On Jan. 30, Londoners got a preview of the future of transportation when Vertical Aerospace put its Seraph eVTOL on display outside the Canary Wharf Underground Station.
Seraph is only a technology demonstrator, not a viable commercial air taxi. The Bristol-based eVTOL developer expects that its production aircraft will look much different, incorporating a wing for increased speed and range.
Unlike many eVTOL concepts, however, Seraph has actually flown. Vertical Aerospace reported last year that Seraph performed its first uncrewed flight on Aug. 22 in Wales, completing over a dozen tethered and untethered test flights before the flight test campaign ended for the winter.
And Seraph is no toy-sized drone. It can reportedly carry loads up to 250 kilograms (550 pounds) and reach speeds up to 80 kilometers per hour (50 miles per hour).
Those features make Seraph an ideal aircraft for demonstrating to members of the public not only that eVTOL aircraft are real, but also that urban air taxis might be coming sooner than they think.
“There has been amazing public interest and real excitement that we are developing eVTOLs in the U.K.,” said Vertical Aerospace’s Michael Cervenka. “People are starting to see that this technology isn’t far off and are surprised that the affordability means that it could genuinely improve their daily lives.”
This story has been updated with comment from Michael Cervenka.