Rolls-Royce announced it has signed a deal to power Vertical Aerospace’s 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 a key collaboration for Rolls-Royce Electrical as it marks the company’s first commercial deal in the UAM market and builds on previous agreements to work with partners on demonstrator programmes. Rolls-Royce will design the system architecture of the entire electrical propulsion system, the electric power system that includes the 100kW-class lift and push electrical propulsion units, the power distribution and the monitoring system that will support operations.
Rob Watson, Director – Rolls-Royce Electrical, 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.”
Around 150 Rolls-Royce engineers based in countries including Singapore, Hungary, Germany, US, and the UK will work with the Vertical Aerospace team on developing the aircraft, which is aiming to be one of the world’s first certified eVTOLs. The Singapore team in particular will contribute with the advanced electrical technology development on power electronics, embedded electronics systems, equipment health monitoring as well as the modelling and simulation. Vertical Aerospace, based in Bristol in the UK, 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.