Rolls-Royce technology is set to power Vertical Aerospace's flagship urban air mobility (UAM) aircraft. A Rolls-Royce electrical power system will be integrated into the piloted 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 is a key collaboration for Rolls-Royce Electrical as it marks its 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 its latest 100kW-class lift and push electrical propulsion units, the power distribution and the monitoring system that will support operations.
Director of Rolls-Royce Electrical Rob Watson says: “We are delighted to collaborate with Vertical Aerospace for the electrical technology that will power its 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.”
Vertical Aerospace CEO Michael Cervenka adds: “We are excited to collaborate with Rolls-Royce, bringing on board 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 Hungary, Germany, US and the UK 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 in the UK, 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.
Electrification of flight is an important part of Rolls-Royce's sustainability strategy and supports its 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.
Rolls-Royce also recently announced a partnership with Italian aircraft manufacturer Tecnam and major worldwide aviation players for the development of the P-Volt: an all-electric, twin electric motor, short and medium range passenger aircraft, designed for maximum versatility and safety, powered by renewable energy. In its traditional aviation segments technology continues to be developed for more-electric aircraft solutions with integrated electrical starter generators, auxiliary power units and more intelligent management of the electrical systems on board.