Vertical Aerospace (Vertical), a global aerospace and technology company that is pioneering zero-emissions aviation, saw its VX4 eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft take off from the ground for the very first time over the weekend.
It becomes the first British company to start flight tests with a new aircraft in over 20 years, with its full-scale, piloted prototype.
The permit and the positive results of the early tests allow the teams at Vertical to progress confidently on their mission to certify the VX4 by 2025. It is hoped the aircraft will carry a pilot and four passengers and is expected to have a range of up to 100 mileswith the ability to cruise at speeds of around 150 miles per hour, with a top speed of 200 miles per hour.
The company has already received more than 1,400 conditional pre-orders from some of the world’s leading airlines, operators, lessors and tourist groups including Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, Japan Airlinesand Air Asia and recently announced that American Airlines has conditionally committed to make a pre-payment for its first 50 deliveries of the VX4, a strong vote of confidence from the industry.
Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder&CEO, Vertical, said “This moment represents a small step for Vertical Aerospace, but it's a giant leap forward for British aviation. For more than 100 years the UK has been a global leader in aviation and today, in the 21st century, Britain is leading the world in the development of zero carbon aircraft.”
Vertical’s test programme is also supported by the Aerospace Technology Institute, a UK government-industry programmedesigned to promote transformative technology in air transport.