Timeline: Intended – an outline vision has been agreed
Chicago – Schaumburg (51km)
Chicago – Tinley Park (33km)
In an early trial of UAM procedures and technical requirements for the Chicago area, Eve and Blade Air Mobility announced in August 2022 they would organise a series of ground procedures and airborne flights using Blade helicopters.
Eve “aims to study operations, ground services, passenger journeys and eVTOL operator needs, creating more accessible and faster connections to Downtown Chicago. Eve will conduct its Chicago, Ill., UAM simulation over three weeks, starting with ground tests on September 12th and passenger flights on the 14th. Following the simulation, the city of Chicago will gain knowledge about the infrastructure and ecosystem needed to enable the launch and expected long-term growth of UAM in the area,” according to an Eve press release.
“Simulating the eVTOL operation in Chicago allows us to study how people will experience this service and understand the entire ecosystem requirements for our product and services, while showcasing the benefit of Urban Air Mobility in one of North America's most prominent and populated cities,” said André Stein, co-CEO of Eve.
Eve will perform the ground tests at Vertiport Chicago, an existing downtown heliport facility, simulating services, infrastructure, and equipment requirements for the eVTOL. In the UAM infrastructure, a vertiport is an area of land or a structure used for the landing, take-off, charging and operation of eVTOL vehicles.
For this simulation, Eve has formed a consortium of partners, including Blade, Republic Airways, Halo Aviation, Vertiport Chicago, Village of Tinley Park, Village of Schaumburg, ACCIONA, SkyWest, Inc. and Speedbird Aero. A helicopter replicating Eve’s future eVTOL will transport passengers from the Vertiport Chicago facility to two helistops located northwest and southwest of Chicago. The first route will connect Vertiport Chicago to Schaumburg Municipal Helistop, and the second route will connect Vertiport Chicago to Tinley Park Helistop in Illinois.