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Vertical Aerospace Ltd, UK’s first eVTOL aircraft

Posted: 8th Aug 2019

In September 2018 Vertical Aerospace Ltd revealed it had flown the UK’s first full-scale eVTOL aircraft. Having flown the aircraft several times, the Bristol based company has now moved on to develop designs using knowledge gathered from the technology demonstrator.

Vertical Aerospace’s Proof of Concept demonstrator in flight

This unmanned technology demonstrator — dubbed the “Proof of Concept” (POC) aircraft — was sized for a one-person mission, weighing 795 kg.

The POC first flew indoors on 25 August 2017 at Cotswold Airport in Kemble, Gloucestershire, about 160 km west of London. The initial design was modified to its current configuration, with first flight on 6 June 2018 (the month reported at the unveiling). The aircraft was flown a dozen times before Vertical Aerospace moved on to the next project.

The unmanned one-man-scale aircraft uses four guarded propellers, one at each corner to provide both lift and thrust.

Vertical Aerospace promotional video showing some of the flight tests of the unmanned prototype.


Opinion

Whatever the ultimate result of Vertical’s work, it’s nice to know that the UK’s history of aircraft design and manufacture is still going strong outside of the multinational OEMs. And Vertical’s take on eVTOL is a step ahead of some of the more chic designs such as Aston Martin’s Volante Vision, in that they’ve unveiled an actually flying design. With Cranfield on its team, though, Aston Martin is not to be taken lightly.