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Transportation

Airbus Joins Uber For On-Demand Chopper Rides (thestack.com) 37

An anonymous reader writes: Airbus is teaming up with Uber to provide on-demand helicopter rides, due to debut at the Sundance Film Festival which opens in Utah this month. The flight service will employ H125 and H130 aircraft to transport passengers, while Uber vehicles will ferry them to and from the helipad sites. A Utah-based firm, called Air Resources, will be coordinating the service. This is not the first time Uber has experimented with helicopter partnerships, transporting people via chopper ride at the U.S. Formula 1 Grand Prix, the Cannes Film Festival, Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, and from New York into the Hamptons in 2013.
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Airbus Joins Uber For On-Demand Chopper Rides

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  • This should have debuted at the friggin' Catalina Wine Mixer!
    • This should have debuted at the friggin' Catalina Wine Mixer!

      It's not a bad idea for the NY metro area if you have the landing pads--massive amounts of money and plenty of people willing to trade money for time. You could probably also do a good business in LA--there's some money and helicopters let you avoid the traffic.

      • But this is always going to be a very limited segment ... it's gimmicks and advertising, but there's no general market for on-demand helicopter rides.

        This is more about a couple of events in which a bunch of rich people need to be shuttled around and have their asses kissed.

        Keeping a helicopter on stand by is only going to be meaningful if you know you have a bunch of it to do.

        Otherwise you'd be charging hundreds (thousands?) to go pick up some schmuck and bring him to school so he can show off.

        This is beyo

        • there's no general market for on-demand helicopter rides.

          There is little demand at current prices, but if an app can reduce the price by eliminating administrative overhead and increasing utilization, then prices could fall dramatically.

          • Imagine how cheap it would be to run a helicopter without those annoying mandated safety inspections. After all, Uber vehicles don't have to regulate themselves.
        • Maybe not in the states, but in Brazil, for example, there is already a thriving economy. Sao Paulo has nearly 500 helicopters operating. Here is an article but there is also a great documentary on Netflix, I believe. http://www.theguardian.com/wor... [theguardian.com]
      • Sorry, one of our two choppers crashed - welcome to surge pricing!

        Oh, you'd rather drive? Then call up a Uber car - welcome to surge pricing since everyone else now has the same idea.

  • Drone ride (Score:5, Interesting)

    by The-Ixian ( 168184 ) on Monday January 18, 2016 @04:00PM (#51324249)

    I am just waiting for the drone that comes, lets you harness yourself into some hanging restraints and transports me to work.... bonus if it can deliver me right to the 12th floor window....

  • ... I don't have to ride bitch position.

    Oh, I thought we were talking about a Harley. Never mind.

  • If you say to me "GET TO DA CHOPPA" I will be changing course to the nearest muddy puddle, and will promptly push you in it ass first.

    Good day...

  • FAA crack down in ????
    uber better not try the independent contractor / we are not X with them. The last thing we want is jay's helicopter rides to crash as he can't pay for upkeep or the right insurance due to ubers low pay.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      FAA crack down in ????
      uber better not try the independent contractor / we are not X with them. The last thing we want is jay's helicopter rides to crash as he can't pay for upkeep or the right insurance due to ubers low pay.

      The FAA has pretty much shut down all sorts of "ridesharing" for aircraft that aren't following the rules, and given it's Airbus involved, I'm certain they're going to follow the rules.

      The FAAs will have no conniption about shutting this down in the middle of the competition and strandin

  • by captaindomon ( 870655 ) on Monday January 18, 2016 @05:15PM (#51324823)
    In keeping with Uber's business model, the pilots won't be licensed, of course. And the helicopters won't be inspected or insured. That's ok because you're not really buying a helicopter ride, you're just asking to ride along with somebody that happens to have a helicopter they found somewhere and a smartphone.
    • by gavron ( 1300111 )

      LOL! I just posted a (more serious) note about the requirements in the US for on-demand (charter) air operations and the highly regulated environment. It's much more strict that simply having a licensed pilot :)

      If you're interested, check out 14 CFR 135. There are requirements for
      - pilots
      - aircraft
      - facility
      - maintenance
      - passenger security

      In other words... it's -nothing- like an Uber.

      Also the press-release is just marketing hype. Uber isn't buying helicopters nor flying them and Airbus isn't subsidizin

  • get some! get some! hahahahaha
    get some baby, get some, get some!
    hahahaha! get some! get some!
  • by gavron ( 1300111 ) on Monday January 18, 2016 @05:58PM (#51325133)

    This marketing press-release is making the rounds, and with each retelling it's getting more farfetched.

    No, you will not be able to *ever* call up a helicopter to pick you up with Uber. This is just a marketing press release (and fairly effective obviously).

    In the United States helicopter manufacturers don't fly helicopter -- helicopter flight operations companies do. Those that do on-demand (charter) flights are licensed under "Part 135" (14 CFR 135 to be precise). See http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/te... [ecfr.gov] for details.

    Part 135 operators have strict requirements for pilots, aircraft, maintenance, and flight operations. They also have requirements for passengers some of which are dictated by the TSA. PDF (sorry): http://nata.aero/data/files/gi... [nata.aero]

    Now if Uber and Airbus were *TRULY* committed to doing something together, then Airbus would provide aircraft at reduced lease rates to operating companies that could then partner with Uber. Uber would deliver the passenger to the helicopter; the helicopter would do the long-haul flight; another Uber car would deliver the passenger to the final destination. All this is doable, but none of it is in the press-release. None of it is in the plans. None of it is going to make a flight-ops company buy multi-million-dollar aircraft.

    It sure would be nice though. I'd love to fly more people around in a helicopter.

    Ehud Gavron
    FAA Commercial Helicopter Pilot
     

  • From the article, sounds like an air taxi company called Air Resources will be supplying helicopter service as usual. The helicopters happen to be made by Airbus. Air Resources will not only do the helicopter pickup/dropoff, but will also push buttons on the normal Uber app to hail the cars. (Normally they would call a limo car service on the phone, but instead they will call an unlicensed limo service on the app.) Uber has nothing to do with the helicopter part of it, really.

    How this is different from the

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