Eco Innovation

Electrified airways – turning the sky green

2nd August 2022
Sheryl Miles

As below, so above …?

With the rising demand for an all-electric car economy by 2030, aviation is following suit with the VX4 all-electric demonstrator aircraft – the first commercial aircraft with a zero-carbon footprint.

Aerospace technology innovator, GKN Aerospace, and builders of zero emissions eVTOL (Electric Vertical Take-off and Landing) aircrafts, Vertical Aerospace, have reached an important milestone in their VX4 prototype.

Since 2021, the zero emissions champions have combined forces to produce Vertical’s first flying prototype of the VX4 all-electric aircraft, and the partners have now completed the next step in production.

The electrical wiring interconnected system (EWIS) and wing manufacture, which have been designed by GKN, have now been installed in GKN’s Global Technology Centre. This system includes driving power from the batteries to the VX4’s electric propulsion units.

John Pritchard, President, Civil Airframe, GKN Aerospace said: “This is a breakthrough moment in our step towards creating a sustainable future of flight … making zero-emissions travel a reality today.”

Vertical state that when in-flight the VX4 can reach a top speed of 202mph, with a range of 100+ miles. The green craft is also 100x quieter than a helicopter when in cruise and hover mode, making it almost silent in the air.

It will also be able to carry four passengers plus the pilot, and the aim is for it to be used by airlines and local transport partners. It is expected to be the first commercial aircraft that most people will fly on that has a zero-carbon footprint.

Only four years after joining forces, the teams are aiming for the aircraft to be available for market entry by 2025. The hope is that the VX4 will change the future of air travel to a greener, kinder way of taking to the skies.

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