Vertical Aerospace Seraph eVTOL aircraft
Vertical Aerospace displayed its Seraph eVTOL technology demonstrator in London, but is now working on a significantly different design featuring a wing. [Photo: Vertical Aerospace]

Vertical Completes Winged eVTOL Design, Seeks Funding

The U.K. start-up has launched another round of fundraising and will spend over $100 million to get its first aircraft certified.

Vertical Aerospace recently completed the preliminary design review for what will be its first full prototype eVTOL aircraft. The design marks a significant change from that of the Seraph technology demonstrator aircraft, with a wing added to boost range and speed.

The U.K. company expects the as-yet-unnamed aircraft to fly in the second half of 2020, and it now anticipates type certification by late 2023 or early 2024. Vertical chief operating officer Michael Cervenka told BJT  that the company expects to deliver a cruise speed of around 150 mph and range “in the high 10s.”

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On January 30, Vertical displayed the Seraph aircraft in London’s Canary Wharf financial district. The event marked the beginning of a new round of fundraising for the start-up, which is backed by Ovo Energy founder Stephen Fitzpatrick. According to Cervenka, Vertical expects to spend “north of $100 million” to get its first eVTOL aircraft type certified, with more funds required for the program’s production phase.

Honeywell Aerospace is working with Vertical to develop the flight-control system. TE Connectivity is supplying cabling, and other major system suppliers are expected to be named in the next 12 months or so.