Proof of Concept
Vertical Aerospace
Bristol, England
www.vertical-aerospace.com

On Sept. 10, the Bristol, UK-based startup, Vertical Aerospace, Ltd., announced it had built and flown the UK’s first full-scale fully-electric VTOL aircraft. Its unmanned technology demonstrator aircraft weighs 1,650 lb (750 kg) and first flew in June 2018 at Cotswold Airport in Kemble, Gloucestershire — about 100 miles (160 km) west of London. As of the unveiling, the aircraft had flown a dozen times.

The company was founded in 2016 by CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick, founder and CEO of London-based OVO Energy. In early September, Vertical Aerospace said it had 28 aerospace engineers and “experts from technologically advanced sectors such as Formula 1, Energy and Defence,” Employees had come from Airbus, Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Martin Jetpack and GE Aviation with “extensive experience” in building certificated commercial aircraft. In a statement, Fitzpatrick also revealed that “We’ve learned a lot from Formula 1, both in terms of technology and pace of development. The lightweight materials, aerodynamics and electrical systems developed through F1 are highly applicable to aircraft, much more so than to road transport.”

According to the company, “Vertical Aerospace is building technology to revolutionise how people fly, with the ultimate aim of making intercity air travel personal, on-demand and carbon free.”

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Vertical AerospaceWingless (Multicopter), 0 Passengers4 PassengersElectric/BatteriesAutonomousFlight Testing