Vertical Aerospace Seraph eVTOL aircraft, United Kingdom, 2019.

Bristol, UK-based startup Vertical Aerospace has released flight footage of its second-generation aircraft. The prototype, named Seraph, completed its maiden flight at Llanbedr Airfield in Wales on Aug. 22. It follows the successful flight of Vertical Aerospace’s first full-scale prototype in May 2018. Vertical Aerospace says that the aircraft can reach speeds of up to 50 mph (80 km/h) and it is “the first company in the world to release flight footage of an eVTOL aircraft capable of carrying 250kg [550 lb].” Vertical Aerospace says it is working closely with global aviation regulators, including the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), to achieve certification for commercial flight.

The Seraph was built to test new technologies and systems for integration into the company’s passenger model, due to be unveiled next year. It features a unique, passive cooling system and a customizable design, meaning the aircraft can be made larger or smaller, fitted with wheels or floats to facilitate water landings.

The company has also acquired MGI, a Formula One engineering consultancy. The 20 personnel will form Vertical Advanced Engineering, bringing the total team to more than 70.

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