- Flying vehicle startup Vertical Aerospace has conducted the first test flight of its electric vertical take off and landing aircraft.
- The firm hopes to provide inter-city flights to up to two passengers within four years.
- It’s the latest in a long line of companies racing to provide flying-taxi services, including Uber, Kitty Hawk, and Rolls Royce.
Uber isn’t the only firm that wants to make flying taxis a reality. Bristol-based startup Vertical Aerospace says it wants to provide an intercity flying taxi service in the UK by 2022.
The company was founded in 2016 by OVO Energy CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick, and now it’s conducted its first test flight.
The electric vertical take off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft went for an unmanned flight over Cotswold Airport in Gloucestershire, England in June after gaining permission from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), according to Vertical Aerospace.
The company is planning to provide inter-city flights with its vehicles within four years, which would accommodate two passengers and one pilot, with plans to grow to take four passengers.
A spokeswoman also told Business Insider that autonomous on-demand flights could come further down the line.
Of the 28 engineers and technical experts at Vertical Aerospace, some have come over from Formula 1, and have applied similar technology to developing the vehicle.
"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," said Fitzpatrick in a statement.
"By putting those technologies in the hands of experienced aerospace engineers, we can build cutting edge aircraft for the 21st century."
Vertical Aerospace is the latest to join the likes of Uber, Kitty Hawk, and Rolls Royce in racing to create an accessible flying taxi service.