Vertical Aerospace’s Seraph Lands at London’s Canary Wharf for a Sneak Preview
Well, technically, lands is inaccurate. The Seraph eVTOL was transported there so the public could have a look-see at what the future holds for one of their hometown urban air mobility heroes – Vertical Aerospace.
The company’s prototype is hoping to be launched in the summer of 2020, with a planned certification date at the end of 2023.
Rather than being apprehensive about the new eVTOL technologies being tested and deployed, passersby seemed more excited about the possibilities urban air mobility will provide – shorter rides over longer distances, time and traffic snarls avoided – than about the uncertainties any new technology brings.
Hundreds of thousands are thought to have given Seraph at least a glance. Vertical Aerospace CEO Michael Cervanka reports, “There has been amazing public interest and real excitement that we are developing eVTOLs in the UK. People are starting to see that this technology isn’t far off and are surprised that the affordability means it could genuinely improve their daily lives.”
While more than 250 enterprises worldwide are working on developing eVTOLs, a much smaller number have working prototypes.
More than 100 employees at Vertical Aerospace are working to develop an eVTOL that can travel 100 miles (with a goal of 500 miles). Currently the Seraph can lift 550 pounds (250 kg) – approximately the weight of a pilot and two passengers. The end goal is to create an aircraft that can carry one pilot and four passengers. The Seraph can go at speeds of about 50 mph; the next version is expected to travel 125-150 mph. This will make a trip from London to Birmingham about an hour versus the nearly three hours required now.