Vertical Aerospace on August 26 revealed the VA-1X, a fixed-winged electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft. The UK aerospace company said it will move directly towards a full-scale prototype of the five-seater aircraft with the expectation that it will be flying commercially by 2024.
Manufacturing of the craft is set to commence shortly in the UK and will be capable of carrying up to four passengers along with the pilot. VA-1X is set to be the world’s first certified winged eVTOL aircraft.
The company said that it has been designed to be a high performing aircraft, able to connect entire regions as well as carrying out shorter missions across single cities. The exceptionally aerodynamic craft will be able to fly with far less energy and power than a helicopter would need.
With cruise speeds of 150 mph and a range of up to 100 miles, a flight from London to Brighton can be completed in approximately half an hour, compared to two hours driving, or an hour by train.
Entry and exit of the aircraft will be done through offset side doors. The interior of VA-1X was designed to create an unparalleled passenger experience with campfire style seating, sizeable windows and above skylight. Modern conveniences such as charging ports and information screens will allow passengers to work and keep up to date on the journey’s progress.
VA-1X has been designed with noise reduction in mind, according to Vertical Aerospace. Using distributed propulsion and large open rotors, that have significantly lower tip speeds than on a helicopter, VA-1X can achieve noise levels 30 times quieter than an equivalent helicopter, allowing it to blend into inner-city life.
The environmentaly friendly VA-1X will achieve emission-free flight, with no fumes or contaminants from combustion products, and will also be powered by renewable energy where possible.
Vertical Aerospace was founded in 2016 by Stephen Fitzpatrick, who is attempting to promote sustainability in transportation.