Vertical Aerospace has appointed Tim Williams to the role of chief engineer, responsible for leading development of a new winged eVTOL that the company aims to certify by 2024.
Williams joins the U.K.-based company from Rolls-Royce, where he also served as chief engineer, accountable for a wide range of combat, transport, and helicopter engines. Over his 34-year aerospace career, he has worked on programs at all stages of their lifecycles, including guiding the RTM322 helicopter engine through its civil certification process.
According to a Vertical Aerospace press release, Williams was selected for his “agile and lean working practice” as well as for his proven track record in leading large teams in developing and delivering new products, and supporting products in service.
“Following a comprehensive global search, we are absolutely delighted to have Tim join us in our exciting endeavor developing world-leading sustainable aircraft,” stated Vertical Aerospace CEO Michael Cervenka, who previously served as head of Future Technologies at Rolls-Royce.
“Tim brings enormous engineering prowess and experience, but just as importantly an empowering leadership style and passion for challenging the status quo that fits perfectly with Vertical’s pioneering ethos.”
Williams said he was “thrilled” to be joining Vertical Aerospace, noting, “I have been particularly impressed with what the company has achieved in its short history; harnessing the pace and agility from Formula 1, the progress that the company has made has been remarkable.”
Since its founding in 2016, Vertical Aerospace has built and flown two full-scale eVTOL prototypes including Seraph, a fully electric technology demonstrator that performed its maiden flight in August last year. The company is now at work on a winged eVTOL aircraft that will carry four passengers and a pilot up to 100 miles (160 kilometers) at speeds of up to 150 mph (240 km/h).
Vertical Aerospace said it is continuing to work with aviation authorities on a certification plan for the model, in addition to building “strategic partnerships with global leaders such as Honeywell,” which is developing the flight controller for its latest aircraft.
Meanwhile, the company is also doing its best to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its operations.
“As a pioneering start-up, the steps we have already taken to fully leverage the power of the cloud and the very latest software platforms has enabled us to seamlessly transition to collaborative remote working,” Vertical Aerospace stated. “We are happy to report that we continue to make fantastic progress, are working very efficiently and effectively, and hope that everyone is keeping well and staying safe.”