Vertical Aerospace has announced the first flight of its VX4 eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft.
According to the company the aircraft lifted from the ground under tethered conditions over the weekend. The test took place following the company receiving its “Permit to Fly” from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) London, UK.
The VX4 is planned to be certified in 2025.
“The programme is expected to continue for several months, completing different stages which will involve reaching higher altitudes and speeds and demonstrating the transition from vertical to horizontal forward flight,” said a company press release. “Engineers and flight technicians watched on as Chief Test Pilot, Justin Paines, took to the controls for the aircraft’s maiden take-off which saw the eight sets of aerodynamic propellers lift the aircraft from the ground at hover-thrust, while tethered to the ground for safety.”
Vertical Aerospace Chief Test Pilot, Justin Paines, said: “This test represented the culmination of many months preparation by a huge team and being at the controls of the VX4 for the first time was an honour and a proud moment for us all.”
It is hoped the aircraft will carry a pilot and four passengers and is expected to have a range of up to 100 miles with the ability to cruise at speeds of around 150 miles per hour, with a top speed of 200 miles per hour.
Vertical’s test programme is also supported by the Aerospace Technology Institute, a UK government/industry programme designed to promote transformative technology in air transport.
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