There is no shortage of electrical vertical take-off and landing (short eVTOL) startup companies writing headlines during the last couple of years. Vertical Aerospace, the Bristol, UK based startup which was founded in 2016 is part of that ever growing group.
Their first aircraft planned for commercial use, the VA-X4, unveiled in 2020 and originally slated for commercial flight by 2022, features a combination of forward mounted propellers which can be fold up to generate vertical lift during take-off and landing. A second row of motors and propellers are used only during take-off and landing. The first flight of VA-X4 is currently planned for late 2021.
Verticals mission is to make air travel personal, on demand and carbon free. They claim their aircraft will be able to fly speeds of up to 202 miles per hour with a range of over 100 miles. The aircraft is ment to be piloted and seats a total of 5 persons, 1 pilot and 4 passengers. They aim to take a foothold in the same space currently occupied by regular helicopters: passenger, cargo and medevac flights.
However, Vertical Aerospace has yet to demonstrate one of the critical phases of flight for their aircraft design: the transition between vertical and horizontal flight and vice versa.