The Future of Advanced Air Mobility

UK-based VRCO has been developing a four-seat eVTOL aircraft called the Xcraft XP4 since 2015. In April 2021, the company merged with the U.S.-based Airo Group, which also includes various drone ventures and another eVTOL developer called Jaunt Air Mobility. As of October 2021, the development timeline for the all-electric XP4 called for flight testing to begin in 2022 with a view to the type certification process beginning in 2023 or 2024, en route to anticipated service entry in 2025. Early feasibility and power optimization studies were undertaken by the University of Derby's Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering. The company has since started work on the construction of an initial prototype, having previously made multiple scaled models of an earlier two-seat design called the NeoXcraft XP2. Planned flight testing in 2019 and 2020 was apparently deferred due to a lack of finance resulting from delays to a planned Series A funding round and the Covid crisis. 

The merger with The Airo Group led to VRCO's new sister company Aspen Avionics joining the program to develop flight displays and other aspects of the flight controls. According to co-founder and CEO Michael Smith, the company sees both cargo and private transportation as likely applications for the vehicle. The tie-up with Airo has given the British company direct access to the U.S. market and the potential for FAA certification support. It is also seeking EASA certification in Europe. Smith told FutureFlight that VRCO expects to make further announcements about cargo delivery roles and potentially an alliance with a luxury brand (believed to be a carmaker) in 2022.


first delivery

First deliveries of Xcraft XP4 eVTOL aircraft.

test flight

VRCO says its Xcraft XP4 prototype will make a test flight during 2022.


Our objective assessment of this program’s probable success.

FutureFlight assesses the probability of success for a new aircraft program by considering the following criteria:

  • Total investment funds available in proportion to the anticipated cost of getting an aircraft certified and in service
  • A company’s in-house capability (in terms of numbers of engineers, technical staff, and customer support teams)
  • The past experience of the company and its senior leadership in developing aircraft
  • The caliber and past experience of key program partners
  • Whether key aircraft systems have been selected and are available for use
  • Whether the preliminary design review has been completed
  • Whether the design for the full-scale prototype has been completed
  • Whether the type certification process has been formally initiated with an appropriate regulator
  • Whether the company has achieved a first flight with a full-scale prototype
  • The number of hours logged in a flight test program
  • Whether type certification has been achieved
  • The number of orders and commitment received for the aircraft
  • Whether the company has adequate facilities to begin series production of the aircraft
Our Methodology

Almost five years after UK start-up started work on its Xcraft eVTOL design, the company merged with U.S.-based The Airo Group. In October 2021, the group announced plans to raise capital through an initial public offering in 2022. According to Airo's leadership team, this will release funding to support both VRCO's Xcraft XP4 program and the eVTOL aircraft being developed by its sister company Jaunt Air Mobility. The alliance with Airo appears to give VRCO an opportunity to kickstart a program that has been somewhat stalled since the latter part of 2019. 

Xcraft Models

NeoXcraft XP2 Specifications

local vtol Lift + Cruise


  • Passenger Capacity
  • Range
    144 mi
  • Cruise Speed
    156 mph
  • Powerplant Type
  • Power Source
  • Endurance
    50 min
  • Max Altitude
    2,000 ft
  • Takeoff Distance
  • Landing Distance
  • Empty Weight
  • Payload Weight


  • Length
  • Width
  • Height
  • Wingspan

NeoXcraft XP2 is being developed under ultralight/sport-aircraft rules. It is expected to sell for around $2.4 million.

It has four electrically-powered ducted rotors that swivel to allow vertical or horizontal flight. These are powered by eight 30-kW brushless electric motors. The airframe will be manufactured from graphene carbon fiber. 

Key Personnel

Michael Smith is founder and chairman of VRCO.
Michael Smith