Electric air taxi completes test flight

Electric air taxi completes test flight

Vertical Aerospace’s Electric Urban Air Taxi Completes Maiden Flight

Vertical Aerospace, the Bristol-based startup, has achieved a significant milestone with the successful maiden flight of its electric urban air taxi. The flight took place at Cotswold Airport in southwest England, where a full-scale prototype of the VX4, the company’s electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, soared at around 70km/h or 40 knots. This achievement marks a major step forward for the company as it works towards electrifying urban air mobility.

A Vision of Urban Air Mobility

Vertical Aerospace, founded by British entrepreneur Stephen Fitzpatrick, first entered the eVTOL market in 2016. With a vision to revolutionize urban air travel, the company has been working on developing an electric aircraft capable of transporting people and goods efficiently and sustainably.

The VX4, the flagship eVTOL of Vertical Aerospace, is powered by eight electric motors situated on movable nacelles. Its 1MW powertrain is a result of collaboration with Rolls-Royce, ensuring a reliable and powerful propulsion system. With a range of 161km and a top speed of 322km/h, the VX4 is suited for short-distance travel, making it ideal for urban environments. In fact, the startup claims that it can complete a flight from London’s Heathrow Airport to Canary Wharf in just 13 seconds.

Impressive Capabilities and Versatility

The electric urban air taxi has the capacity to carry five people, including the pilot, serving as a convenient and efficient means of transportation in heavily congested areas. However, its potential is not limited to passenger travel alone. The aircraft can also be utilized for medical evacuations or as a cargo plane, demonstrating its versatility and adaptability to various scenarios.

Preparing for Takeoff

While the VX4 is yet to receive certification from the UK Aviation Authority, Vertical Aerospace is confident that it will be granted in 2026, paving the way for the delivery of its first eVTOLs. The startup has already received an impressive 1,400 pre-orders from airlines, operators, and rental companies, including major industry players such as American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Air Asia, Japan Airlines, and Gol.

The successful maiden flight represents just the beginning for Vertical Aerospace. The company plans to conduct further flight tests over the coming months, refining and enhancing its technology. In fact, they are already working on a second prototype that will incorporate even more advanced features and capabilities.

Conclusion

Vertical Aerospace’s recent achievement of completing the maiden flight of their electric urban air taxi showcases their commitment to revolutionizing urban mobility. Their vision and dedication to electric aviation have garnered the support of several industry players, positioning them as a key player in the eVTOL market. As the company progresses through the certification process and continues to develop their technology, Vertical Aerospace is poised to shape the future of urban air travel, offering efficient, sustainable, and versatile solutions for the modern world.