UK aviation start-up Vertical Aerospace has unveiled designs for the VA-1X, the world’s first certified winged electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft, slated for flight in 2024.
The electric-powered, emission-free aircraft is designed to reach cruising speeds of 150 mph with a useable range of up to 100 miles. With room for four passengers and a pilot (plus space for luggage), the goal of this game-changing flying taxi is to act as an affordable and environmentally friendly alternative to helicopters, especially for airport transfers, which could be a revolution within the luxury travel and transportation space.
In a recent press release, Vertical Aerospace says that the entry-level price point for commercial flights is “expected to be between a helicopter flight and a private car and will decrease as adoption grows.”
In addition to boasting cost-effectiveness and sustainability, the flying taxis will be certified to meet commercial airline safety standards and 30-times quieter than a helicopter, care of the propulsion system and large open rotors. Also, with its aerodynamic build and 15-meter wingspan, the VA-1X flying taxi can take off and land from existing helipads, allowing for a smooth transition between the two means of transportation.
With headquarters in Bristol, UK, Vertical Aerospace is the first company to introduce F1 technology to the eVTOL aircraft and one of only a small handful of companies to have already flown multiple eVTOL prototypes.
Manufacturing will be taking place in the UK with prototype production and flight trails to start in 2021 and commercial production starting in 2023/2024 for certification in 2024 and service starting shortly thereafter.