If you’re interested in eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) developments around the world, you might have been wondering what happened to the eVTOL company with the world’s largest order book. After staying out of the spotlight for a while and following a serious incident during a test flight, Vertical Aerospace is back on track with more good news.
The UK-based Vertical Aerospace is seen as one of the most promising electric air taxi manufacturers in the young AAM (Advanced Air Mobility) industry. Its industry partners are big names, such as GKN Aerospace, Rolls-Royce, Honeywell, and Leonardo. At the same time, last year, it claimed to have the top pre-order book globally by value, with confirmed orders for 1,350 units worth nearly $5.5 billion.Vertical was busy this summer conducting a thorough remote thrustborne flight test campaign. It tested things like battery efficiency, structural loads, and performance throughout the speed range. The results were encouraging.
According to the builder, the VX4 prototype managed to reach the target speed of 40 knots (70 kph) and perform well during sustained hover, which is usually the most sensitive testing area for eVTOLs. It even claims to have exceeded performance targets by up to 30% during low-speed flights and hover.
In early August, the prototype suffered a significant incident. During another uncrewed flight test, the aircraft fell from the sky and hit the ground, resulting in damage. The builder launched its own investigation and also reported the incident to the AAIB (Air Accidents Investigation Branch). In short, a faulty propeller was the issue. However, the good news is that the propeller had already been redesigned prior to the incident.
In other words, Vertical confirmed that no future VX4 aircraft would include this first-generation propeller. It also added that its core technology developed in-house, including the battery system, maintained the expected…