With the rapid advancement in vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft, you know it is a matter of time that some is going to propose a VTOL business jet. The Pegasus Vertical Business Jet or VBJ by Johannesburg-based Pegasus Universal Aerospace (no relation to Marvel’s Project PEGASUS) is one such proposition.
The VBJ will offer the best of both worlds: the comfort and convenience of a private jet and the flexibility of landing and taking off of a VTOL. Like, what took the aerospace industry to imagine this? It is about time that rich people can land anywhere, right?
Jokes aside, VTOL business jet is a no brainer, really. I mean, it is kind of counterproductive to be taking a limousine to a local airfield just to scoot over from Wisconsin to New York. With the VBJ, you literally can do that without the hassle going to an airfield.
The Vertical Business Jet will be able to leverage on existing infrastructure, as well as take-off and land on virtually anywhere, be it grass, tarmac, or traditional runways and helipads.
You may ask, isn’t it like a helicopter? Perhaps. But a hybrid like such will have the flexibility of landing and takeoff, plus the speed offered by a fixed wing aircraft. Moreover, it will have significantly longer range than a typical helicopter and far quieter too.
Four rotors provide the VBJ with vertical lift while twin double ducted fans at the rear provide forward thrust. Pegasus Universal Aerospace said that the process of switching from vertical life to horizontal thrust is controlled by proprietary software with minimal pilot intervention.
It will be able to transport up to 9 passengers with private jet-like comfort, at speeds of 495 mph (796 km/h) and at an altitude of 35,000 feet (10,668 meters). As for range, it can do 1,320 miles (2,124 km) in VTOL mode. However, if it take off and land with conventional runway, it can go as far as 2,743 miles (4,400 km).
But before you get all pumped about this new kind of personal air transport, you have to know that VBJ won’t materialize until 2025 the latest.
Images: Pegasus Universal Aerospace.