South Africa-based Pegasus Universal Aerospace (PUA) is showcasing a two-by-two metre model of its Vertical-Business-Jet (VBJ), Pegasus One, at EBACE. The all-composite airframe is targeted for certification and deliveries in five to seven years' time, and an engineering partner has been engaged to provide the engineers and designers.
Its jet design will enable it to land and take off vertically in the same locations as a helicopter, but it can travel further, propelled like a jet, and more quickly. The project is targeting a 4,400 km range from runway take-off or 2,124 km in VTOL, with a planned cruise speed of 796 km per hour. The aircraft will carry six to eight seats with power provided by two 2,300 shp (specific horsepower) turboshaft engines.
“We are working hard to build a full-scale cabin mock-up of Pegasus One which we plan to bring to London to start a demonstration tour of Europe in 2020, to drum up interest. We look forward to meeting forward thinking investors and, of course, potential operators during the tour,” says founding chairman Dr Reza Mia. The target customer base spans the civil and executive aerospace sectors and he believes that along with Europe, India and China are key markets.
The company is close to identifying key suppliers for avionics, retractable landing gear and the engines that will be the best fit for its highly evolved control systems and automation sub-systems.
Depending on take-off option, either VTOL or runway, Pegasus One will be able to fly for three and a half to six hours. The company claims that operational costs will be competitive when compared with jets of similar range, but with lower fuel burn and CO2 emissions. The noise levels are lower than comparative rotary machines, and passenger and pilot comfort, security and safety, are all integral in the design.
To date, the business has been predominantly self-funded, together with angel investment. Pegasus is now seeking new investment and looking for interest from industry influencers and leaders. It estimates it needs around US$400 million to bring the aircraft to market.