Vertical Aerospace Gains Expanded eVTOL Certification Authority from UK CAA

A Vertical Aerospace VX4 eVTOL aircraft.
Photo Credit: Vertical Aerospace

Vertical Aerospace [NYSE: EVTL], a pioneer in eVTOL zero-emissions aviation, has achieved a significant milestone in its journey towards aircraft certification.

The UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) has expanded the scope of Vertical’s Design Organisation Approval (DOA).

This becomes a crucial step forward in the development and certification of their leading-edge eVTOL VX4 aircraft.

This expanded DOA empowers Vertical’s engineering team to approve compliance in an increased number of technical areas. This includes critical systems such as flight control, avionics, and electrical systems.

This extension not only streamlines the certification process but also demonstrates the CAA’s growing confidence in Vertical’s in-house capabilities.

Stuart Simpson, CEO of Vertical Aerospace, gave comment on the certification development. “This milestone recognizes Vertical’s engineering prowess in VX4 aircraft certification.”

“Our exceptional teams, industry partnerships, and cutting-edge UK facilities position us well to meet the world’s highest safety standards.”

“The collaboration between regulators like the CAA and EASA paves the way for a smoother, quicker certification process.”

The expanded DOA scope allows Vertical to work closely with the CAA to further broaden its privileges.

Upcoming Flight Test Program

This collaboration will enable the regulator to rely on Vertical’s approval for various upcoming activities. This includes actions necessary for obtaining a Permit to Fly for piloted flight tests of the VX4 aircraft.

As Vertical approaches the completion of its most advanced full-scale VX4 prototype, this regulatory progress comes at a crucial time.

The company is now poised to commence its piloted flight test program. This will be conducted at its state-of-the-art Flight Test Centre located at Cotswold Airport.

Vertical VX4 electric
Photo Credit: Vertical Aerospace

EASA Milestone

In a parallel development, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the CAA have reached an agreement on how they will collaborate in certifying Vertical’s VX4.

This accord, follows technical implementation procedures established post-Brexit. It sets the foundation for certification experts from both authorities to apply common standards.

The goal is to work towards concurrent certification and validation of the VX4 by both regulatory bodies. This synergy will potentially accelerate the aircraft’s path to commercial service.

The importance of this regulatory alignment cannot be overstated. In 2023, the CAA announced its intention to adopt EASA’s Means of Compliance to SCVTOL.

These are essentially the standards against which European and UK manufacturers design eVTOLs (electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing aircraft).

This harmonization of standards across jurisdictions is crucial for the global adoption and operation of next generation aircraft like the VX4.

Vertical Aerospace eVTOL on Vertiport.
Photo Credits: Vertical Aerospace

Vertical Aerospace actively pursues certification validation with five major aviation regulators worldwide. This further marks its commitment to meeting the highest safety standards.

These include the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), EASA, UK CAA, Brazil’s National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC), and the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB).

This multi-regulator approach ensures that the VX4 aircraft will comply with the most stringent global safety requirements. This will effectively position it for international operations upon certification.

Summary

As Vertical Aerospace continues to make strides in the development of the VX4, this expanded DOA and the collaborative efforts between regulatory bodies signal a promising future for electric aviation.

The company’s progress not only brings the reality of sustainable, efficient air travel closer but also reinforces the UK’s position as a leader in innovative aerospace technology.

With each milestone, Vertical moves closer to its goal of making electric flight a practical, safe, and environmentally friendly mode of transportation for the masses.


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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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