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Pegasus Vertical Business Jet

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.

Pegasus vertical jet - inline

Image credit: Pegasus Universal Aerospace

Vital statistics

7 seats

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

Wingspan: 14.38m

Height: 3.6m

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

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