Vertical completes first full-scale flight tests


Vertical Aerospace has announced successful completion of an initial flight test campaign of its full-scale prototype. 

The tests, earmarked as a “major moment” for the move to zero emissions aviation, saw Vertical perform the first full-scale eVTOL flight in the UK and the first untethered flights of the VX4. The prototype lifted, hovered, flew and landed using the aircraft’s propulsion system and battery packs. This included the VX4 reaching its target thrust-borne speed of 40kts (just over 40mph or 70km/h).

Vertical’s chief test pilot, Justin Paines, said: “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.”

The next step for Vertical is to put a pilot in the aircraft as it progresses through the test programme towards crewed flight missions. 

Vertical said it also building a second prototype aircraft with more technological features, with a target of the end of 2026 to type certify the VX4. 

Borna Vrdoljak, head of product & customer marketing, said: Over the past few weeks, we have been conducting flight tests of our first VX4 prototype aircraft, and the results have been nothing short of phenomenal. We also achieved two groundbreaking milestones: the first-ever full-scale eVTOL flight in the UK and the first untethered flights of the VX4.

“Huge congratulations to our talented engineering, programme, build, flight test and enabling teams at Vertical,” he said.