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Rolls-Royce to power Vertical Aerospace’s urban air mobility (UAM) aircraft

By Chris Stonor

A Rolls-Royce electrical power system is to be integrated into the piloted Vertical Aerospace eVTOL aircraft, which will carry up to four passengers for 120 miles at cruise speeds of over 200mph, reports a company press release. The craft is on course to certify in 2024 ready for the Paris Olympic Games.

Vertical Aerospace is “a key collaboration for Rolls-Royce Electrical” as it marks the famous company’s first commercial deal in the UAM market and builds on previous agreements to work with partners on trials.

The release explains, “Rolls-Royce will design the system architecture of the whole electrical propulsion system, the electric power system that includes our latest 100kW-class lift and push electrical propulsion units, the power distribution and the monitoring system that will support operations.”

Rob Watson, Director of Rolls-Royce Electrical, said, “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.”

 Michael Cervenka, CEO of Vertical Aerospace added, “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.”

Around 150 Rolls-Royce engineers based around the world will work with the Vertical Aerospace team on developing the aircraft which aims to be “one of the world’s first certified eVTOLs”.

Vertical Aerospace, based in Bristol, has already flown multiple full-scale eVTOL prototypes and the build of VA-X4 will begin shortly with assembly taking place in the UK and the first flight happening this year.

Rolls-Royce’s “electrification of flight” is an important part of the company’s sustainability strategy leading to a net zero carbon future by 2050. The focus is to develop sustainable, efficient and quieter technology for aviation, marine, land and industrial applications.

Also, Rolls-Royce recently announced a collaboration with Tecnam and major worldwide aviation players for the development of the P-Volt: an all-electric, twin electric motor, short and medium range passenger aircraft, designed for maximum versatility and safety, powered by renewable energy.

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