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Vertical Aerospace partners with GKN for eVTOL wiring and aerostructures

GKN Aerospace will supply the electrical wiring interconnection system (EWIS) and aerostructures for Vertical Aerospace’s VA-X4 eVTOL aircraft, the companies announced this week.

Vertical Aerospace VA-X4
Vertical Aerospace is teaming with a number of established suppliers, including GKN Aerospace, on the design of its VA-X4 eVTOL. Vertical Aerospace Image

Headquartered in the U.K., GKN is a global technology supplier serving most major aircraft and engine manufacturers. Its aerospace systems and components support a range of platforms, from passenger airliners to advanced fighter aircraft. 

Vertical Aerospace said in a press release that the EWIS and aerostructures provided by GKN will help improve the performance of the VA-X4 and contribute to lower costs, weight, and emissions. 

Additionally, the British eVTOL developer anticipates that GKN’s high-volume production capabilities will help drive global production of the VA-X4, resulting in shorter production lead times and lower unit costs. 

“We are delighted that they are joining our unrivalled partner ecosystem,” Vertical Aerospace founder and CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick said of GKN. “Their expertise in producing aerospace systems and structures will help the VA-X4 to meet the stringent safety standards mandated by the CAA and EASA [U.K. Civil Aviation Authority and European Union Aviation Safety Agency], an essential step forward in our efforts to electrify flight.”  

“GKN Aerospace has decades of experience as a leader in both aerostructures and EWIS and we are excited to use that expertise to accelerate the transition to more sustainable aviation,” stated John Pritchard, president of GKN Aerospace’s Civil business. “Vertical has a great vision and we are proud that our technology can help bring that to reality and shape the future of flight.” 

GKN joins other Vertical Aerospace partners including Microsoft, Rolls-Royce, Honeywell, and Solvay. The eVTOL developer said its collaborations with these top-tier suppliers will help accelerate its path to certification, de-risk execution, allow for a lean cost structure, and enable production at scale. Vertical Aerospace is targeting certification of its five-seat, fully electric VA-X4 air taxi by 2024. 

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