Vertical Aerospace has revealed test flight footage of its electric vertical take off and landing aircraft (eVTOL). The Seraph prototype completed its maiden flight at Llanbedr Airfield in Wales towards the end of August.
The test followed the successful flight of Vertical Aerospace’s first full-scale prototype in May 2018. It was the UK’s first eVTOL to be given flight permission by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
The upcoming passenger model, which is due to be unveiled next year, can carry loads of up to 250kg (551 lb) and can reach a top speed of up to 80km/h (50mph) .
The Seraph model features a unique passive cooling system and a customisable design, which means the eVTOL can be made larger and smaller, with wheels fitted or floats to facilitate water landings.
Vertical Aerospace is working closely with global aviation regulators, including EASA, to gain certification for commercial flight.
The company was founded in 2016 by entrepreneur Stephen Fitzpatrick with the aim of decarbonising the trillion dollar commercial aviation industry and provide a new way of city-to-city passenger transport.
The team has since grown to over 70 engineers and technical experts, some of whom were recruited from Airbus, Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Jaguar Land Rover and Formula 1.
Vertical Aerospace also recently acquired Formula 1 engineering consultancy MGI, which is led by British motorsport engineer Mike Gascoyne. According to the company, the acquisition of MGI will enable it to accelerate the development of its eVTOL technology, and hopefully bring a certified aircraft to market quicker.
Gascoyne’s team will apply technologies and processes derived from F1 to build fast, lightweight composite structures.
“Joining the Vertical team will allow us to work on cutting edge engineering programs while continuing to provide world-class consultancy services to the wider engineering community,” said Gascoyne.
In the long-term, Vertical Aerospace plans to start with piloted air taxi services on city-to-city routes before expanding the number of chartered routes served, introducing elements of autonomy, and eventually, commercialising completely on-demand air taxis.
Watch footage of the August test flight below: