South African-designed vertical takeoff jet a step closer

South Africa’s Pegasus Universal Aerospace is developing a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) business jet – the Pegasus One.

In a statement on Tuesday (3 September), Pegasus said that has signed a memorandum of understanding with UK-based technical aviation consultancy, Callen-Lenz Group covering the design and development of the Pegasus One’s flight control systems.

Under the terms of the MOU, the Callen-Lenz team will work closely with the Pegasus executive team, engineers and newly appointed chief pilot, Captain Andrew Dietrich, whose appointment was also confirmed in August.

Captain Dietrich joined the expanding Pegasus team with some 16,000 hours flying time spanning a 26-year career operating ultra long-range commercial airliners and corporate jets.

“We want to build an aircraft that pilots know is responsive, safe, reliable, efficient and above all fun and straight forward to fly,” said Dr Reza Mia, Pegasus founder and chairman.

“Captain Dietrich will help us achieve these goals and more. We are excited to add his extensive skills and enthusiasm to our team.”

Pegasus said it has already made great strides over the past year in developing multiple scale models, completing comprehensive studies into the drivetrain and thrust fan systems to support a true hybrid-electric propulsion power source.

Construction of a full-scale VTOL demonstrator to show in Europe in 2020 has already begun and a series of investor evenings in South Africa starts in September 2019.

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South African-designed vertical takeoff jet a step closer