With more than 100 different Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) announced, it is hard to keep up. A place to start is to see what prototype VTOLs have graduated from a design drawing and are already flying.

VTOLS HAVE BEEN turning heads and grabbing headlines for the last few years, but most of these aircraft concepts are just that – concepts.

Many in the aviation industry look dubiously at the claims that electric VTOLs will be out and flying passengers by 2021. Introducing a new type of high-tech aircraft and flying hundreds, if not thousands of passengers a day, will take perhaps more testing and intensive regulatory legwork to realise this future than is feasible. Companies like Uber have developed impressive-looking concept art of taxis soaring across cities and landing on top of lavish ‘vertiports’. These sell a vision of a future effectively, but what about the VTOLs that are out and flying right now?

Start-ups and legacy aviation companies have built prototype aircraft that are out taking test flights all over the world. Some of the aircraft – such as the Workhorse SureFly – can be preordered right now. Here are some of the most promising VTOL aircraft that are out there and flying right now. Now is the time to pay your deposit.

The Aston Martin Vision Volante

VTOL Concepts: In the pipeline

The XTI TriFan 600

The Bell Nexus Air Taxi

Alex Baldwin, Editor, VTOL Investor