British company, based in Bristol, unveils all-electric 'flying taxi' that will be able to carry up to four passengers between London and Brighton in 30 minutes with zero emissions.
With electric cars dominating the headlines and Tesla's share price going stratospheric, it's hardly surprising the aerospace industry is getting in on the act. Last month OGN reported on the unveiling of concept images by another Bristol-based company - Electric Aviation Group - for what it claims will be the 'largest commercial hybrid plane in the world', and now Vertical Aerospace have said that it's all-electric 'flying taxi' is set to be the first winged, electric vertical-take-off-and-landing (eVTOL) craft to be certified.
Designed to carry up to four passengers, the zero-emission flyer - the 'VA-1X' - will use Formula 1 tech to reach top cruising speeds of around 150 miles per hour and a maximum range of some 100 miles. The firm expects that the VA-1X will begin commercial flights in 2024 following flight testing which will begin next year.
According to Vertical Aerospace, trips in the craft will likely end up costing passengers around £5 to £10 per mile, roughly between that of a helicopter and a private car.
"At Vertical Aerospace, we believe that people should be able to quickly and affordably get from A to B without sacrificing the planet," said CEO Michael Cervenka.
The craft will be 43 feet in length with a 49 feet wingspan, ensuring that it will be small enough to depart off and land on existing helipads; while its aerodynamic form will require far less energy to fly than its chopper counterparts. Furthermore, the flying taxi's distributed propulsion system is expected will make it some 30 times quieter than a helicopter.
Vertical Aerospace said that they have developed the VA-1X with the mind to sell them to air taxi or cargo fleet operators. However, there is also the potential for the firm to sell the craft to individual customers.
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