Vertical Aerospace, based in the United Kingdom, has celebrated the first flight of its spectacular full-scale VX4 eVTOL air taxi prototype, taking the unusual step of boarding a pilot. It is scheduled to go into service in 2025.
The VX4 is a five-seater with a pilot in the front and four passengers in the back. It has eight large propellers, two of which are five-bladed and run along the front edge of each of its large wings, and two of which are scissor-folding four-bladed.
These all point upwards for vertical takeoff and landing, but the front bank of props is designed to tilt forward and deliver horizontal thrust for efficient wing-borne cruise flight.
Vertical Aerospace Ltd. claims a top speed of 202 mph (325 km/h) and a range of more than 100 miles (161 km), rounding out a set of specs that position this machine as a solid-looking cross-town air taxi capable of light regional duties as well.
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