The shape of domestic travel might be in for some big changes in the next two years.
'Flying taxi' company Vertical Aerospace is planning their first test flights of their electric vertical take off and landing vehicles (eVTOL) later this year.
In a big The Jetsons vibe, the aircraft are expected to be able to carry four passengers and the pilot up to about 100 miles — in a zero emissions, nearly silent aircraft — making journeys from Heathrow to Brighton, Oxford, and Cambridge within range.
Without the results of the test flight even in, they've already had big pre-orders for the VA-X4 aircraft come in from American Airlines and a partnership option from Virgin Atlantic.
The latter plans to launch a Virgin Atlantic-branded eVTOL network in the UK, with connections between transport hubs — in London, that would initially be Heathrow and Gatwick.
Shai Weiss, CEO of Virgin Atlantic, confirmed, 'Our partnership includes an option for Virgin Atlantic to acquire up to 150 eVTOL VA-X4 aircraft and exploration of a Joint Venture to bring short haul, electric vehicle connectivity to cities and our UK airport hubs, starting with London Heathrow as well as Manchester and London Gatwick.'