Airbus and Uber plan on-demand copter rides

Image: Airbus H130 helicopter
Airbus says its H130 copters will be on duty for the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. (Credit: Airbus)

Independent films aren’t the only things that’ll be previewed at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah this week: Airbus Group and Uber Technologies are launching a pilot project that offers on-demand helicopter rides to the show.

But if the project gets picked up for further development, it may require some tweaks to Uber’s standard rideshare model.

Airbus Group’s CEO, Tom Enders, provided a teaser over the weekend at the Digital Life Design conference in Munich, Germany. “It’s a pilot project, we’ll see how it goes — but it’s pretty exciting,” he told The Wall Street Journal.

The Journal quoted an Airbus spokesman as saying that the flights will be provided by Airbus’ H125 and H130 helicopters, in partnership with a Utah-based helicopter operator named Air Resources. Uber would dispatch cars to pick up clients for the rides at Sundance.

Uber has been testing an on-demand helicopter service called UberChopper for about three years, primarily for vacationers or for special events where traffic gets tangled.

Get the full story on GeekWire.

By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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