cityscapes
The Skyport concept dreamt up by architecture firm Corgan would be a modular system so it can be adapted to different cityscapes

Again, the Skyport concept designed by architecture firm Corgan would be equipped to handle up to 1,000 electric VTOLs per hour and be a modular system so it can be adapted to different cityscapes. It consists of a connection plaza module for passenger transfers, a bridge module for foot traffic over highways, the station module itself and then the flight deck module.

To see more angles of these futuristic transportation hubs, have a flick through our gallery.

Sources: Pickard Chilton, BOKAPowell, Humphreys & Partners Architects, Gannett Fleming, Beck, Corgan

1 comment
Daishi
These are cool looking. It would be cool to see someone bring some of these designs into a video game.