Pegasus VBJ, the first vertical take-off (VTOL) private jet


The strengths of the first private vertical take-off jet:

  • Capable of flying at the same speed as a conventional private jet
  • guaranteeing more autonomy
  • promising 60% fuel savings
  • quieter than a helicopter taking off

One of the advantages of flying with a private jet is that you can get out of your car and take off 15 minutes later, as you avoid the long and laborious process of checking-in at the airport, which takes around 1h30 if all. is fine. This is even longer with the precautions made necessary by the coronavirus. Even if their airports can be used by private jets are 10 times more numerous than airports for airliners, around 3,000 against 300 in Europe, these airports are always more or less distant from your destination, whether they are the centers of a large town or a business somewhere in the countryside. What’s more, you will always need a car to get from the airport to your destination. Hence the interest in a private vertical take-off jet, capable of landing and taking off in a location the size of half a tennis court, whether in a parking lot, a yacht, the roof of a skyscraper. sky, helipad or unpaved terrain.


As I have already written here, there are plenty of VTOLs, sort of flying cars or small electric private jets, which, because of the weight of the batteries in relation to their energy efficiency, we are talking about a maximum of 0.4 kW per kg against 13 kW per kg of kerosene, have a fairly limited range and speed.

The first real private jet capable of vertical takeoff

However, a South African company, Pegasus Universal Aerospace, has designed a private jet capable of vertical take-off with better performance than a conventional private jet. Indeed, they promise fuel economy and therefore a range of about 60% better than that of a standard private jet.

Here are its rather impressive technical specifications:

  • range without vertical take-off: 4,000 km
  • range with vertical landing takeoff: 2,700 km
  • cruising speed: 609 km / h (495 mph)
  • altitude: 10,668 m (35,000 feet).

However, the range is reduced by about half for vertical takeoff and landing. What is not clear, given that Pegasus promises quiet takeoff thanks to the four electric motors in the wings that provide propulsion for vertical takeoff and landing, is how these motors will be powered. Heavy batteries are excluded due to the consumption of kerosene. Probably the turbines of the two jets that provide the propulsion for horizontal flight can power a generator during takeoff.

Still, it will take more than 12 to 18 months for the first planes to be delivered to the end of the certification process for the FAA, the United States Federal Aviation Administration. For now we are at the prototype stage at a scale of about 1/10 of the actual size, practically a small drone with vertical takeoff.