Electric air taxi completes maiden untethered test flight

Apparently, the electric air taxi has a top speed of 322km/h (200mph), meaning it can travel from London's Heathrow Airport to Canary Wharf in just 13 seconds.

by | Published on 20th Jul 2023

Imagine in the future hailing down an electric air taxi.

Sounds crazy, but it could actually happen sooner than you think.

An electric urban air taxi has just completed its first untethered test flight.

READ MORE! You can now pre-order the Alef flying car for just $150

Vertical Aerospace’s VX4 eVOTL took to the skies earlier this week at Cotswold Airport in England.

The full-scale prototype flew at about 70km/h (43mph), although it’s said to be capable of going much, much faster.

The VX4 is powered by eight electronic motors mounted on movable nacelles and a 1MW powertrain co-developed with Rolls-Royce.

The eVOTL also boasts a 161km (100 miles) range with a top speed of 322km/h (200mph).

The UK-based startup claims it can fly from London’s Heathrow Airport to Canary Wharf in 13 seconds.

Beats getting stuck in rush-hour traffic, that’s for sure.

As an electric air taxi, the aircraft can carry five people in total, including the pilot.

But its uses aren’t just limited to ferrying people around; it can be used as a medivac or cargo plane, too.

During its first untethered test flight, the eVOTL managed to lift, hover, fly, and land successfully.

Remotely piloted, the aircraft reached the targeted speed powered only by its battery propulsion system, too.

It went so well, the company’s planning further test flights in the coming months.

Just as well, because Vertical Aerospace expects to start delivering its first eVOTLs in 2026, subject to receiving certification by the UK Aviation Authority.

It might be pipped to be the post, though, as the Archer Midnight eVOTL is expected to be operational by 2025.

Like the VX4, Midnight is also an electric air taxi capable of transporting four passengers and a pilot.

But, despite having four more propellers, it’s not as fast as the VX4 (241km/h / 150mph) – and its six batteries only have the same range.

Vertical Aerospace looks to be one step ahead, though, as it’s already received 1,400 pre-orders from airlines, operators, and rental companies.

American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Air Asia, Japan Airlines, and Gol are some of the big industry players who have apparently placed orders already.

The question is – which will be the first electric air taxi to carry its first paying passengers?



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Adam Gray is an experienced motoring journalist and content creator based in the United Kingdom. Using his media accreditation with motor manufacturers’ press offices, Adam test drives the latest cars and attends new vehicle press launches, producing written reviews and news pieces for supercarblondie.com. Before joining the Supercar Blondie team, Adam was Motoring Editor for Portfolio North magazine, North East Motoring Editor at Reach plc, and provided motoring content on a freelance basis to several lifestyle and business publications in the North of England. When he’s not behind the wheel of the latest car, Adam can be found at his local rink playing ice hockey or supporting his beloved Middlesbrough FC.

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