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Fri, Sep 14, 2018

Vertical Aerospace Tests Full-Size eVTOL Aircraft

Hopes To Launch Flying Taxi Service By 2022

Vertical Aerospace has made the first test flight of its full-scale prototype of its eVTOL aircraft that the company hopes will be the basis of a flying taxi service by 2022.

Business Insider reports that the flight took place at Cotswold Airport in Gloucestershire, England in June after gaining permission from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), according to Vertical Aerospace.

The company says the the aircraft has an empty weight of 750 kg (approx. 1,650 pounds), a range of 80 nautical miles and a top speed of about 160 knots.

The initial plans for a flying taxi service call for a piloted aircraft that can carry two passengers, with a four-passenger aircraft on the drawing boards. A company spokeswoman told Business Insider that autonomous flights are also part of the business model.

In a statement, company founder Stephen Fitzpatrick said that  some of the design elements of the aircraft are based on lessons learned from Formula 1 race cars. Some of the engineers working for Vertical Aerospace came from the Formula 1 world, and Fitzpatrick has been an F1 racing team owner, according to DesignBoom. "The lightweight materials, aerodynamics and electrical systems developed through F1 are highly applicable to aircraft, much more so than to road transport," he said in the statement.

"By putting those technologies in the hands of experienced aerospace engineers, we can build cutting edge aircraft for the 21st century."

(Image from YouTube video of the first flight)

FMI: Video, www.vertical-aerospace.com, Source report, Source report,
 

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