In early January, Vertical Aerospace completed the preliminary design review for what will be its first full prototype eVTOL aircraft. The new design marks a significant change from the Seraph technology demonstrator aircraft, with a wing added to boost range and speed.
The as-yet-unnamed aircraft is expected to fly in the second half of 2020 and the UK company is now anticipating type certification by late 2023 or early 2024. Vertical chief operating officer Michael Cervenka told FutureFlight that the company expects to deliver a cruise speed of around 150 mph and range of close to 100 miles.
On January 30, Vertical displayed the Seraph aircraft in London’s Canary Wharf financial district. The event marked the start of a new round of fund-raising for the start-up, which is backed by Ovo Energy founder Stephen Fitzpatrick. According to Cervenka, it expects to spend “north of $100 million” to get its first eVTOL aircraft type certified, with more funds required to start the program’s production phase.
Honeywell Aerospace is working with Vertical to develop the flight control system. TE Connectivity is supplying cabling and other major system suppliers are expected to be named in the next 12 months or so.
Vertical is also recruiting more staff, including a new head of engineering and a chief information officer. It expects to employ around 100 people by the second quarter of 2020.