Recently, the first flight of the VX4 eVTOL air taxi prototype with a pilot on board took place. The model was created by engineers of the British company Vertical Aerospace. The device will start operating on commercial flights in 2025.
The VX4 eVTOL air taxi can carry a maximum of 4 passengers plus one pilot. The machine is equipped with 8 large propellers: 4 five-bladed, 4 four-bladed propellers along the back of each wing. During vertical takeoff and landing, all propellers point upwards, but the front row of propellers is designed to provide horizontal thrust for efficient cruise flight on the wing. When the aircraft takes off, the rear propellers stop and retract under the wing.
Vertical Aerospace claims that the aircraft reaches a speed of 325 km/h. Its range is 161 km. eVTOL is positioned as an air taxi for city trips. The company stressed that they have already received 1,400 orders from airlines, travel and transport companies and other operators. Electric aircraft will be put on the conveyor after they are certified.
The first pilot to test the VX4 was pilot Justin Paynes. Since it was a prototype, Paynes had to fly at an altitude of 15 m at low speed. But in general, engineers plan to raise the device to a maximum altitude of 3,000 m, and this will happen no earlier than 2025.