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Vertical Aerospace, a global aerospace and technology company that is pioneering zero-emissions aviation, saw its VX4 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) take off from the ground for the very first time over the weekend of Sept. 24-25.
It becomes the first British company to start flight tests with a new aircraft in over 20 years, with its full- scale, piloted prototype.*
The moment marked a significant milestone as Vertical continues to progress successfully through its intensive flight test program. The program is expected to continue for several months, completing different stages which will involve reaching higher altitudes and speeds and demonstrating the transition from vertical to horizontal forward flight.
Engineers and flight technicians watched on as chief test pilot, Justin Paines, took to the controls for the aircraft’s maiden take-off which saw the eight sets of aerodynamic propellers lift the aircraft from the ground at hover-thrust, while tethered to the ground for safety.
Paines, said, “This test represented the culmination of many months preparation by a huge team and being at the controls of the VX4 for the first time was an honor and a proud moment for us all.”
The company, unlike many of its competitors, decided to conduct its first flight tests with a pilot on board to prove it could meet the most stringent safety standards. To do this, Vertical Aerospace received regulatory approval in the form of a “permit-to-fly” from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA), after demonstrating the test could be conducted safely.