PriestmanGoode worked in collaboration with Vertical Aerospace on the design of the VX4, an eVTOL (electric vertical take-off and landing) aircraft set to transform the Urban Air Mobility market. With capacity to carry a pilot and up to four passengers, it has a range of over 100 miles and will be able to travel near-silently at speeds of up to 200 mph.
Vertical Aerospace are pioneers and innovators in electric aviation with a mission to make emission-free travel a reality. Initially Vertical approached PriestmanGoode to create visual marketing assets to support their development and engage stakeholders in advance of the Bristol-based company’s first listing on the New York Stock Exchange in December 2021. The scope expanded from initial promotional renderings to more detailed exterior and interior design, a full-scale mock-up and an animation to bring the vision to life – drawing on different services and skills across the PG studio.
From aerodynamics to ergonomics and weight, PriestmanGoode had a host of challenges to solve within the limited footprint of the vehicle. For the design of the exterior, working from the engineering requirements, the team focused on creating an iconic aerodynamic shape, with clean, well-defined lines that ensure the VX4 is instantly recognisable.
The team worked on aligning the exterior panels that make up the aircraft to create a continuous, fluid appearance – integrating the window glazing with the main body and grouping split lines to tie the whole design together and minimise disruption for the eye.
The result is unique and iconic with a strong identity featuring a combination of gloss black and black satin carbon body finishes with darkened glazing. The distinctive front of the aircraft features a signature light array. While this is not an engineering or technical requirement, it helps to create a sense of movement and contributes to the distinctive look – something which is key in the fast-growing, hyper-competitive environment of the eVTOL market.
With over three decades of experience in designing luxury transport interiors, PriestmanGoode was expertly placed to work on this project. The result is an interior that provides ultimate comfort with soft, padded seats, adjustable headrests with in-built speakers, climate and light controls, as well as under seat storage. Additional storage is accessible from the exterior of the aircraft. PriestmanGoode also designed the cockpit, ensuring the experience will be superior for all onboard.
‘Vertical’s mission to pioneer electric aviation aligns with PriestmanGoode’s vision for future transport experiences that are better for people and better for the planet’.
An inspiring 30-second CGI animation, setting the VX4 against the backdrop of a contemporary London skyscape created by the PG Visualisation team provides a vision of the future when faster, quieter, greener and cheaper travel by eVTOL will be part of our cityscapes.
Vertical has a network of commercial partners who have already made conditional pre-orders and are also developing vertiports at key locations for electric aircraft. The first flights are expected in the mid 2020’s.