UK’s Vertical Aerospace Flies Electric Air Taxi Developed Using F1 Technology
Vertical Aerospace has revealed flight footage of an electric vertical take off and landing aircraft (eVTOL). The prototype, named Seraph, completed its maiden flight at Llanbedr Airfield in Wales . It follows the successful flight of Vertical Aerospace’s first full-scale prototype in May 2018, the UK’s first eVTOL aircraft to be granted flight permission by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
The Seraph was built to test new technologies and systems for integration into Vertical Aerospace’s upcoming passenger model, due to be unveiled next year. The aircraft is capable of carrying loads of up to 250kg and can reach speeds of up to 80km per hour. The aircraft develops concepts from their first aircraft and builds in capabilities which will be critical for eVTOL aircraft seeking certification from aviation authorities.
Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder and CEO of Vertical Aerospace, said:
“Today is another major milestone on the path towards carbon free flight. One year ago, we flew a full scale electric VTOL aircraft, the UK’s first. Today, we’re revealing flight footage of our second full scale prototype, the Seraph, an air taxi prototype capable of carrying 250kg. Air travel is one of the worst contributors to climate change and among the slowest sectors to decarbonise. Our mission at Vertical Aerospace is to make personal, on demand and carbon free flight a reality.”
The successful test flight comes as Vertical Aerospace announces the acquisition of MGI, an F1 engineering consultancy led by British motorsport veteran Mike Gascoyne. Gascoyne and his team of 20 specialists will form Vertical Advanced Engineering, bringing the total Vertical team to more than 70.
Gascoyne’s team bring decades of experience building high performance vehicles for Formula 1 and Formula E, having worked with international racing teams including Williams, McLaren, Tyrell, Benetton, Renault and Lotus. They will apply the latest technologies and agile processes from F1 to the development of eVTOL aircraft. By combining aerospace engineering excellence with new technologies from Formula 1 Vertical Aerospace will be able to bring a superior certified aircraft to market more quickly.
Mike Gascoyne, CTO of Vertical Advanced Engineering, said:
“We have long believed that the technologies and approaches from Formula 1 could be applied to a range of engineering challenges. Vertical Aerospace’s vision provides a fantastic outlet for our experience and a unique opportunity to shape the future of flight.”
“Joining the Vertical team will allow us to work on cutting edge engineering programs while continuing to provide world-class consultancy services to the wider engineering community.”
The company has already begun the certification process for its next model, a passenger aircraft due to be unveiled next year and aims to have a certified aircraft in the next three years.