SA’s Pegasus Vertical Business Jet gets ready for lift-off

©Pegasus Vertical Business Jet

The Pegasus Vertical Business Jet (VBJ), being developed in South Africa, is entering its next phase with two quarter-scale models which will be ready for testing and engineering by May 2021 and a full-scale, unmanned hover model by the end of the year. This follows the successful hover demonstration of a 1/8-scale model in July last year and the registration of patent rights in South Africa, Europe, and the U.S. The aircraft is set to revolutionize business travel globally and free travelers from the burden of the time-consuming drive to the airport.

The aircraft, which combines and enhances the characteristics of a helicopter with the luxury, range, and speed of a business jet, has been hailed by the urban mobility project as the sixth most likely to succeed globally in a 2019 independent review by Abbott Aerospace. The review included 100 different projects, including some sponsored and supported by Boeing, Airbus, and various governments around the world as well as venture capital companies with billions of dollars in funding. “Most of these are of the air taxi type, therefore, more compelling and exciting for us, is that we were ranked first in the VTOL airplanes aimed at business jet type mission profile,” says Dr. Reza, who first conceptualized the Pegasus VBJ.

The aircraft seats seven people, including the pilot and has a range of 4400km from a runway take-off and 2124km from vertical take-off. Its endurance is 6.6 hours (runway) or 3.18 hours (VTOL). Flight speed is up to 796km/h. The unique flight control system being developed by Callen Lenz in the U.K. will ensure enhanced safety and ease of flight from a pilot’s perspective.

Pegasus has partnered with Centurion-based aeronautical engineering company Epsilon Engineering Services in the further development of the aircraft. Transportation and Industrial designer Tamir Mizrahi joined Pegasus in January 2021 as the VBJ’s exterior and interior innovation designer

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