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Vertical Aerospace conducts first successful flight of its electric aircraft

19 July 2023
The Business Magazine article image for: Vertical Aerospace conducts first successful flight of its electric aircraft
Vertical Aerospace's VX4

Vertical Aerospace the Bristol-based global aerospace and technology company pioneering zero-emissions aviation, has flown its first successful electric flight with with a full-scale electric aircraft.

In an announcement on social media today (Wednesday) the company confirmed it had reached its target speed of 40kts (just over 40 mph, or 70 kmph) in a series of "rigorous, remotely-piloted ‘thrustborne’ test flights" at Cotswold Airport, Kemble.

The only full-scale eVTOL (electric vertical take off and landing) aircraft in the country, the VX4 lifted, hovered, flew and landed, powered solely by the thrust of the cutting-edge battery-powered propulsion system.

Read more: Bristol based Vertical Aerospace reaches agreement with Ferrovial to rollout electric flight infrastructure

"This is a huge milestone for Vertical, our team and partners, proving that electric flight is within reach," said the firm.

Vertical’s Chief Test Pilot, Justin Paines, commented: “The aircraft was remarkably easy to fly.

"It was rock-solid in stability and provided precise control even in demanding flight conditions such as hovering close to the ground.

"The aircraft leapt into a stable hover at lower RPM than expected, taking advantage of the ground effect cushion. Battery temperatures and state-of-charge remained well within predictions for the duration of flights.”

Vertical, which was founded by Ovo Energy founder Stephen FitzPatrick, has focused on building the most experienced and senior team in the eVTOL industry, who have previously certified and supported over 30 different civil and military aircraft and propulsion systems.

Vertical has forged strong relationships with industry-leading players to develop the various components of its aircraft and build a sophisticated eVTOL ecosystem, creating efficiencies across the manufacturing processes, aircraft operations and maintenance.

Peter Davison is deputy editor of The Business Magazine. He has spent his life in journalism – doing work experience in newsrooms in and around Bristol while still at school, and landing his first job on a local newspaper aged 19. By 28 he was the youngest newspaper editor in the country.

An early advocate of online news, he spent the first years of the 2000s telling his bosses that the internet posed both the biggest opportunity and greatest threat to the newspaper industry and the art of journalism. He was right on both counts.

Since 2006 he has enjoyed a career as a freelance journalist. He lives in rural Wiltshire with one wife, two children, and three cats.

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