Advancements in eVTOL Certification and Industry Collaborations - Istanbul Airport Meet and Assist

Vertical Aerospace’s Progress in eVTOL Certification

On July 10, 2024, Vertical Aerospace, a pioneering firm in the electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) sector, declared a significant step towards achieving Type Certification from global regulators. The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has notably expanded the firm’s Design Organization Approval (DOA), enabling Vertical Aerospace’s engineers to approve compliance in numerous technical domains, particularly concerning flight control, avionics, and electrical systems.

This expansion is a testament to the CAA’s growing confidence in Vertical Aerospace’s capabilities as the company progresses with the development of its VX4 eVTOL aircraft. By broadening its DOA privileges, the CAA is set to depend more on Vertical Aerospace’s evaluations, streamlining the certification process. This will crucially support the company’s goals to obtain a Permit to Fly for piloted flight tests at Cotswold Airport.

Previously, in March 2023, Vertical Aerospace became the first eVTOL developer to receive a DOA from the CAA, a milestone that grants them the authority to oversee design activities and issue design approvals within an approved scope.

Collaboration Between EASA and the CAA to Facilitate VX4 Certification

The collaboration between the CAA and the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is set to deepen, with both entities agreeing to work together to apply common standards to certify the VX4. This initiative aims for concurrent certification by both agencies, which will expedite the certification process, leveraging shared resources and expertise.

In 2023, the CAA indicated its intention to adopt EASA’s Means of Compliance to SC-VTOL, a framework that outlines the standards for designing eVTOLs in Europe and the UK. Stuart Simpson, the CEO of Vertical Aerospace, expressed optimism about this development. He highlighted that the firm’s robust engineering and design capabilities, coupled with partnerships with leading aerospace entities and advanced facilities in the UK, position it favorably to meet the highest global safety standards.

Moreover, Simpson underscored the benefits of regulatory bodies like the CAA and EASA working in tandem, which he believes will lead to a more streamlined and quicker certification pathway. He praised his team for their efforts in reaching these milestones as they endeavor to realize the vision of electric flight.

Vertical Aerospace’s Strategic Partnerships and Global Certifications

In July 2022, Vertical Aerospace solidified its market position by confirming delivery slots for 50 eVTOL aircraft, alongside pre-delivery payments, with American Airlines. This agreement expanded on a conditional pre-order for up to 250 VX4s made in June 2021, with an additional 100 options. The company’s clientele includes prominent names like Virgin Atlantic, Avolon, Bristow, and Marubeni, among others.

Furthermore, Vertical holds the unique distinction of pursuing active certification validation projects with five major global regulators: the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), EASA, UK CAA, National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil (ANAC), and the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB). This extensive certification effort underscores Vertical’s commitment to adhering to the most rigorous safety standards worldwide.

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