Pegasus Universal Aerospace, an aircraft manufacturer in South Africa, has developed Pegasus Vertical Business Jet (VBJ), a lightweight hybrid passenger aircraft with vertical takeoff and landing capabilities in small areas.
At first glance, the Pegasus VBJ is a typical small-size private jet, like those we can find in any business terminal at any airport in the world. For the more experienced eyes, there is something a bit strange: the shape of the wings. The private jet has a traditional propulsion system that allows it to take off and land on conventional runways and fly like a regular airplane. In the same way, it has a system of vertical thrusters integrated into the wings that achieve the necessary lift so that it can land and take off vertically.
A pair of jet engines located in the tail capable of offering 2,300 horsepower and another four arranged in the wings to exert the vertical force. It also includes a range of 4,400 km (2,743 miles) when taking off conventionally from a runway, or 2,124 km (1,320 miles) with VTOL mode, with a fuel reserve of 45 minutes in both cases.
The Pegasus VBJ has a capacity for a maximum of 7 passengers, an empty weight of just over 3,000 kilograms, and a maximum takeoff weight of 5,700 kilograms. In terms of speed, the company advertises a cruise of 796 km/h (495 mph) at an altitude of 35,000 feet (10,668 meters). The VBJ has a length of 15 meters, and the wingspan is hardly inferior to that.
Compared to the cabin of a helicopter, Pegasus VBJ comfortable with low noise and little to no cabin vibrations. This means a more productive meeting or business time in travel. Pegasus VBJ cabin is larger and more luxurious. With a smoother, faster flight and greater range, Pegasus VBJ will be beneficial in the “Golden Hour” of medical evacuations.
According to the company, “The Pegasus Vertical Business Jet (VBJ) will be the first aircraft to provide true business jet performance coupled with helicopter convenience. It will make a point to point travel feasible with multiple innovations that make it safe and easy to fly.”
Thanks to the ability to land and take off vertically, it can operate almost anywhere regardless of the surface. At the moment, Pegasus is still in the process of developing the aircraft with a scale prototype already built, but it is not yet known when it will begin to be commercialized after the approval of the different certification agencies.