Vertical Aerospace’s green air-taxi made its first flight.

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Dal Kikin
September 13, 2018

The prototype of British start-up Vertical Aerospace made its first flight and joined into the race for the creation of a flying taxi, along with companies such as: Airbus, Uber, Volocopter, Ehang, Rolls-Royce or Aston Martin. 

Vertical Aerospack was founded in 2016 by British energy entrepreneur Stephen Fitzpatrick, founder of Ovo Energy.  
«Passenger numbers for short-haul flights have exploded in recent years, but as a result aviation is now a major contributor to climate change and local air pollution» - stated Fitzpatrick.

The information about the project of Vertical Aerospace is still shadowy, but the recent launch of the first flying prototype can lift the veil of secrecy. It is reported that the mass of the prototype is 750 kilograms, it is equipped with three-bladed rotors and is currently able to hold in the air for only about five minutes, at which time it can reach speeds of up to 80 km/h. In addition, it should be noted that the vertical takeoff and landing aircraft will be completely electric and environmentally friendly.

«Passenger numbers for short-haul flights have exploded in recent years, but as a result aviation is now a major contributor to climate change and local air pollution» - explained Bristol-based Vertical Aerospace founder Stephen Fitzpatrick.

One of the most important problems faced by the project is the autonomy of the air taxi and the legal component of the pilotless issue. It is now known that the first flight of the prototype was carried out by a pilot.

«The third stage will see on-demand, automated flights — the so-called flying taxi — but Fitzpatrick stressed it's impossible to say how long developing the technology and meeting regulatory requirements will take. The first round of Vertical Aerospace's eVTOL aircraft is planned to use pre-existing, approved technologies and are human piloted, so don't face long regulatory approval — but fully automated versions will.

 "Our view is that it's going to take a very long time before the technology and regulations converge, and passengers feel comfortable and regulators approve autonomous flight," he says. That said, the aircraft will be future-proofed so they can work with automated flying, a fact any pilot working for the company should keep in mind.»

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