Vertical Aerospace Tests UK’s first Electric Flying Taxi

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in the past couple of years, flying taxis have been a sector with lots of investments made by historical companies. we’ve seen giants like airbus and uber, together with startups like volocopter, test drone taxis powered by rotors. the time has come for bristol-based startup vertical aerospace to showcase the eVTOL, UK’s first flying taxi featuring a drone-style aircraft ready to revolutionize short-haul flying while cutting carbon emissions.

Vertical Aerospace plans to have the first eVTOL aircraft providing an intercity air taxi service within the next four years(Credit: Vertical Aerospace/G F Williams Photography)


Vertical Aerospace operating out of Bristol, UK, aims to bring on demand, emissions-free intercity air taxi services to the UK skies within four years. The company has nailed the first step in its bold plan by building and flying a fully electric vertical take off and landing aircraft recently.

Vertical Aerospace was founded by OVO Energy’s Stephen Fitzpatrick in 2016, and now has a core of 28 engineers and technicians recruited from the ranks of Airbus, Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Martin Jet Pack, DarkTrace and General Electric. In the last 12 months, the company has put together a slick-looking full scale eVTOL demonstrator, secured test flight permission from the Civil Aviation Authority and got it airborne above Cotswold Airport in Kimble, Gloucestershire.

“We’ve learned a lot from Formula 1, both in terms of technology and pace of development,” said Fitzpatrick. “The lightweight materials, aerodynamics and electrical systems developed through F1 are highly applicable to aircraft, much more so than to road transport. By putting those technologies in the hands of experienced aerospace engineers, we can build cutting edge aircraft for the 21st Century.”

The eVTOL prototype has four three-blade rotors in a two-by-two configuration that lift it into the air(Credit: Vertical Aerospace/G F Williams Photography)


Not too much has been revealed about the three-wheeled, battery-powered demonstrator, other than it weighs 750 kg (1,650 lb), has four three-blade rotors in a two-by-two configuration that lift it into the air and is currently reported capable of spending just 5 minutes aloft but can fly forward at up to 80 km/h (50 mph). However, the focus of rolling out the prototype was not range and speed, but to prove the full scale concept.

With the first remotely-piloted flight in the bag, the company is already working with the European Aviation Safety Agency to have its next model granted Type Certification as part of a broader plan to get air taxi pilots flying electric VTOL aircraft on short hops by 2022.

Meantime, Vertical Aerospace will continue to refine the technology to extend the range of the eVTOL, introduce autonomous aspects to the design and look to increase the services routes throughout the UK. Top speed of operational eVTOLs is expected to hover around the 200 mph (320 km/h) mark, with an initial range of between 100 and 140 miles (160 – 225 km) eventually inching up to make 500 miles per charge possible.

Vertical Aerospace’s mission is to revolutionize how people fly by making air travel personal, on-demand and carbon free(Credit: Vertical Aerospace/G F Williams Photography)


Of course, Vertical Aerospace is not the only company looking into the viability of short-haul air taxis, with Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin and Transcend Air Corporation being among numerous firms currently looking into providing such services. So it looks like the skies in our very near future will be quite literally abuzz with activity.

Source: Vertical Aerospace

The Vertical Aerospace eVTOL prototype took to the air above Cotswold Airport in June 2018(Credit: Vertical Aerospace/G F Williams Photography)


The Vertical Aerospace eVTOL demonstrator weight 750 kg(Credit: Vertical Aerospace/G F Williams Photography)


Vertical Aerospace is initially aiming for a range of up to 140 miles per charge of the eVTOL’s batteries(Credit: Vertical Aerospace/G F Williams Photography)


The eVTOL prototype has four three-blade rotors in a two-by-two configuration that lift it into the air(Credit: Vertical Aerospace/G F Williams Photography)


The focus of rolling out the eVTOL prototype was not range and speed, but to prove the concept(Credit: Vertical Aerospace/G F Williams Photography)


Vertical Aerospace plans to get air taxi pilots flying electric VTOL aircraft on short hops by 2022(Credit: Vertical Aerospace/G F Williams Photography)


Autonomous aspects to the eVTOL design are being considered by Vertical Aerospace(Credit: Vertical Aerospace/G F Williams Photography)

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