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Electric flying taxi developer Vertical Aerospace has started test flights of its prototype. 

Floating cabin: Vertical Aerospace's VX4 plane took off for the first time over the weekend in what the company called a 'significant milestone'

Electric flying taxi developer Vertical Aerospace begins test flights of its new prototype

Electric flying taxi developer Vertical Aerospace has begun test flights of its prototype.

The company’s VX4 aircraft took off for the first time over the weekend, which the company said was an “important step” in its efforts to have the aircraft fully certified by 2025.

In extensive testing over the next few months, the company hopes the VX4 will be able to carry four passengers and travel at speeds of up to 200 miles per hour.

Floating cabin: Vertical Aerospace's VX4 plane took off for the first time over the weekend in what the company called a 'significant milestone'

Floating cabin: Vertical Aerospace’s VX4 plane took off for the first time over the weekend in what the company called a ‘significant milestone’

“This is a giant leap forward for British aviation,” said Stephen Fitzpatrick, Founder and Chief Executive.

“For over 100 years the UK has been a world leader in aviation and today Britain leads the world in the development of zero carbon aircraft.”

Vertical, listed in New York, has received more than 1,400 orders from airlines such as Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines and Air Asia, as the industry seeks to reduce carbon emissions.

American Airlines also has a 5.4% stake, with other backers including US investment firm Mudrick Capital, which has 8.7%.

Shares fell 20% to $6.62 on Wall Street last night.

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