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October 22, 2021
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Manufacturing

Rolls-Royce to power all-electric aircraft

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 all-electric vertical take-off and landing (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 Aerospace is really a key collaboration for Rolls-Royce Electrical as it marks its first commercial deal in the UAM market and develops 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 Rolls-Royce’s latest 100kW-class lift and push electrical propulsion units, the power distribution and the monitoring system which will support operations.

Rob Watson, Director – Rolls-Royce Electrical, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with Vertical Aerospace for that electrical technology that will power their pioneering eVTOL aircraft. This exciting opportunity demonstrates our ambitions to become a leading supplier of sustainable complete power systems for the new Urban Air Mobility market that has the potential to transform the way that people and freight change from city to city.”

Michael Cervenka, CEO – Vertical Aerospace said: “We are excited to collaborate with Rolls-Royce, bringing onboard 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 build up the world’s leading eVTOL aircraft, certified towards the highest CAA and EASA safety standards being set globally.”

Around 150 Rolls-Royce engineers 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, located in Bristol, has already flown multiple full-scale eVTOL prototypes and the build of VA-X4 will begin shortly with assembly happening in the UK and the first flight happening this year.

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