Vertical Aerospace says Flying Taxis to Take to the Sky in Mid-2020s

UK’s Vertical Aerospace says Flying Taxis to Take to the Sky in Mid-2020s and That’s the vision of Stephen Fitzpatrick, founder and CEO of Britain’s Vertical Aerospace which is set to raise $394 million (approx. Rs. 2,970 crores) in a merger with a blank-cheque New York-listed company.

Some of the world’s most high-profile engineers and airlines believe Vertical is onto something with its plan for zero-emission mini-aircraft to almost silently take four passengers through the skies for up to 193kms (120 miles)

American Airlines, aircraft lessor Avolon, engineers Honeywell and Rolls-Royce, as well as Microsoft’s M12 unit are investing in the merger which is expect to complete by the end of the 2021 end.

Stephen Fitzpatrick set up OVO Energy, Britain’s no.3 energy retailer, said Vertical flights between London’s Heathrow airport and its Canary Wharf financial district will take 15 minutes and cost GBP 50 (approx. Rs. 5,130) per passenger.

That potential is attracting airlines’ attention.

More than 1,000 VA-X4 aircraft have been pre-order by customers.

Interest in the zero-emission aircraft comes at a time when aviation companies are under mounting pressure from investors to help decarbonise the sector and boost their environmental, social and governance scores.

Stephen Fitzpatrick Said :

“We are going to sign deals. We’re finding the appetite and the demand from airlines to be really strong,”.

The biggest challenge for Vertical is certifying its aircraft which Stephen Fitzpatrick said it is on track to do by the end of 2024, funded by new money from the merger.

Stephen Fitzpatrick first had the idea back in 2015 when he sat for hours in 10 lanes of gridlocked traffic in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

That time there weren’t many competitors, Stephen Fitzpatrick said, but today analysts estimate there are more than 100 companies working on rival electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVOTL) aircraft.

The VA-X4 is still in construction and will start test flights early next year.

Stephen Fitzpatrick believes Vertical’s partnerships will help it emerge as a winner.

Using battery technology from the car industry and tried and tested electrical propulsion units and motors, and back by Honeywell’s electronics, Stephen Fitzpatrick has “no doubt” that the VA-X4 will fly.

Certification will depend on the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

Stephen Fitzpatrick added :

“The process of certifying the aircraft is known. The technologies are new, but the steps we need to go through are relatively similar to other aircraft,”.

Developing a new mode of transport comes with other challenges such as the infrastructure, but Fitzpatrick is confident.

Stephen Fitzpatrick says :

“We’re already in discussions with, for example, Heathrow Airport,”, pointing out of his office window to potential skyport locations on rooftops.

“I think the brand association with trusted airlines is really going to help passengers embrace the new technology,”.


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