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Vertical Aerospace

Vertical’s VX4 eVTOL prototype crashes during test flight

By Vertical Mag | August 9, 2023

Estimated reading time 2 minutes, 12 seconds.

U.K.-based Vertical Aerospace’s experimental prototype aircraft crashed during a test flight on Aug. 9 at Cotswold Airport — home to Vertical’s flight test center. The company confirmed the aircraft was remotely piloted and there were no injuries during the accident.

Vertical Aerospace
Vertical Aerospace’s VX4 eVTOL prototype crashed on Aug. 9 during a test flight at Cotswold Airport. Vertical Aerospace Image

“Our flight test programme is designed to establish the limits of the aircraft’s performance, and the incident occurred during an uncrewed test of the aircraft’s maneuverability during a motor failure test scenario, which is a key requirement to progress to crewed operations,” the company stated in its SEC filing.

In a recent letter to shareholders, the U.K. company said it has “made great strides” in its flight test program this quarter, including conducting the VX4’s first untethered flights.

“The aircraft lifted, hovered, flew, and landed all by the thrust of its electric propulsion system and powered only by Vertical’s proprietary battery packs,” the shareholder letter stated.

The company said the aircraft carried out 18 takeoffs and landings, and reached its target thrustborne speed of 40 knots (70 kilometers per hour).

Vertical is planning to build a second full-scale VX4 prototype at the GKN Global Technology Centre. The second demonstrator is expected to have “greater capabilities than our first prototype, including improved range and higher performance, particularly in hover.”

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