Pegasus Unveils VTOL Business Aircraft at EBACE

Pretoria, South Africa-based Pegasus Universal Aerospace is debuting a model of its Pegasus One VTOL business aircraft this week at EBACE 2019. On display at the Pegasus booth (D23) by the EBACE Innovation Zone, the two-by-two-meter (six-by-six-foot) model will showcase Pegasus’ design that combines capabilities of a helicopter with those of a turbine business aircraft.

Working with an engineering partner, Pegasus is hoping to secure certification and begin deliveries of the composite aircraft within five to seven years. The company is close to identifying suppliers for the aircraft’s avionics, (retractable) landing gear, and powerplant.

Plans call for a six- to eight-seat aircraft that will be powered by 2,330-shp turboshaft engines and travel 4,400 km (2,375 nm) from a runway or 2,124 km (1,146 nm) when taking off in VTOL mode. The company is targeting a cruise speed of 796 km (430 knots).

Pegasus One will be designed to fly for 3.5 to six hours, depending on takeoff configuration. The company claims that operating costs will be competitive with business jets of similar range, but will have lower fuel burn. At the same time, noise levels are expected to be lower than comparative rotary-wing aircraft.

The idea, Pegasus said, is to enable transportation between urban airports, small and unpaved landing zones, yachts, and regular helipads, among other operating locations. Pegasus One will be able to access the same locations as a helicopter, but can travel further since it can be propelled like an airplane.

It is expected to attract interest from a broad customer base spanning both commercial and business operators, Pegasus founding chairman and visionary Reza Mia said, anticipating strong interest in Europe, India, and China, in particular.

“We are working hard to build a full-scale cabin mockup of Pegasus One, which we plan to bring to London to start a demonstration tour of Europe in 2020 to drum up interest,” said Mia. “We look forward to meeting forward-thinking investors and, of course, potential operators during the tour.”

Pegasus has predominantly self-funded the project to date, with the help of an “angel investment,” but is now seeking potential outside investors. The company estimates a $400 million cost to bring the aircraft to market.