Vertical Aerospace VX4 completes first ‘real’ test flight 

Vertical Aerospace VX4
Vertical Aerospace

British advanced air mobility developer Vertical Aerospace has successfully flown a full-scale prototype of its VX4 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft.  

The remotely piloted thrustborne test flight took place at Cotswold Airport (GBA), in the United Kingdom, with the aircraft reaching a speed of 40 kts (74 km/h). 

“The aircraft was remarkably easy to fly. It was rock-solid in stability and provided precise control even in demanding flight conditions such as hovering close to the ground. The aircraft leapt into a stable hover at lower RPM than expected, taking advantage of the ground effect cushion. Battery temperatures and state-of-charge remained well within predictions for the duration of flights.” stated Vertical Aerospace’s Chief Test Pilot, Justin Paines.

However, this was not the first time the VX4 prototype managed to lift off the ground using its own power. In September 2022, the prototype performed a hovering test but was limited to a height of five feet and always connected to the ground by a cable. 

The VX4 has racked up more than 1,400 pre-orders from all over the world, the largest of which, comprising 500 aircraft, is from leasing company Avolon. This lessor has, in turn, placed many of these aircraft with airlines such as Air Asia, Air Greenland, Japan Airlines and Brazilian low-cost carrier GOL.  

Other operators that have also pre-ordered the VX4 include American Airlines and South Korea’s Kakao Mobility. 

After Vertical Aerospace’s founder admitted that the eVTOL development and certification process was taking longer than expected, the current expected certification timeframe for the VX4 has been pushed to at least 2026. 

The British startup also confirmed it is already building a second prototype, which will feature new technology features.

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