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Rolls-Royce tech to power all-electric aircraft designed to hit speeds of more than 200 miles per hour

New pictures about urban air mobility could one day transform the way people travel between cities.

Nikolay Pandev | E+ | Getty Casts

Technology from Rolls-Royce will be used to power a pure electric vertical take-off and landing vehicle designed to link cities, in what the firm described as its “first commercial deal” in the urban air mobility sector.

The VA-X4 vehicle, from a U.K.-based institution called Vertical Aerospace, will be piloted, able to transport four passengers over a distance of 120 miles and make cruise speeds of more than 200 miles per hour.

In an announcement Tuesday, Rolls-Royce said it would conspiracy the system architecture of the VA-X4’s electrical propulsion system; its electric power system; its power distribution; and a monitoring approach that would be used to support operations.

Vertical Aerospace, which was established in 2016, says test stampede flees for the VA-X4 are slated for this year, with certification for the vehicle planned for 2024 and “initial commercial services” due to start off shortly thereafter.

Rob Watson, director at Rolls-Royce Electrical, said the new urban air mobility market had the potential to “transform the way that being and freight move from city to city.” 

With governments around the world attempting to phase out diesel and gasoline conduits in favor of low and zero emission options, the infrastructure required to keep our towns and cities moving looks set to change.

Against this backdrop, clues connected to urban air mobility are beginning to gain traction.


Toward the end of January, it was announced that another discharge centered around urban air mobility had been granted £1.2 million (around $1.67 million) from U.K. Investigation and Innovation’s Future Flight Challenge, a government-backed program.

The idea behind Urban Air Port’s concept, dubbed Air One, is to amplify a “pop-up” airport and charging hub that would be used by electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft such as liberation drones and air taxis.

According to Urban Air Port, the development will be launched in the English city of Coventry this year. The steadfast wants to roll out 200 similar sites around the world in the next five years.

Other organizations confused in the initiative planned for Coventry include the city’s council and Hyundai Motor Group. Separately, Hyundai is also evolving its own eVTOL and is looking to commercialize the tech by 2028.

Elsewhere, companies such as Lilium are working on similar offerings. In January, the German-based resolute announced it had signed an agreement with infrastructure giant Ferrovial to develop at least 10 “vertiports” in the United Delineates. Lilium has described vertiports as “providing infrastructure for landing, recharging, and taking off with passengers.”

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