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Pegasus Universal Aerospace breaks new ground in vertical business jet development

Doctor Reza Mia, the founding CEO of Pegasus Universal Aerospace. Picture: file Timothy Bernard

Doctor Reza Mia, the founding CEO of Pegasus Universal Aerospace. Picture: file Timothy Bernard

Published Oct 30, 2023


IN A groundbreaking move for the aerospace industry, Pegasus Universal Aerospace, led by visionary founder Dr Reza Mia, has unveiled significant progress in the development of their Vertical Business Jet (VBJ).

The spotlight shines on the redesign of the fan louvre cover system within the wings, promising a leap forward in safety, simplicity, weight reduction, and cost-effectiveness. The revamped system takes inspiration from nature, creating a more organic and responsive mechanism.

During Vertical Take-off and Landing (VTOL), the covers will gracefully open, propelled by the flow of air over curved surfaces, while in forward flight, they close snugly to enhance aerodynamics.

Quarter-scale models with a four-meter wingspan are currently undergoing final electronic fittings to enable remote operation and flight. Unexpectedly, these models equipped with first-person cameras have inadvertently become large drones, hinting at potential applications beyond VBJ flight testing.

Beyond the technical advancements, the redesigned covers promise a paradigm shift in passenger comfort. The aircraft’s new movement dynamics ensure that gravity’s force remains consistently downward during manoeuvres, eliminating spillage concerns and enhancing the in-flight experience.

Despite facing challenges in securing large-scale funding, Pegasus remains undeterred, viewing constraints as opportunities for learning and innovation. Driven by a commitment to pushing the boundaries of aerospace technology, the company marches forward with determination. The construction of a full-scale simulator, nearing completion in South Africa, adds another feather to Pegasus’s cap.

Operating in South Africa has proven advantageous, with engineering and space-related costs substantially lower than in the US or Europe. Drawing rough parallels with India’s cost-effective moon mission ($72 million) compared with Nasa’s ($53 billion), Pegasus emphasised the financial efficiency of operating in South Africa.

As the aerospace industry witnesses Pegasus Universal Aerospace’s strides, optimism for the future runs high. The company’s innovative spirit and commitment to progress reinforce its position as a trailblazer in the vertical flight arena.

A full-scale cockpit is being fit into the carbon fibre cockpit and cabin that has already been built by the company. The company was awarded the most innovative business jet manufacturing company for the business concept.

A second prestigious and highly weighted award is the innovation award from the NSTF (national science and technology forum), which falls under the departments of Higher Education and Science and Technology.

The bulk of the winners this year are professors of various university departments, making the award even more valuable. Such an endorsement is of great importance to the company.

The Star

Staff Reporter

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