Pegasus set to showcase VTOL business jet at EBACE

posted on 7th May 2019 by Justin Burns
Pegasus set to showcase VTOL business jet at EBACE

Pegasus Universal Aerospace’s vertical take-off and landing business jet (VBJ) will be showcased this month at the European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva, according to a report on FlightGlobal.

The publication reports the South African start-up will debut a one-eighth-scale model of the all-composite aircraft and open the orderbook for the eight-passenger type.

This will come seven years after Reza Mia, founder and chairman of the Pretoria-based company, said he began exploring the possibility of building a light jet with the take-off and landing performance of a helicopter.

The report says the Pegasus VBJ introduces “a new era of point-to-point travel, with the capability to land in a built-up area, helipad, yacht and on any surface, including grass or gravel”.

The VBJ has a cranked dihedral wing and an x-tail design. It uses two GE Aviation CT7-8 turboshaft engines to drive in-wing lift fans and rear thrust fans through integrated gearboxes, all managed by multiple redundant computer systems.

Weighing just under 5,700kg (12,600lb), the VBJ can be used for single-pilot operations.

A range of markets are being targeted, including air ambulance, charter, corporate, offshore, owner-flyer, police and surveillance. Geographically the largest regions for the VBJ are Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia.

A one-eighth-scale model has undergone testing in Pretoria to demonstrate the aircraft’s flying capabilities – including its transition from horizontal to vertical fligh.

Pegasus will reportedly soon begin assembling a first full-scale prototype, with an aim to start flight testing in mid-2020 and is aiming for certification and service entry between 2024 and 2026.

The VBJ is projected to have a range of around 2,380nm (4,400km) from a standard runway take-off, or 1,150nm when using vertical take-off and landing mode. Cruise speed is expected to be 430kt (800km/h).