Virgin Atlantic Looking At Electric Vertical Aircraft To Simplify Regional Travel
Virgin Atlantic has partnered with Vertical Aerospace to bring sustainable short haul air travel to the UK.
- This deal gives Virgin Atlantic the option to buy up to 150 eVTOL aircraft.
- The all-electric VA-X4 is near silent, promising range of over 100 miles carrying four passengers at a time.
- London Heathrow, Manchester and London Gatwick will be first to experience these changes.
- A prototype of the VA-X4 is currently in production.
Getting from one city to the next in the UK is about to change rapidly.
You see, Virgin Atlantic has announced a partnership alongside UK-based innovator Vertical Aerospace. The goal? To establish a network of fully electric eVTOL aircraft fit for short-haul trips.
Moreover, as a launch partner, Virgin Atlantic has the option to order up to 150 aircraft.
For those not in the know, eVTOL stands for electric vertical take-off and landing craft — think helicopter only altered.
The VA-X4 can carry four passengers — this includes the pilot — over 100 miles at a time. Moreover, it is capable of speeds of over 200mph.
Getting from A to B high in the sky has never been more efficient, or so Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO of Vertical Aerospace, believes:
“By bringing together two entrepreneurial organisations who share the same passion for innovation and best in class partnerships, we can revolutionise urban mobility in the UK and electrify air travel.”
What separates the VA-X4 from a standard helicopter other than spec? Easy, the VA-X4 has four tilting advanced rotors positioned at the front and stowable rotors in the rear.
More info on Virgin Atlantic’s proposed network/the VA-X4
Appearance-wise, the VA-X4 shares a similar look to the attack planes from the movie Avatar.
The only thing these crafts will be attacking is the flight times between major cities/airports.
“We pride ourselves on building enduring strategic partnerships and are thrilled to be working alongside Vertical in its mission to bring eVTOL travel to the UK.”
— Shai Weiss, CEO of Virgin Atlantic
After all, according to Virgin Atlantic, the VA-X4 can turn a standard 56-mile journey from Cambridge to London Heathrow in just 22 minutes. It would typically take around 90 minutes to make this journey in a car.
Virgin Atlantic will begin with set locations before bringing the VA-X4 elsewhere. London Heathrow, Manchester and London Gatwick are first up.
We’ve covered similar aircraft in the past. In fact, the deal between Virgin Atlantic and Vertical Aerospace is very similar to the one between Blade and BETA Technologies.
The only difference is, this is the first we’ve heard of a major airliner showing interest in eVTOL aircraft.
A prototype of the VA-X4 is currently in production. When it’s airborne we’ll let you know.
Will you be taking flight in the VA-X4 when it’s ready? Let us know on social media.
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