Electric Aircraft Test Flight Crashes, No One Hurt

Vertical Aerospace prototype hits ground during test of motor failure scenario

Chuck Martin, Editorial Director AI & IoT

August 16, 2023

2 Min Read
Prototype of Vertical Aerospace VX4 eVTOL aircraft
Vertical Aerospace

A Vertical Aerospace prototype electric flying vehicle was damaged in a crash during a test flight.

The incident was reported in a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing.

“On Wednesday August 9, 2023, Vertical Aerospace Ltd.’s experimental prototype aircraft was involved in an incident during flight testing at its Flight Test Center at Cotswold Airport, U.K.,” stated the SEC filing. “The aircraft was remotely piloted and there were no injuries.”

Vertical Aerospace had successfully flown its electric aircraft at Cotswold Airport in Kemble U.K.

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The remotely controlled plane, powered solely by the battery-powered propulsion system, lifted, hovered, flew and landed.

The VX4 test aircraft reached speeds of just over 40 mph through a series of remotely piloted thrust-borne test flights.

The crash, reportedly a drop from about 20 feet in the air, occurred during one of the required tests.

“Our flight test program is designed to establish the limits of the aircraft’s performance, and the incident occurred during an uncrewed test of the aircraft’s maneuverability during a motor failure test scenario, which is a key requirement to progress to crewed operations,” stated the SEC filing. “We are working closely with the relevant authorities.”

Related:Flying Car Company Plans Air Vehicles for Personal Use

Vertical’s partners include Honeywell, which designs the aircraft control system, and Rolls Royce, also an investor in Vertical.

“The aircraft was remarkably easy to fly,” Vertical’s chief test pilot Justin Paines has said. “It was rock-solid in stability and provided precise control even in demanding flight conditions such as hovering close to the ground. The aircraft leapt into a stable hover at lower rpm than expected, taking advantage of the ground effect cushion.”

Vertical Aerospace, founded in 2016, is building another aircraft to feature more advanced technology and is aiming for a certified aircraft by the end of 2026.

Three months ago, Vertical received design organization approval (DOA) from the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

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About the Author(s)

Chuck Martin

Editorial Director AI & IoT

Chuck Martin, author of "Flying Vehicles," New York Times Business Bestselling author and futurist, is Editorial Director at Informa Tech, home of AI Business, IoT World Today and Enter Quantum. Martin has been a leader in emerging digital technologies for more than two decades. He is considered one of the foremost emerging technology experts in the world and his latest book title "Flying Vehicles" (The Emergence of Personal Air Travel, Flying Cars, and Air Taxis) followed "Digital Transformation 3.0" (The New Business-to-Consumer Connections of The Internet of Things).  He hosts a worldwide podcast titled “The Voices of the Internet of Things with Chuck Martin,” where he converses with top executives from the companies driving the adoption of emerging technology.

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