Advanced Air Mobility News

Vertical Achieves Milestone on Path to VX4 Certification

Vertical Achieves Milestone on Path to VX4 Certification

Vertical Aerospace has become the first eVTOL manufacturer to be granted a Design Organisation Approval (DOA) from the United Kingdom’s Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

This marks a historic milestone in the company’s bid to obtain Type Certification for its VX4 aircraft, meaning that the Bristol-based firm possesses the necessary capabilities to design an aircraft that will adhere to all safety standards.

The CAA conducted a comprehensive assessment of Vertical’s procedures, quality management system, the competence of its technical workforce, and the equipment and facilities being used to manufacture the VX4.

“I am immensely proud that Vertical is the first British electric aircraft company in history to receive a DOA from the UK aviation regulator. This approval is a critical step forward in our mission to decarbonize air travel and bring the UK’s first electric aircraft to market. We are grateful for the CAA’s commitment to advancing sustainable aviation, which allows us to build on the UK’s proud aerospace tradition,” Vertical Founder and CEO Stephen Fitzpatrick said.

Paul Harper, Vertical’s Head of Certification, added: “Receiving a DOA from the CAA is a huge testament to our team and the hard work we are doing to ensure safety is at the core of the VX4. It represents a significant milestone on our journey to Type Certification and we would like to thank the CAA for their guidance and continued support.”

Garry Lathey, Design and Certification Manager at the CAA, congratulated Vertical on their landmark achievement and said the issuing of the DOA reflects the CAA’s commitment to making the UK a hub for trailblazers in the aviation industry.

“We are committed to enabling innovators such as Vertical take their ideas to market in a safe, secure and sustainable way. The granting of Design Organisation Approval to Vertical is an essential step on their journey bringing an eVTOL aircraft into service. It emphasizes our commitment to making the UK a key destination for aviation innovators,” he said.

“It’s also vital that this work has an international impact and so in all our efforts we aim to work collaboratively with other regulatory bodies around the world to support the future of eVTOL flight and maintain the high safety standards that the public expects.”

Vertical has also submitted its certification basis proposal to the CAA as it continues to take the necessary steps to secure Type Certification for the VX4 eVTOL.

The company has also formally kickstarted the certification process for its aircraft in Japan after the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) accepted the validation program for the VX4. Should Vertical receive Type Certification, it will officially be allowed to operate its eVTOL in the country.

JCAB is the fourth aviation regulator Vertical is working with. The other three include the CAA, European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The eVTOL manufacturer is also in discussions with the National Civil Aviation Agency of Brazil about the VX4’s future validation program.

“I believe that in formally working with JCAB, as the fourth aviation regulator Vertical is committed to certifying with, we are on track for establishing the most detailed understanding of global regulators’ needs and differences for eVTOLs. This will give us a competitive edge in bringing the VX4 into service,” Harper said.

Vertical has already established itself in the Japanese market, having signed partnerships with Japan Airlines (JAL), which has placed a pre-order for 100 VX4 aircraft through Avolon. The British aerospace firm has also joined forces with the Marubeni Corporation, which has confirmed pre-orders for up to 200 VX4.

In the financial report released days earlier, Vertical’s net loss decreased to £94 million (about USD$115.7 million) in 2022, marking a significant decline from £245 million (about USD$301.7 million) in 2021.

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