The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

Privately owned Vehicle Redesign (VRCO) is aiming to develop its NeoXcraft aircraft under the ultralight/sports class of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). As of August 2019, it was still trying to raise fresh capital to support flight testing and intended to begin a Series A round of funding in October 2019.

The company has been building multiple scaled models of its initial two-seat NeoXcraft XP2 design, including a one-quarter-scale example that it intends to start flight testing in late 2019. In early September, it announced that the program is beginning the manufacturing phase and that it intends to have a full-scale prototype ready to fly in 2020. It is targeting type certification under EASA's new Special Condition rules in 2022.

VRCO has been working with an undisclosed luxury automobile designer to develop the NeoXcraft's cabin interior.

Outlook

Our objective assessment of this program’s probable success.

FutureFlight assesses the probability of success for a new aircraft program by considering the following criteria:

  • Total investment funds available in proportion to the anticipated cost of getting an aircraft certified and in service
  • A company’s in-house capability (in terms of numbers of engineers, technical staff, and customer support teams)
  • The past experience of the company and its senior leadership in developing aircraft
  • The caliber and past experience of key program partners
  • Whether key aircraft systems have been selected and are available for use
  • Whether the preliminary design review has been completed
  • Whether the design for the full-scale prototype has been completed
  • Whether the type certification process has been formally initiated with an appropriate regulator
  • Whether the company has achieved a first flight with a full-scale prototype
  • The number of hours logged in a flight test program
  • Whether type certification has been achieved
  • The number of orders and commitment received for the aircraft
  • Whether the company has adequate facilities to begin series production of the aircraft
Our Methodology

By its own admission, VRCO can only progress its NeoXcraft as fast as funding will allow. As of August 2019, it appeared to be at least 12 months behind where it had planned to be at that stage, given an earlier timeline that called for the aircraft to be certified by the end of 2020. Much hinges on the outcome from its Series A round of fundraising that had been planned for October 2019, and whether this will prove to be the springboard for the company to complete construction of a full-scale prototype. 

The company also faces a challenge to increase staffing levels to accelerate the development of the NeoXcraft and to secure new premises for the flight test phase of the program.

Further complicating matters is the UK's anticipated departure from the European Union. If the so-called Brexit happens without the UK government reaching a deal covering future relations with the EU, this could compromise the ability of British aviation companies to work under the auspices of the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

NeoXcraft Models

NeoXcraft XP2 Specifications

local vtol Lift + Cruise

Performance

  • Passenger Capacity
    2
  • Range
    144 mi
  • Cruise Speed
    156 mph
  • Powerplant Type
    n/a
  • Power Source
    electric
  • Endurance
    50 min
  • Max Altitude
    2,000 ft
  • Takeoff Distance
    n/a
  • Landing Distance
    n/a
  • Empty Weight
    n/a
  • MGTOW
    n/a
  • Payload Weight
    n/a

Dimensions

  • Length
    n/a
  • Width
    n/a
  • Height
    n/a
  • Wingspan
    n/a

NeoXcraft XP2 is being developed under ultralight/sport-aircraft rules. It is expected to sell for around $2.4 million.

It has four electrically-powered ducted rotors that swivel to allow vertical or horizontal flight. These are powered by eight 30-kW brushless electric motors. The airframe will be manufactured from graphene carbon fiber.