- The modern-day air taxi isn’t a futuristic vertical take-off and land aircraft but often a propeller aircraft that’s inexpensive to operate and can comfortably fly passengers on regional routes.
- Hopscotch Air provides air taxi flights from airports across the Northeast as a cost-effective alternative to chartering a traditional private aircraft and time-effective alternative to driving.
- I flew on one of Hopscotch Air’s air taxis between two airports in Long Island to see if it truly beat driving.
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The idea of an air taxi for most is the futuristic concept of self-flying eVTOLs soaring over traffic-ridden city streets, flying passengers to their meetings across town. While that may be a reality of urban air mobility one day, the modern-day air taxi is completely different.
Hopscotch Air is a New York-based air taxi service that uses light aircraft to connect remote cities across the Northeast as a cost-effective alternative to chartering a private aircraft. Ideal for regional travel, CEO Andrew Schmertz views the firm’s competitors to be more trains and automobiles than it does private jets and offers the convenience and exclusivity of a private aircraft experience without the costly extras the drive up the price.
Powering the air taxi fleet is the Cirrus SR-20/22 series of piston aircraft, one of the most popular in general aviation known for their comfort, style, and high tech systems.
I took a ride on a quick demonstration flight across Long Island between Farmingdale’s Republic Airport and Brookhaven Airport to see whether the service is worth the premium compared to driving or taking a commercial flight.
Here's what it was like.
This is an air taxi, operated by Hopscotch Air.
Four of these piston engine-powered Cirrus SR-20/22 series aircraft currently make up the Hopscotch Air fleet, offering regional travel across the Northeast and beyond.
From New York, the aircraft have a range of around five hours, making cities like Chicago, Savannah, and Nashville all accessible with a non-stop flight when the weather allows.
Cirrus' aircraft are widely-regarded to be the Cadillac of piston aircraft thanks to its speed, comfort, and advanced onboard systems.
Both models can fly at altitudes up to 17,500 feet with the newer SR-22 model cruising at over 200 miles per hour.
Source: Cirrus Aircraft