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Rolls-Royce plans for take-off in flying taxi market

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FARNBOROUGH, England (Reuters) - British jet engine maker Rolls-Royce has designed a propulsion system for a flying taxi and is starting a search for partners to help develop a project it hopes could take to the skies as soon as early next decade.

Rolls-Royce said on Sunday it had drawn up plans for an electric vertical take-off and landing (EVTOL) vehicle, or flying taxi, which could carry four to five people at speeds of up to 250 miles per hour for approximately 500 miles.

The company, which makes engines for planes, helicopters and ships, joins a variety of companies racing to develop flying taxis, which could revolutionize the way people travel.

Long the stuff of science fiction and futuristic cartoons such as "The Jetsons", aviation and technology leaders are working to make electric-powered flying taxis a reality, including Airbus, U.S. ride- sharing firm Uber and a range of start-ups including one backed by Google co-founder Larry Page, called Kitty Hawk.

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