British-built ‘flying taxi’ in world first

Posted on 04 Nov 2019 and read 426 times
British-built ‘flying taxi’ in world firstThe first ‘flying taxi’ capable of carrying 250kg has flown in the UK, in a move that could pave the way for full passenger flights in four years’ time.

Video footage was recently released of Bristol-based Vertical Aerospace’s prototype, known as Seraph, completing its maiden flight at Llanbedr Airfield in Wales (on 22 August).

The company (www.vertical-aerospace.com) was founded in 2016 by Stephen Fitzpatrick, who said: “Air travel is one of the worst contributors to climate change — and among the slowest sectors to decarbonise. The company’s long-term goal, therefore, is to make personal, on-demand and carbon-free flight a reality.”

With a pilot and two passengers, the Seraph can reach speeds of 80kph. Its lightweight carbon fibre construction makes it potentially cheaper than similar transport modes, such as helicopter travel.

The prototype was built last year to test new technologies and systems for integration into Vertical Aerospace’s upcoming passenger model, which is expected next year.

Working closely with global aviation regulators, Vertical Aerospace will begin with piloted air taxi services on city-to-city routes.

As the technology and the regulatory framework develop, it plans to expand the number of
chartered routes served, introduce an element of autonomy, and ultimately make on-demand air taxis a reality.

The video footage can be seen on Machinery Market's Web site (www.machinery-market.co.uk/video-archive.aspx).

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