Exploring the Art of Crafting on XCRAF: A Creative Journey in the Skies
In 2015, VRCO developed the Xcraft XP4 eVTOL aircraft for four passengers. Airo Group, including several drone ventures and another eVTOL developer called Jaunt Air Mobility, acquired the company in April 2021. By October 2021, the all-electric XP4 development timeline called for flight testing to commence in 2022, followed by type certification in 2023 or 2024, en route to anticipated service entry in 2025.
Derby University's Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering conducted early feasibility and power optimization studies. Having previously made scale models of a previous two-seat design called the NeoXcraft XP2, the company has begun work on the construction of an initial prototype. A lack of finance resulting from a delayed Series A funding round and the Covid crisis caused flight testing in 2019 and 2020 to be postponed.
After VRCO merged with The Airo Group, Aspen Avionics joined the program to develop flight displays and other flight control features. The company sees both cargo and private transportation as likely applications for its vehicle, says co-founder and CEO Michael Smith. As a result of the partnership with Airo, the British company has direct access to the U.S. market and the potential for FAA certification support. EASA certification is also sought in Europe.
In future years, VRCO is expected to announce more details on cargo delivery roles and a potential alliance with a luxury brand (perhaps a carmaker).