The number of companies that want to build eVTOL air taxis is increasing. One of them is a Bristol-based Vertical Aerospace that presented Seraph, a multirotor air taxi capable of carrying passengers and goods weighing up to 250 kilograms.
Now, the startup has changed the design for its upcoming VTOL called VA-1X. Instead of multiple rotors to generate lift and forward speed, a tiltrotor, Honeywell fly-by-wire steering, and a V-shaped tail are now opted for the same. According to the company, “VA-1X is set to be the world’s first certified winged all-electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft.”
The VA-1X is a completely electrically powered aircraft, showcasing eight rotor sets, including four forward tilting rotors, striking window lines, and a dynamic athletic stance. The designers want to use lithium-ion batteries as energy storage.
The VA-1X is set to fly in 2021 with a range of 100 miles (160 km) at a cruising speed of 150 mph (240 km/h) and a payload of 450 kg. The 13 meters long prototype will have a wingspan of 15 meters. This allows the aircraft to take off and land on existing helipads, and it is also claimed that its small rotors will make it some 30 times quieter than a helicopter.
The crew will consist of a single pilot, whose seat will be located in the forward fuselage, and it will be possible to take on board up to 4 passengers. A fly-by-wire flight controller and a vehicle management system supplied by Honeywell Aerospace are designed to make flying the eVTOL aircraft safe and easy.
Offset side doors allow you to enter and exit the aircraft with ease. Inside the VA-1X, there is plenty of room for luggage in both a separate compartment and by your seat. Sizeable windows further provide extraordinary views as you see your city through a new perspective. The cabin will have charging points that allow you to work whilst traveling, and information screens will keep you up to date on your journey’s progress.
VA-1X has been designed to be a high performing aircraft, able to connect entire regions as well as carrying out shorter missions across single cities. If everything goes according to plan, the VA-1X is expected to begin commercial operation as early as 2024 after having certified under the standards of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).
Vеrtісаl Аеrоѕрасе ѕаіd the рrісіng is initially expected to be between a helicopter flight and a private car and will decrease as adoption grows. Тhе соmраnу’ѕ gоаl іѕ tо mаkе аіrсrаft mоrе ассеѕѕіblе.