image ©Rolls-Royce, Vertical Aerospace
Vertical Aerospace’s Urban Air Mobility solution may be the Rolls-Royce of passenger drones, a phrase synonymous with luxury engineering. Rolls-Royce has recently announced that their electrical power system will be integrated into Vertical Aerospace’s “piloted all-electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle.” The aircraft will carry up to four passengers for 120 miles at cruise speeds of over 200mph, and is expected to certify in 2024, says the announcement. The companies expect the first flight of the Vertical Aerospace aircraft this year.
Providing more evidence that the urban air mobility market continues to grow in importance, Rolls-Royce is one of several automotive brands collaborating in the sector. “Vertical Aerospace is a key collaboration for Rolls-Royce Electrical as it marks our first commercial deal in the UAM market and builds on previous agreements to work with partners on demonstrator programmes,” says the announcement.
Rolls-Royce has already invested heavily in electric vehicle technology: for land, air, and marine transportation systems. “Electrification of flight is an important part of Rolls-Royce’s sustainability strategy and supports our aim to contribute to a net zero carbon future by 2050,” says the company.
For this partnership, about 100 Rolls-Royce specialist electrical engineers will work with UK-based Vertical Aerospace to design the system architecture of the whole electrical propulsion system.
“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,” says Rob Watson, Director – Rolls-Royce Electrical.