Vertical Approach for Business Aviation Company's Call for Clean, Quiet Air Taxis

VX4 with FlyingGroup Livery 10 photos
Photo: FlyingGroup
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The EvTOL constructor Vertical Aerospace enters business aviation with a FlyingGroup "conditional preorder" deal of up to 50 flying people carriers. The British company totals its books at an outstanding 1,400 vehicles. That's 5.6 billion dollars worth of electric flyers for a yet-to-come urban air mobility aircraft.
In a press release, the 2016-established Bristol-based company Vertical Aerospace announced that their new partner FlyingGroup (headquartered in Belgium) placed a conditional preorder for an unspecified number of vehicles. Although the press release mentions the upper limit of 50, the number may vary greatly, depending on the deal's conditions. But given Vertical's past business reports, which show a $200M growth over a 50 unit increase of preorder booking, a VX4 price of roughly $4M more adequately fits the bills of business aviation and wealthy businessmen rather than a regular everyday middle-class consumer. Thus, the ground traffic jam allotted time would reduce significantly.

In addition to the preorder, Vertical and FlyingGroup will form a Joint Working Group (JWG) to begin helping the beneficiary optimize its use of the VX4 in the business aviation market. Options to operate the flying taxi include individual and/or fractional ownership and low volume operation. Also, "the integration of the VX4 into its existing services will provide their customers with a sustainable, innovative, and efficient regional air mobility alternative and transform their first and last 100-mile (160km) journeys." The distances are just the boundaries of VX4's current claimed capabilities of non-stop flight at a top speed of 173kn (200mph/320kph). (See the first video at the bottom for a brief insight).

On top of that, FlyingGroup is also considering more than just becoming a flying taxi company: the Belgium-based enterprise is considering establishing a Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) service center to provide services for their fleet and to support their private sales. Should the order reach the maximum number of 50 EvTOLs, the business air transport company's fleet will double, given that they currently manage 45 conventional aircraft at several bases across Europe and the Middle East.
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About the author: Razvan Calin
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After nearly two decades in news television, Răzvan turned to a different medium. He’s been a field journalist, a TV producer, and a seafarer but found that he feels right at home among petrolheads.
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