With the advent of electric vehicles and focus on green operations in the automotive industry, Vertical Aerospace which is a UK-based Bristow is working with Rolls Royce on a piloted, fully electric VTOL aircraft. It will have a speed of around 200 mph (321 km/h) and have zero emissions, offering a low cost per passenger mile.
The machine is being called the VA-X4 and it makes use of the advanced avionics that are used in F-35. It is claimed that Aerospace is almost 100 times less loud than a helicopter of its category. It reaches 45 dB at cruise and 60 dB at hover.
According to the Helicopter Association International (HAI), the sound of a helicopter flying at 500 feet is about 87 decibels. And when at 1,000 feet, the sound drops to 78 decibels. However, the company might be looking at the power ratio between them rather than the amplitude ratio though. Or we might be looking at different notations of decibels probably.
There is already a CityAirbus that is a silent electric VTOL that keeps the sound lower than 65 dB when in the air and 70 dB when it is landing. Now, the VA-X4 is claiming to beat its disruptive technology.
Rolls Royce is also working on the world’s fastest all-electric plane and on a nuclear reactor for mining the Moon and Mars. For the VA-X4, the firm is collaborating with Vertical Aerospace to produce the world’s lightest and safest electric powertrain.
Inceptive Mind reports state that American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, and Avolon Holdings have already placed orders for the VA-X4. The aircraft will be sent for testing by the end of the year. It will be commercially available by 2024 tentatively. and that the aircraft’s first test flight is set for the end of this year. If all goes to plan, the air taxi will be available for commercial operations in 2024.
The aircraft can carry four passengers and a pilot.