Graphic shows how the VA-1X would take-off, fly and land.
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AVIATION

Winged e-taxi could be flying over London by 2024

By Ninian Carter

August 27, 2020 - A zero-emissions flying taxi could take to the London skies as soon as 2024, if plans by Vertical Aerospace come to fruition.

UK-based startup Vertical Aerospace has unveiled plans for a vertical take-off and landing electric aircraft, capable of making a 76 kilometre commute from Brighton to London in 30 minutes – half the typical train time.

The VA-1X will be capable of carrying five people, including the pilot, at a cruise speed of 240 kilometres an hour. It will be powered by lithium-ion batteries and produce zero emissions.

Zero-carbon flight is a growing area of interest within the aerospace industry as it faces pressure to lower aircraft emissions. Given the hefty weight of lithium-ion batteries, small vehicles like air taxis are an achievable technological goal at present.

E-taxis, as they have become known, are hoping to pitch themselves as a more environmentally friendly version of private jets or helicopters, with pricing somewhere between a private car and a helicopter. Their goal is to have flying costs down to to a few dollars per passenger per kilometre.

PUBLISHED: 27/08/2020; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Vertical Aerospace
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