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Vertical brings top certification expert on board
The certification and validation processes will run simultaneously in both UK CAA and EASA jurisdictions, paving the way for the VX4 to operate in both the UK and Europe from 2025.
Trevor Woods is now director of regulatory affairs at Vertical.

Vertical Aerospace has made further progress on its path to certification of its VX4, including the appointment of former European Union Aviation Safety Agency certification director Trevor Woods as director of regulatory affairs.

Vertical has also agreed to concurrently validate the UK Civil Aviation Authority's certification of the electric VTOL aircraft. In this way, the VX4 will be certificated by the UK CAA against its stringent safety standards and in compliance with the similar and equally stringent standards developed by EASA. This means that the certification and validation processes will run simultaneously in both regulatory jurisdictions, paving the way for the VX4 to operate in both the UK and Europe from 2025.

The company believes this activity with both the CAA and EASA will also support swift validation of the VX4 by other international regulators, who respect the stringent safety standards imposed by the UK and European regulators.

Vertical is seeking to conduct similar certification validation efforts with other national aviation authorities where its customers operate, enabling the VX4 to be flown in these jurisdictions. It has already run project familiarisation workshops with regulators in key territories including Japan, Brazil and Singapore, and will also seek validation by the FAA, enabling entry into service with US operators.

Vertical's certification programme is progressing rapidly as it targets entry into service in 2025. The certification basis proposal has been submitted, based on EASA's established SC-VTOL certification basis. This should be agreed with the UK CAA later this year.

Vertical has also received notice that its three key nominated managers (Form 4 Holders) have been accepted by the regulator as competent to hold the roles. These approved managers are necessary for the company to be granted Design Organisation Approval (DOA).

DOA, equivalent to the FAA's Organisation Designation Authorisation or ODA, is the approval from the regulator that an aerospace company is certified as being competent and responsible to hold a type certificate. Vertical's DOA, when granted, will cover the full scope required to hold a type certificate for a commercial passenger carrying winged eVTOL.

The company believes this will be of the widest scope an eVTOL manufacturer will have received to date, giving it a competitive edge when progressing towards type certification. A type certificate is a formal recognition from the certifying authority that the design of the aircraft is in compliance with all applicable airworthiness requirements. Vertical expects to receive DOA from the UK regulator later this year, and this will be the first formal recognition from the CAA confirming its competency as a VTOL design organisation and eventually as a type certificate holder.

Woods says: β€œI am delighted to join Vertical, the eVTOL manufacturer that I believe has the edge on its competitors. Its considerable in-house engineering expertise matched with its unrivalled industrial partnerships from proven tier-one aerospace suppliers such as Rolls-Royce, Honeywell, GKN and Leonardo lend significant momentum to its certification efforts. I, myself, am looking forward to flying in the VX4 at the earliest opportunity."

Head of certification Paul Harper adds: β€œTo have someone with Trevor's experience join the team is a boost for us and our certification efforts. We are pleased with the status of our certification programme and look forward to reaching a number of meaningful milestones in our activity over the coming months, including the launch of our test flight campaign.”

Vertical's key accountable managers are head of engineering Eric Samson; head of certification Paul Harper; and head of independent systems monitoring Paul Cotton.

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