Rolls-Royce to Power Vertical Aerospace’s Flagship Electric Urban Air Mobility Aircraft
A Rolls-Royce electrical power system will be integrated into Vertical Aerospace’s piloted all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) Urban Air Mobility aircraft. The aircraft is set to be certified in 2024 and can carry four passengers up to 120 miles at speeds over 200 mph.
On Tuesday (March 9, 2021), Rolls-Royce announced that they will power Vertical Aerospace’s flagship Urban Air Mobility (UAM) aircraft. The all-electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) aircraft will be powered by an integrated Rolls-Royce electrical power system. The aircraft will have the capacity to carry four passengers for 120 miles at speeds of up to 200 mph and is scheduled for certification in 2024. The key collaboration with Vertical Aerospace is Rolls-Royce’s first commercial deal in the burgeoning UAM market. Rolls-Royce will design the entire system architecture of the electric propulsion system which will include their latest 100kW-class lift and push propulsion units as well as a power distribution and monitoring system.
In today’s announcement, Rolls Royce Electrical Director, Rob Watson, said,
“We are delighted to collaborate with Vertical Aerospace for the electrical technology that will power their 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's Flagship Urban Air Mobility eVTOL Animation - Courtesy Rolls-Royce
Also commenting on the collaboration, Vertical Aerospace’s CEO, Michael Cervenka, added,
“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 develop the world’s leading eVTOL aircraft, certified to the highest CAA and EASA safety standards being set globally.”
As part of the propulsion system partnership, around 150 Rolls-Royce engineers based in Hungary, Germany, the U.S. and UK will work with the Vertical Aerospace team on the aircraft, which is expected to be one of the first certified eVTOLs in the world. Bristol-based Vertical Aerospace has already flown multiple full-scale prototypes and the build of the VA-X4 will begin shortly in the UK with the first flight expected to take place this year.
Rolls-Royce previously announced a partnership with Tecnam and a team of global aviation industry players for the development of the P-Volt, an all-electric twin motor short and medium-haul passenger aircraft powered by renewable energy. The company is dedicated to contribute to a net zero carbon future by 2050 and continues to develop more electric aircraft solutions including integrated electrical starter generators, auxiliary power units (APUs) and intelligent management of onboard electrical systems.