The measure of: Pegasus Vertical Business Jet
Image credit: Pegasus Universal Aerospace, Cover Images
South African aircraft manufacturers are developing an aircraft which they hope will deliver drone-like VTOL capabilities with a long-range, high-speed turboshaft cruise mode.
The Pegasus Vertical Business Jet (VBJ), developed by Pegasus Universal Aerospace, is a lightweight hybrid passenger aircraft with vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capabilities that will allow it to land almost anywhere, according to its makers. With its cool-air fan technology, the firm says it’s even safe to land on grass or on wooden decks.
This private jet, said to be “the first aeroplane to provide business jet performance coupled with helicopter convenience”, has a traditional propulsion system that allows it to take off and land on conventional runways and fly like a regular aeroplane. In the same way, it has a system of vertical thrusters integrated into the wings that achieve the necessary lift so that it can land and take off vertically.
According to the company, Pegasus VBJ has little to no cabin vibrations, comparable to the interior of a helicopter, meaning a more productive meeting or business time in travel. The company also believes that the VBJ will be beneficial in the ‘Golden Hour’ of medical evacuations.
In 2020, the company successfully flew its small-scale proof of concept, which provided valuable insights, and is currently testing construction methods for the full-scale hover demonstrator and refining the lift fan blade.
Engine type: 2 turboshafts
Engine’s shaft horsepower: 2,300shp
Fuel burn per hour: 309kg/h
Maximum tank capacity: 2,040kg
Range on runway: 4,400km
Range in VTOL: 2,124km
Endurance on runway: 6.6h
Endurance in VTOL: 3.18h
Twin x2 (double) ducted fans and 4 lift fan units
Cruise speed: 410kn
Stall speed: 70kn
VNE (never exceed speed): 430kn
Length of aircraft: 15m
Maximum take-off weight (MTOW): 5,700kg
Weight when empty: 3,040kg
Weight of useful load: 2,660kg
Fuel reserve in both standard flight and VTOL: 45min
Sign up to the E&T News e-mail to get great stories like this delivered to your inbox every day.