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Vertical Aerospace partners with Solvay for VA-1X composite structure

UK-based eVTOL developer Vertical Aerospace is partnering with Solvay to develop the composite structure of its VA-1X electric air taxi, the companies announced.

Vertical Aerospace VA-1X Solvay composites
Vertical Aerospace revealed the design of its VA-1X eVTOL air taxi in August 2020. Vertical Aerospace Image

Under their agreement, Solvay will provide access to its portfolio of thermoplastic composites, specialty polymers, and structural adhesives, as well as technical and application support both at Solvay’s European Application Centers and at Vertical Aerospace’s office in Bristol, UK. The companies aim to see the first flying VA-1X prototype take to the air in September 2021.

“Solvay is proud to partner with Vertical Aerospace, a pioneer in sustainable aviation technologies, whose VA-1X aircraft is set to revolutionize the way we travel,” Carmelo Lo Faro, president of Solvay Composite Materials Global Business Unit, stated in a press release. 

“By providing the performance required to operate safely and maximize range, while facilitating the processes needed for mass production, our advanced materials will be key enablers to the mass adoption of eVTOLs.”

“We are incredibly excited to be working hand in hand with Solvay, co-innovating to develop a lightweight, advanced, and sustainable eVTOL thanks to their portfolio of advanced materials,” stated Vertical Aerospace CEO Michael Cervenka. 

The VA-1X is a winged, fully electric air taxi designed to carry four passengers and a pilot up to 100 miles (160 kilometers) at cruise speeds of 150 mph (240 km/h). Certification is targeted for 2024, with commercial services commencing shortly thereafter.

Vertical Aerospace has already flown two full-size eVTOL technology demonstrators, including a proof of concept aircraft and the Seraph multicopter.

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