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Vertical Aerospace sues rotor blade supplier following eVTOL accident

Multiple press sources report that Vertical Aerospace is suing one of its suppliers, ProDrive Composites, a developer of structures and rotor-blades for Vertical, following the publication of an accident investigation into the loss of a Vertical eVTOL.

A Vertical Aerospace eVTOL made a forced landing following a power unit failure in August 2023 (https://www.urbanairmobilitynews.com/air-taxis/accident-investigators-publish-report-on-vertical-aerospace-evtol-august-2023-crash-landing/); the UK’s Air Accident and Investigation Branch (AAIB) reported that a “propeller blade detached from the electric propulsion unit 3 forward motor due to a failure of the adhesive bond between the propeller blade sheath and spar.”

According to the AAIB:

“.Large out-of-balance loads generated by the blade release caused structural failure of the right inboard pylon, resulting in damage to the aircraft’s wiring harnesses. This caused a loss of thrust from motors 4 and 7. Whilst the aircraft’s flight control system was able to maintain a level attitude, the high rate of descent caused by the loss of vertical thrust resulted in substantial damage to the aircraft when it struck the ground.

“The aircraft manufacturer was, at the time of the accident, in the process of introducing a blade design that, amongst other things, eliminated the bonding failure mode that caused the blade release. The manufacturer’s investigation identified 36 product and process improvements resulting from findings of the investigation.”

For more information

https://caseboard.io/cases/aaee2478-cccc-4c53-b175-9a3198715d45

Vertical Aerospace suing former supplier Prodrive Composites | Irish Independent

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