U.K.-based Vertical Aerospace said it expects to launch aerial ridesharing services with its four-passenger eVTOL aircraft in the U.K. and Europe in 2025.
The company recently announced that the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has agreed to concurrently validate the type certification that Vertical expects to receive from the U.K. Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
To ensure its aircraft meets regulations from both authorities, the company has appointed Trevor Woods, the former certification director at EASA, to act as the eVTOL developer’s director of regulatory affairs.
“I am delighted to join Vertical, the eVTOL manufacturer that I believe has the edge on its competitors,” Woods said. “Its considerable in-house engineering expertise matched with its unrivalled industrial partnerships from proven Tier 1 aerospace suppliers such as Rolls-Royce, Honeywell, GKN and Leonardo, lend significant momentum to its certification efforts.”
The company said it has submitted its certification basis proposal, based on EASA’s established SC-VTOL certification basis, and expects to receive its design organizational approval (DOA) from U.K. authorities later this year.
Vertical is developing a piloted VX4 eVTOL air taxi with targeted speeds of up to 200 miles per hour (322 kilometers per hour), and a range of more than 100 miles (161 kilometers).
The company has secured pre-orders for its aircraft from a number of aerospace companies, including American Airlines, Avolon, Bristow and Iberojet, which includes conditional pre-order options from Virgin Atlantic and Marubeni. It has also sparked the interest of Air Greenland, which is looking into purchasing or leasing a number of aircraft in the future.
If these orders are finalized, Vertical’s eVTOL aircraft could be flying in various regions around the world, meaning Vertical has some work ahead of itself in getting validation from other international regulators.
This includes working with the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which is currently collaborating with the CAA to certify eVTOL aircraft. Vertical plans to develop passenger operations and infrastructure in the U.S. through its partnership with American Airlines.
Along with seeking validation by the FAA, Vertical said it has already run project familiarization workshops with regulators in Japan, Brazil, and Singapore.