Zero emissions air travel in the UK
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Virgin Atlantic partners with Vertical Aerospace

VA-X4 eVTOL
VA-X4 eVTOL, © Virgin Atlantic/Vertical Aerospace

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LONDON - Virgin Atlantic partners with eVTOL manufacturer Vertical Aerospace: The partnership includes an option for Virgin Atlantic to purchase up to 150 eVTOL (electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing) aircraft and exploration of a UK Joint Venture with Vertical Aerospace, to deliver a Virgin Atlantic branded short haul eVTOL network.

The fully-electric VA-X4 is a zero emissions, near silent aircraft with a range of over 100 miles and it will carry four passengers in addition to a pilot. The VA-X4 has four tilting advanced rotors at the front and stowable rotors at the rear, capable of speeds over 200mph, and is set to revolutionise urban mobility and electrify air travel, with certification to the same safety standards as commercial airliners.

Virgin Atlantic and Vertical Aerospace will be working together to explore a Joint Venture to deliver next generation eVTOL passenger operations in the UK. According to both entities, Vertical Aerospace and Virgin Atlantic will seek to establish short haul, electric aircraft connectivity between UK cities and airport hubs starting with London Heathrow, Manchester and London Gatwick.

Their goal is to enable sustainable, price competitive, regional connectivity across the first and last 100 miles of the customer journey. For example, reducing the 56-mile journey from Cambridge to London Heathrow to just 22 minutes, in comparison to a 1 hour 30 drive by road.

With 37 towns and cities with populations over 100,000 within 100 miles of London Heathrow Airport, the VA-X4 offers huge potential to support zero emissions short haul transfers for 7.7 million customers outside of London, for flights to and from the UK’s main hub airport.

A full-scale prototype of the VA-X4 is currently in production and the first test flight is planned for later this year. Commercial operations of the VA-X4 are planned for 2024 following European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) certification.
© aero.uk | Image: Virgin Atlantic/Vertical Aerospace | 11/06/2021 10:38


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