Future Urban Mobility Is Airborne and Biblical in Name

VTOL air taxi prototype The Searaph 8 photos
Photo: Vertical Aerospace
The Seraph prototypeThe Seraph prototypeThe Seraph prototypeThe Seraph prototypeThe Seraph prototypeThe Seraph prototypeThe Seraph prototype
The future of urban mobility is airborne and biblical in name, at least in the UK. Vertical Aerospace has begun testing of its prototype of flying taxi, which it calls Seraph.
That may sound like quite a lot of pressure to put on what is still essentially a battery-driven, oversize drone, but they’re convinced they have something worth while: the Seraph can carry a payload of 250 kg (551 lbs), which they deem the equivalent of 3 people (or 2 larger ones), at a speed of nearly 80 kph (50 mph).

Vertical Aerospace doesn’t say what range they hope Seraph will have, but reports online note that it will probably fly only for about 20 minutes, at least at first. This is actually a prototype, which will be using for testing, in hope of developing another flying taxi that will actually be used to transport people. It is scheduled to debut next year.

Available at the bottom of the page is a video of the Seraph in motion. It’s pretty impressive stuff: the flying taxi is propelled by 12 rotors, which are mounted on its 6 arms. The battery seems to have been placed on the roof, and Vertical Aerospace boasts that it will feature a “unique passive cooling system” and a customizable design.

That’s what basically makes it the leading VTOL candidate in the UK: it can be built with a smaller or large cabin, depending on the type of task it is needed for. Customization goes even further, in that it can be fitted with floats or wheels, making it ideal for landing on water or on the ground.

Vertical Aerospace was granted flight permission from the Civil Aviation Authority in the UK and is now seeking commercial certification. It describes Seraph as “personal, on-demand and carbon-free,” which is awesome yet vague enough to keep anyone interested in progress with the development. Sadly, the company don’t say anything about battery range or estimated price.

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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