Rolls-Royce is set to power Vertical Aerospace’s flagship Urban Air Mobility (UAM) taxi aircraft. A Rolls-Royce electrical power system will be integrated into the piloted all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle, which will carry up to four passengers for 120 miles at cruise speeds of over 200mph and is on course to certify in 2024.
Vertical Aerospace is a key collaboration for Rolls-Royce Electrical, says a spokesperson for the company, as it marks their first commercial deal in the UAM market and builds on previous agreements to work with partners on demonstrator programmes.
Rolls-Royce will design the system architecture of the whole electrical propulsion system, the electric power system that includes their latest 100kW-class lift and push electrical propulsion units, the power distribution and the monitoring system that will support operations.
Rob Watson, Director of Rolls-Royce Electrical, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with Vertical Aerospace for the electrical technology that will power their pioneering eVTOL aircraft. This exciting opportunity demonstrates our ambitions to be a leading supplier of sustainable complete power systems for the new Urban Air Mobility market which has the potential to transform the way that people and freight move from city to city.”
Michael Cervenka, CEO of Vertical Aerospace, said: “We are excited to collaborate with Rolls-Royce, bringing onboard a hugely experienced team with deep expertise and cutting-edge electrical technologies to power our pioneering eVTOL aircraft. This collaboration builds on our existing partnerships and Vertical is well-positioned to develop the world’s leading eVTOL aircraft, certified to the highest CAA and EASA safety standards being set globally.”
Around 150 Rolls-Royce engineers based in countries including the UK, Hungary, Germany, and the US will work with the Vertical Aerospace team on developing the aircraft which is aiming to be one of the world’s first certified eVTOLs.
Vertical Aerospace, based in Bristol, has already flown multiple full-scale eVTOL prototypes and the build of VA-X4 will begin shortly with assembly taking place in the UK and the first flight happening this year.
Rolls Royce have said that electrification of flight is an important part of their sustainability strategy and supports their aim to contribute to a net zero carbon future by 2050. Rolls-Royce Electrical is a specialist team whose focus is to develop sustainable, efficient and quieter technology for aviation, marine, land and industrial applications.