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Electric air taxi completes and going to test flight

The electric air taxi has a top speed of 322km/h (200mph), meaning it can travel from London's Heathrow Airport to Canary Wharf in just 13 seconds

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An electric urban air taxi has just completed its first untethered test flight. Vertical Aerospace’s VX4 eVOTL took to the skies earlier this week at Cotswold Airport in England. The full-scale prototype flew at about 70km/h (43mph), although it’s said to be capable of going much, much faster. The VX4 is powered by eight electronic motors mounted on movable nacelles and a 1MW powertrain co-developed with Rolls-Royce.

The eVOTL also boasts a 161km (100 miles) range with a top speed of 322km/h (200mph). The UK-based startup claims it can fly from London’s Heathrow Airport to Canary Wharf in 13 seconds.
As an electric air taxi, the aircraft can carry five people in total, including the pilot. But its uses aren’t just limited to ferrying people around; it can be used as a medivac or cargo plane, too. During its first untethered test flight, the eVOTL managed to lift, hover, fly, and land successfully. Remotely piloted, the aircraft reached the targeted speed powered only by its battery propulsion system, too. It went so well, the company’s planning further test flights in the coming months. Just as well, because Vertical Aerospace expects to start delivering its first eVOTLs in 2026, subject to receiving certification by the UK Aviation Authority.
The Archer Midnight eVOTL is expected to be operational by 2025. Like the VX4, Midnight is also an electric air taxi capable of transporting four passengers and a pilot. But, despite having four more propellers, it’s not as fast as the VX4 (241km/h / 150mph) – and its six batteries only have the same range.
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