Bristol-based Vertical Aerospace is the latest contender in the race to launch flying cabs for urbanites. Their electric VTOL is to be fit to carry passengers on short, inter-city flights within the next four years and a first prototype underwent testing.
Different from other flying cars, Vertical Aerospace will not wait for regulation to change but rather use pilots in order to fly well within the radar of the aviation authorities. The rest of their vision is as lofty though as those of the likes of Uber Elevate, Volocopter or Airbus.
Founder Stephen Fitzpatrick who has also established new energy company Ovo and managed a F1 race team for some time has ambitious plans. He envisions Vertical to offer short-haul flights between cities in their electric Vertical Take Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft no later than 2022. Moreover, the company is aiming for ranges around the 800 km (500 miles) mark.
While Fitzpatrick’s expertise in aerospace may be limited, he has managed to gather a team of 28 experienced engineers from Airbus, Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Martin Jetpack and GE.
They have put together a first prototype. It is a pod for a single passenger and the firm has conducted an unmanned test flight in Gloucestershire in June. The demonstrator aircraft weighs 750 kg and features four rotors.
Now more ambitious development is in order if Vertical wants to take-off in a multi-passenger eVTOL in 2022. Yet, Vertical Aerospace has not released a spec for their electric air taxi but this is their full scale prototype in action.