October 27, 2023
An autonomous eVTOL (electric vertical takeoff and landing) vehicle, believed to be the largest such flying craft in Europe, has been test-flown at an airport in Scotland.
The vehicle from Arc Aero Systems was test flown by the Sustainable Aviation Test Environment and Highlands and Islands Airports Ltd at Wick John O’Groats Airport.
The Arc C-600 electric aerial vehicle (EAV) has fixed wings but takes off and lands straight up and down. It has a wingspan of eight feet and can carry cargo up to 330 pounds and travel at speeds up to 250 miles.
“We are very thankful to Innovate U.K. and all of the involved parties that supported ARC to finish the flight test of the C-600, the largest VTOL UAV in Europe, and we look forward to beyond the visual ‘line of sight test’ to get one step closer to commercialization,” said Seyed Mohseni, CEO and founder of ARC Aero Systems.
The Arc vehicle has beyond-line-of-sight technology and can be piloted remotely, with the capability to become fully autonomous.
The plane in the tethered flight test is intended for uses such as search and rescue, surveying and aerial photography. It can travel at speeds of up to 93 mph.
The U.K. company has developed two urban air vehicles (UAV) for cargo transportation as well as a passenger-carrying, nine-seater helicopter-like vertical takeoff and landing vehicle.
Many EAVs are eVTOLs, which do not require traditional runways, since they take off and land straight up and down.
Vertiport facilities to manage the takeoff, landing, charging and maintenance of such vehicles are being established globally by companies including Volatus Infrastructure and Aeroauto Vertiport Development, which also has retail showrooms for flying vehicle sales in Florida.
Countless EAVs are under development, ranging from those in the ultralight category, which do not require a pilot license to fly, to air taxis. Major airlines including Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and American Airlines all have placed orders or pre-orders for electric aerial vehicles.
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