Virgin Atlantic and American Airlines have agreed to buy up to 400 flying taxis

Virgin Atlantic and American Airlines have agreed to buy up to 400 flying taxis

Today, American Airlines and Virgin Atlantic agreed to buy up to 250 and 150 electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft from Vertical Aerospace, respectively. Let’s look into it more.

American Airlines has announced a US$25 million investment in Vertical Aerospace, a leading UK-based company producing eVTOL aircraft. The American airline wants to contribute to the development of new technology that will minimise carbon emissions.

Similarly, Virgin Atlantic said today that it will purchase 50 to 150 electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft, as well as examine the idea of forming a joint venture with Vertical Aerospace.

These two announcements are significant and demonstrate the potential of eVTOL technology as a mode of urban transportation.

Avolon, a multinational aircraft leasing business, also placed a groundbreaking order for up to 500 electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft. The order is valued at almost $2 billion, according to a statement from the corporation.

Vertical Aerospace became the single most important player in the eVTOL market in just one day.

Virgin Atlantic and Vertical Aerospace might consider forming a joint venture.

Virgin Atlantic and Vertical Aerospace might consider forming a joint venture. Photo: Virgin Atlantic

What do the companies have to say?

We’re about to enter a fascinating moment in aviation history. United Airlines signed a major contract last week that could bring the supersonic jet era back to life. Embraer just placed an order for 200 of Eve’s eVTOL planes. Now, American, Virgin, and Avolon have agreed to buy Vertical Aerospace’s new flying taxis in a multibillion-dollar transaction.

Derek Kerr, American’s Chief Financial Officer, stated,

“We are pleased to cooperate with Vertical to build the next generation of electric aircraft since emerging technologies are important in the quest to cut carbon emissions.”

Meanwhile, Virgin Atlantic CEO Shai Weiss stated that the potential joint venture with Vertical will deliver short-haul electric vehicle connectivity to cities and UK airport hubs. He mentioned London Heathrow, Manchester, and London Gatwick as examples.

Avolon CEO Dómhnal Slattery stated,

“Avolon is honoured to be the first client for the VA-X4 aircraft, confirming our commitment to a carbon-free future.”

He went on to say that this decision will hasten the inevitable commercialization of zero-emission aircraft. He predicted that zero-emission urban air travel would be available by the end of this decade.

Electrification will alter the course of aviation history.

Electrification will alter the course of aviation history. Photo: American Airlines.

Getting to know the new VA-X4

According to Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO and founder of Vertical, Electrification will alter flying in the twenty-first century, just as the jet engine did 70 years ago.

The VA-X4 was developed by Vertical Aerospace. This eVTOL is powered entirely by electricity and produces no pollution. It’ll be a near-silent plane with a range of more than 100 miles. It will be able to accommodate four passengers and a pilot, according to the business.

The front of the VA-X4 has four tilting advance rotors and the rear has stowable rotors. It can reach speeds of more than 200 mph (321 km/h).

This aircraft, according to Virgin Atlantic, will provide long-term, cost-effective regional connections. For example, the 56-mile journey from Cambridge to London Heathrow will take only 22 minutes. It takes one hour and 30 minutes to travel by car nowadays.

Similarly, Virgin sees a market of 37 towns and cities within 100 miles of London Heathrow that the VA-X4 would be ideal for. The airline estimates that up to 7.7 million passengers from outside London might be transferred to Heathrow.

The VA-X4 will fly for the first time later this year, according to Vertical Aerospace. According to Avolon and American, aircraft certification might happen as early as 2024, and deliveries might begin that year.

Are you looking forward to this new development? Please let us know in the comments section.

Source Link

Cover Photo Credit: American Airlines