Flying taxi ordered by Gol takes off for the first time – APK Games

For many companies, the idea of ​​a flying taxi will cease to be fiction in the not-too-distant future. One of them is the vertical aerospace. Of British origin, the startup has just completed the first flight test of the VX4a flying taxi ordered by several airlines, including the Brazilian Goal.

VX4 prototype (image: publicity/Vertical Aerospace)

At first glance, the VX4 resembles a helicopter, albeit very different from traditional models. But, in fact, we are talking about an electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle.

Calling the vehicle a “flying taxi” or “air taxi” is hardly an exaggeration. Vertical Aerospace designed the VX4 to carry up to four passengers plus the pilot. In addition, the novelty should only make short trips, connecting airports or cities in flights of up to 30 minutes.

1.5 m high on the first test

Last weekend, the VX4 took off for the first time. Inside a hangar and tied to the ground for security, the vehicle reached a height of 5 feet — about 1.5 m — and stayed there for a few minutes until it landed.

The test was carried out with a pilot inside the aircraft. In a way, this is a way for the startup to say that the vehicle is already safe enough to perform manned tests.

Test with VX4 (image: publicity/Vertical Aerospace)
Test with VX4 (image: publicity/Vertical Aerospace)

But only 1.5m tall? Only. However, this is still an important step for Vertical Aerospace, as Justin Paines, chief pilot of the startup, comments:

This test represents the culmination of many months of preparation by a great team, and being at the controls of the VX4 for the first time was an honor and a proud moment for all of us.

The next steps will be bolder. The VX4 should fly, at low speed, at an altitude of 50 ft — 15 m, approximately. In the final phase of testing, the aircraft will have to fly between 5,000 and 10,000 feet — 1,500-3,000 m.

When finished, the VX4 will be able to cover distances of up to 160 km and record a top speed of 320 km/h.

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Gol wants 250 flying taxis

Despite not being a finished product, the VX4 already has 1,400 pre-ordered units. Among the companies that already have agreements with Vertical Aerospace are American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Gol Linhas Aéreas.

The Brazilian airline announced plans to create a network of flying taxis in Brazil a year ago. For this operation, the Gol intends to acquire or lease 250 units of the VX4. With no delays in certifications or deliveries, the company expects to start operations with these vehicles in mid-2025.

Gol also ordered the VX4 (image: publicity/Vertical Aerospace)
Gol also ordered the VX4 (image: publicity/Vertical Aerospace)

It is worth noting that Vertical Aerospace is one of several companies that are betting on the success of these vehicles. Embraer is another. The Brazilian company has a subsidiary called Eve Air Mobility that was created precisely to develop eVTOLs.

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