UK’s Vertical Aerospace Flies Electric Air Taxi Developed Using F1 Technology

  • Vertical Aerospace becomes the first company in the world to unveil flight footage of an eVTOL aircraft capable of carrying 250kg - the equivalent of a pilot and two passengers
  • Breakthrough comes as Bristol-based startup announces the acquisition of leading Formula 1 engineering consultancy, MGI
  • New technologies proven through the prototype will be integrated into Vertical Aerospace’s upcoming passenger model, due to be unveiled next year


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Flight footage of the Vertical Aerospace Seraph, an electric VTOL aircraft (Video: Business Wire)

LONDON--()--Vertical Aerospace has revealed flight footage of an electric vertical take off and landing aircraft (eVTOL). The prototype, named Seraph, completed its maiden flight at Llanbedr Airfield in Wales on August 22. It follows the successful flight of Vertical Aerospace’s first full-scale prototype in May 2018, the UK’s first eVTOL aircraft to be granted flight permission by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

The Seraph was built to test new technologies and systems for integration into Vertical Aerospace’s upcoming passenger model, due to be unveiled next year. The aircraft is capable of carrying loads of up to 250kg and can reach speeds of up to 80km per hour. The aircraft develops concepts from their first aircraft and builds in capabilities which will be critical for eVTOL aircraft seeking certification from aviation authorities.

Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder and CEO of Vertical Aerospace, said:

“Today is another major milestone on the path towards carbon free flight. One year ago, we flew a full scale electric VTOL aircraft, the UK’s first. Today, we’re revealing flight footage of our second full scale prototype, the Seraph, an air taxi prototype capable of carrying 250kg. Air travel is one of the worst contributors to climate change and among the slowest sectors to decarbonise. Our mission at Vertical Aerospace is to make personal, on demand and carbon free flight a reality.”

The successful test flight comes as Vertical Aerospace announces the acquisition of MGI, an F1 engineering consultancy led by British motorsport veteran Mike Gascoyne. Gascoyne and his team of 20 specialists will form Vertical Advanced Engineering, bringing the total Vertical team to more than 70.

Gascoyne’s team bring decades of experience building high performance vehicles for Formula 1 and Formula E, having worked with international racing teams including Williams, McLaren, Tyrell, Benetton, Renault and Lotus. They will apply the latest technologies and agile processes from F1 to the development of eVTOL aircraft. By combining aerospace engineering excellence with new technologies from Formula 1 Vertical Aerospace will be able to bring a superior certified aircraft to market more quickly.

Mike Gascoyne, CTO of Vertical Advanced Engineering, said:

“We have long believed that the technologies and approaches from Formula 1 could be applied to a range of engineering challenges. Vertical Aerospace’s vision provides a fantastic outlet for our experience and a unique opportunity to shape the future of flight.”

“Joining the Vertical team will allow us to work on cutting edge engineering programs while continuing to provide world-class consultancy services to the wider engineering community.”

The company has already begun the certification process for its next model, a passenger aircraft due to be unveiled next year and aims to have a certified aircraft in the next three years.


About Vertical Aerospace

Founded by Stephen Fitzpatrick, CEO of OVO, Vertical Aerospace is building technology and aircraft to revolutionise how people fly. Our mission is to make air travel personal, on-demand and carbon free.

Since its inception in 2016, Vertical Aerospace has grown to over 70 world-class engineers and technical experts, recruited from the likes of Airbus, Boeing, Rolls-Royce and Jaguar Land Rover. By partnering with aviation specialists at Honeywell and Atkins, we are able to integrate their systems and draw on extensive experience in flight controls and aircraft infrastructure to accelerate progress towards our first passenger model.

Vertical Aerospace’s first aircraft was launched in 2018 with CAA flight approval. Our second aircraft, the Seraph, followed in 2019, making Vertical Aerospace the first in the world to release flight footage of an aircraft capable of carrying 250kg. Working with regulators, the company aims to begin offering intercity air taxi services within four years.

twitter: @verticalaero

facebook: @verticalaerospace

instagram: @verticalaerospace

About Vertical Aerospace’s Advanced Engineering Division

Since its foundation in 2003, Vertical Advanced Engineering - formerly MGI - has delivered cutting-edge technology solutions to businesses by leveraging its unique skill set across the aerospace and aviation, automotive and transport, motorsport and marine industries.

The DNA of our Advanced Engineering Division is rooted in extensive R&D, fast-paced development, rapid delivery, and collaboration across experts in our trusted international network. With the addition of MGI’s experienced technical team of motorsport specialists, our new Oxfordshire campus will focus on delivering innovative solutions to challenges posed by the novel nature of the eVTOL market.

twitter: @verticaladveng

facebook: @verticaladvancedengineering


Verity Richardson
+44 (0)7714 325 851


Verity Richardson
+44 (0)7714 325 851