Vertical Aerospace, UK’s First Electric Flying Taxi, to be Up and Flying Within 4 Years
Bristol-based company, Vertical Aerospace, has set its sights on offering on-demand air travel whilst being carbon-free.
The company is looking towards replacing short-haul flights with environmentally friendly flying vehicles. For instance, instead of flying from Manchester to London with British Airways, you could be flying in a Vertical Aerospace eVTOL instead.
eVTOL stands for “electric vertical take-off and landing” and, as you might have read, the number of companies and organisations looking for the holy grail of environmentally friendly and cost-saving travel is on the rise day by day.
Founded by Stephen Fitzpatrick in 2016, Vertical Aerospace has grown to 28 engineers and technical experts from the likes of Airbus, Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Martin Jetpack and General Electric.
“We are investing in all the technology evolution taking place in aerospace, but we are trying to apply that to something that’s real world and is possible to execute four years out,” said Fitzpatrick.
The pilotless demonstrator aircraft weighs 750 kg. It stays in the air thanks to four rotors, like a quadcopter drone. It takes off like a helicopter and cruises parallel to the ground like a plane, can carry between two and four passengers and has a range of 93 miles and a top speed of 186 mph.
Its target range currently will be between 62 to 93 miles with a more powerful model set to carry people 500 miles, which means it could easily take passengers to Paris and back.
Image credit – www.thetimes.co.uk
“If you consider that the busiest routes flying in and out of London are to Paris, Dublin and Edinburgh, being able to fly to those cities without the need of a runway would offset the need to expand Heathrow,” he said.
Read also: Japan to be the First with Flying Cars.
“Passengers will be taking off from locations very close to their homes or businesses and landing very close to the point of their destination rather than having to travel to an airport 40 to 50 miles outside the city,” he added.
As a former Formula 1 racing team owner of Manor Marussia back in 2015, Belfast-born Fitzpatrick says he is using technological techniques he learned on the racetrack for his new endeavour in the sky.
Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder and CEO of Vertical Aerospace. Image credit – www.independent.ie
“We’ve learned a lot from Formula 1, both in terms of technology and pace of development. 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.”
And as air travel and personal mobility become one and the same in the not too distant future, we’d like to quote an iconic phrase from Dr. Emmet Brown of ‘Back to the Future’ fame who said: “Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”